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 Crimson 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 current Saturday afternoon tilt between the Sox and Toronto’s Blue Jays. I wasn’t imagined to be there.
Robin and I had joined a Jay Buckley group tour a number of days earlier. Our seats this afternoon had been in Fenway’s roof deck, drenched in obvious daylight. Robin does solar nicely; El Sol and I’ve a foul historical past. By the 4th inning, even slathered in SPF-50, I went attempting to find shadier climes, ultimately touchdown within the cavernous grandstand. In a short time a graying gentleman, sporting Fenway ID, approached and commenced chatting concerning 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 way more costly seating zones. We handed the Legends Suite the place, for round $20,000, teams of 20 can view a recreation with a former Sox participant. I resisted an urge to shake arms with Luis Tiant.
Inside moments I used to be above left subject’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 Sport 6 of the 1975 World Sequence towards Cincinnati by ricocheting a twelfth inning homer off that pole. Henry and I traded tales of that recreation. 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 informal curiosity in his hometown’s venerable ball yard. Skilled 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 one in every 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 Crimson Sox approached him with a proposal to develop into an unofficial ambassador for the park. Throughout video games he enjoys approaching unsuspecting of us, like me, with treats to sights they might, in any other case, by no means see. His ‘Fenway Purist’ weblog might 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 get pleasure from 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 Sport 7’s eventual profitable 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.