The Rangers finished a seven-game road trip through Boston and Cincinnati this past week. I was lucky enough to be able to watch, in person, six of those seven games (missed Monday in Boston). I was there cheering on a team that I grew up rooting for and still do to this day. However, a thought dawned on me. My experience didn’t just stop at watching the Rangers on the road; it spread to an adventure of experiencing two ballparks in two cities with two historical franchises. This road trip was my very first visit to both Boston and Cincinnati, and thanks to Rangers Destinations, the visit to both cities was memorable. Sure the ball club won four of the seven games, but the biggest takeaway, the atmosphere.
Everyone knows the history of Fenway Park, the oldest current ballpark in the majors. However, going to Fenway in person is like going to Paris, France to witness the Eifel Tower. Everyone has their pictures, and you probably could draw blueprints of the place, but it’s something special experiencing the sights a first time. From standing on top of the Green Monster in left to listening to the crowd sing “Sweet Caroline” before the bottom of the eighth inning, the palace screams tradition everywhere you turn.
Sweet Caroline at Fenway Park, a tradition like no other. And Pete Fairbanks is in to pitch. pic.twitter.com/OwE8zUvzTt
— Alex Plinck (@aplinckTX) June 12, 2019
I was fortunate to stay at a hotel that was less than ten minutes away from Fenway Park. The walk takes you over the David Ortiz Bridge and right to Gate C of Fenway. Before each game, there are massive vendors surrounding Fenway with every bar and diner filled with baseball fans, and hockey fans if you count Wednesday before the Boston Bruins losing Game 7 to the St. Louis Blues. It’s a feeling like those you see in movies during old school baseball games. I thought I was back in the 1960s surrounded by traditional fans waiting for the gates to the ballpark to open.
In reference to food, I give the Fenway Franks a thumbs up, but what caught my attention was the Italian Sausage. They served the sausage on what looked like an Italian roll. It wasn’t spicy, but you can request onions and peppers to spice up the pork. Despite the frigid temperatures and rain on Thursday, Boston was welcoming.
After a three night stay in Cincinnati, I can safely say that it is an underrated baseball town (I’m sure some Bengals fans are upset at that opinion). The city of Cincinnati engulfs baseball passion and a remarkably rich history that began in 1869. Great American Ballpark is clearly a newer ballpark than Fenway, but it keeps similar features than those at Riverfront Stadium and Crosley Field. The one suggestion I will give to any baseball guru is to check out the Reds Hall of Fame Museum. The Museum includes a wall of Pete Rose’s 4,256 career hits, a quick thirty-second clip of all the Reds greats, a room dedicated to the five World Series titles the Reds won, and a whole lot more.
Why hello Barry Larkin. And the tour dude asked not to take a photo. I am a man of my word.
— Alex Plinck (@aplinckTX) June 15, 2019
The food in the ballpark was okay (although I didn’t ask for any advice). However, the restaurants near the ballpark are fantastic and pack a crowd before and after all Reds games. The biggest crowd came on Saturday during Barry Larkin bobblehead night. Lines scattered nearly to the streets and the pavilion of the Hall of Fame Museum. The Reds and Fox Sports Ohio even have a post game and pregame set up in front of section 111 and 112 where fans can watch the broadcast live and even interact with anchors Brian Giesenschlag and former Reds reliever Sam LeCure (who has a nice blog on Personal Growth and Accepting yourself, check it out). The Reds’ franchise may be scuffling over the past few years, but their fan base is loyal and love their Reds.
Here are some of the restaurants I went to in both cities (I highly recommend them all)
- Island Creek Oyster Bar
- Eastern Standard
- Tasty Burger
- Maplewood Kitchen Bar
- Condado Tacos (recommended by LeCure as well as Holy Grail after Reds games)
Said to be one of the top restaurants in Cincinnati. Giving it a shot. pic.twitter.com/7yEBUYG6Bg
— Alex Plinck (@aplinckTX) June 15, 2019
The beauty of the game of baseball is that tradition is everywhere you look. Each city and each ballpark carves out in its own identity and for visiting fans, it’s a new experience in every city you visit. If you’re not sure where to start, check Rangers Destinations. I’ve gone now three times, and each time it’s been great (the seats, the tours, and the hotels). Though with Boston and Cincinnati, it’s an unforgettable experience and I would highly urge anyone curious to check out.
Back and settled at home, a great thanks to both the @RedSox faithful and @Reds faithful for making this week a great one for a baseball dude like me. Both have passionate fan bases and A LOT of history behind them. #dirtywater #BornToBaseball #RedSox #Reds
— Alex Plinck (@aplinckTX) June 17, 2019
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