If Boston’s Fenway Park has a present maven, it’s certain to be Henry Taves.
A grad of each Harvard and Columbia Universities, Henry has adopted the Pink Sox since his Cambridge childhood in 1963. However he harbors a deeper love of main league baseball’s senior ball yard, which opened simply because the Titanic was settling to the Atlantic’s backside in 1912. I met Henry within the grandstands behind house plate throughout a latest Saturday afternoon tilt between the Sox and Toronto’s Blue Jays. I wasn’t presupposed to be there.
Robin and I had joined a Jay Buckley group tour just a few days earlier. Our seats this afternoon had been in Fenway’s roof deck, drenched in obtrusive daylight. Robin does solar effectively; El Sol and I’ve a nasty historical past. By the 4th inning, even slathered in SPF-50, I went trying to find shadier climes, ultimately touchdown within the cavernous grandstand. In a short time a graying gentleman, sporting Fenway ID, approached and commenced chatting in regards to the park. “How would you wish to see extra of the park? I can take you as much as the Inexperienced Monster.” Very long time ball followers know that is the equal of: “Hey, come alongside and go to the Promised Land!”
Henry led me previous a number of checkpoints, introducing me to attendants, as we eased into rather more costly seating zones. We handed the Legends Suite the place, for round $20,000, teams of 20 can view a sport with a former Sox participant. I resisted an urge to shake arms with Luis Tiant.
Inside moments I used to be above left discipline’s 37-foot Inexperienced Monster, an arm’s size from the Fisk Foul Pole, immortalized to way back followers when Boston’s Carlton Fisk ended Recreation 6 of the 1975 World Sequence in opposition to Cincinnati by ricocheting a twelfth inning homer off that pole. Henry and I traded tales of that sport. I used to be on late evening army responsibility, 5000 miles away, listening by radio. A senior at Harvard, he was current within the stands, and described the group’s electrical response.
Henry possesses greater than an off-the-cuff curiosity in his hometown’s venerable ball yard. Educated in historic preservation, his skilled profession led him to a number of states, together with ours, the place he resided in Tarboro together with his household. He carried out rural architectural surveys in Edgecombe and Halifax counties, and is considered one of three authors of ‘The Historic Structure of Halifax County, North Carolina’.
A New Hampshire resident now, Henry ventures to Fenway a number of instances a season. Earlier this yr, the Pink Sox approached him with a proposal to turn into an unofficial ambassador for the park. Throughout video games he enjoys approaching unsuspecting people, like me, with treats to sights they’d, in any other case, by no means see. His ‘Fenway Purist’ weblog may be accessed on-line.
Robin ultimately joined us, and Henry left us at Fenway’s Royal Rooters’ Membership, a limited-access facility close to the Ipswich entry the place members take pleasure in higher meals, drinks, A/C, and Sox memorabilia courting again over a century.
We didn’t share Robin’s private connection to Boston’s 86-year World Sequence ‘curse’. In 1946, it was St. Louis’s Enos Slaughter who raced from first base to attain Recreation 7’s eventual successful run, denying Boston a title. Slaughter shared kinship with Robin’s maternal household in Particular person County.
We had been simply grateful for the Fenway hospitality.