BOSTON -- Bobby Valentine shared some of his feelings about the historical aspects of the afternoon. He clearly has an appreciation for Fenway Park, especially after seeing more than 50,000 fans show up for an Open House on Thursday, not for the autographs or photographs of players that were available, but for the ballpark itself.
“This ballpark has created as many memories for the people in this area and around the world as any venue in the world,” said Valentine. “This game will make memories for me and everyone else here and I’m looking forward to that.
“I thought (Thursday) was amazing. I understood (the value of the park’s history). It was an incredible experience. There were 10s of thousands of people here. I have over 20 of my friends drive up here, to be on the field, to walk up to the scoreboard and see it up close and person. It was for the park. That was pretty cool,” said Valentine, a native of Stamford, CT.
“The park here has at least a life of its own. A magic to it. It’s the baseball land of Oz. People dream about this place,” said Valentine. “When I came here in the wintertime there was an ice skating rink on the field and it was still a wonderful place to be, not like 20-30 years ago when it was just an old building on the corner. It’s a credit to a lot of people’s hard work.”
The manager had an opportunity to see some former players who were at the park on Thursday. He said he didn’t recognize all of them, but that he was sure they recognized him.
“They had an advantage on me if they went to the post office and saw the Most Wanted poster of me. That made it easier for them,” joked Valentine, who has been embattled early in his first year as Sox manager with the team off to a 4-8 start.