Oh no, my reader (at the moment I think that means my wife, if I have not lost her attention already) groans, not someone else who is going to rhapsodize about the green cathedral in Boston.

Not exactly. I have to start with Fenway because it is where my baseball experience began. In fact, I am pretty sure I didn’t attend another park for the first 22 years of my life, and I grew up going to Fenway.

My earliest memory is not of the park itself, but of finding the park. A child of the depression, my father appreciated the value of a dollar. In fact, I think the only time he gave me wordly advice was when he told me, “Buy your peanuts outside the park and bring them in.” Actually this is good advice. He was probably not the only one privy to this information, however. I recall a few years later the park being surrounded by vendors of grilled sausages. These were unbelievably good, and the diversion of sales to food outside the park no doubt caused the quality of food served inside the park to become more competitive. Anyway, we will have more to say about park food later. Right now we are talking about getting to the park.

In order to save money, my father parked some distance away, I believe on Commonwealth Avenue. This was a handsome, wide boulevard, quite a contrast to what was to follow. I had little sense of Boston geography then, and little more today, so what happened then was totally bewildering. My father led me (and this was not easy, as his step was brisk and he did not believe in holding hands) through a labyrinth of back alleys. I recall that some were literally paved with cobblestones, probably dating them to the 18th century. Other of the faithful would join us from a confluence of alleys, like the rabble rising to join arms against the foe in some inspiring movie, the small rivulets becoming a mighty river of fans. Eventually we would emerge into a wider street and there, spread before us, was the park (more often referred to as “the pahk”).

While the fact that that journey always ended at the park never ceased to amaze me, the next part of the visit never ceased to inspire me. That is when you would emerge from the maze of steel and concrete in the bowels of the park to see the green field spread before you. That sight always takes my breath away. There is nothing as green as the green of a baseball field. Well, maybe Hempstead Heath in that Antonioni movie Blow-up. I read somewhere that to make it so green, however, he had it painted. Since that doesn’t count, we can safely say that there is nothing as green as the green of a baseball field.

Since we will have more to say about Fenway in another post, this one will be titled Fenway I.