De La Cretaz: Full swing: The Red Sox women’s fantasy baseball camp

From Britni De La Cretaz at DigBoston on April 4, 2018:

The sun is overhead, so bright it’s easy to lose a baseball popped high into the sky. It’s January, but Florida January, which means I’m comfortable in just a long-sleeved T-shirt. The smell of grass and dirt is inescapable.

There are approximately two dozen people scattered around the green outfield and orange-red infield. The air is filled with the unmistakable crack of a wooden bat making contact with a cowhide-covered ball, and then, a voice yelling, “I got it!”

Everyone but me is wearing red, white, or navy blue. Some have eye black smeared on their cheeks. Most wear the words “Red Sox” across their chests, their last name and a number on their backs. At JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Florida, where the team’s spring training is set to begin in a little over a month, it looks like some players have gotten an early jump on their season. A mini version of the famed Fenway Park Green Monster looms in left field at the ballpark known to players and fans as “Fenway South.”

But the people in the jerseys aren’t Jackie Bradley Jr., Mookie Betts, or David Price. They can’t possibly be Red Sox players, because they are all women.

I have come to Red Sox Women’s Fantasy Camp to watch women live out their dreams in a major league baseball park, but even after months of planning and anticipation, it takes a moment for my brain to comprehend what I am seeing. It’s something I never thought possible—a squad of women getting down and dirty and playing hardball in Red Sox unis. Fantasy or not, the double play turned on the field sure looks real to me.

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Originally published: April 4, 2018. Last Updated: April 4, 2018.