Kahrl: Giving Fenway Park a second chance

From SABR member Christina Kahrl at ESPN.com on October 23, 2013:

Consider this my own lesson in why you should always be careful with unconsidered first impressions. That might be easy to say when we’re talking about a classic venue like Fenway Park, but Fenway didn’t impress me much during my only previous visit. That was back on June 28, 2002 when I was here for the SABR convention. That day produced SABR’s nifty oral history project of the day we spent there. My own recollection from my perch up in center field? That, whatever its reputation and revered status, as a place to catch a ballgame Fenway didn’t compare favorably to my usual haunt — Wrigley Field.

I’ll be the first to admit that memory’s a plastic thing, sometimes hardening with age, sometimes fraying and getting slippery, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that my own memory of the place got dingier with age. On the basis of that single introduction, over time I’d already pushed Fenway behind Huntington Park (home of the Triple-A Columbus Clippers) on my personal list of favorite ballparks, as much a testament of the former’s virtues as it reflects a failure of judgment on the basis of a lone impression.

But that judgment was reached before so many things changed about Fenway. It was before John Henry and the immaculate franchise switcheroo that put modern mallparks in Miami and D.C. — but topped both new venues by reinventing something older and better, by assembling in Boston the means to remake Fenway as the cathedral its meant to be.

Read the full article here: http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/41736/giving-fenway-park-a-second-chance

Originally published: October 23, 2013. Last Updated: October 23, 2013.