Publisher description for Faithful to Fenway : believing in Boston, baseball, and America's most beloved ballpark / Michael Ian Borer.


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”Even Yankee fans will have much to consider from this book, published so soon after the Red Sox curse has ended. This is an important work of the sociology of sport and of urban sociology.”
-Gary Alan Fine, author of With the Boys: Little League Baseball and Preadolescent Culture

”Even if you don't already love the Red Sox, you'll love this account of the stories people tell about why Fenway matters.”
-Nancy T. Ammerman, author of Everyday Religion: Observing Modern Religious Lives

The Green Monster. Pesky’s Pole. The Lone Red Seat. Yawkey Way. To baseball fans this list of bizarre phrases evokes only one place: Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox. Built in 1912, Fenway Park is America’s oldest major league ballpark still in use. In Faithful to Fenway, Michael Ian Borer takes us out to Fenway where we sit in cramped wooden seats (often with obstructed views of the playing field), where there is a hand-operated scoreboard and an average attendance of 20,000 less fans than most stadiums, and where every game has been sold out since May of 2003. There is no Hard Rock Café (like Toronto’s Skydome), no swimming pool (like Arizona’s Chase Field), and definitely no sushi (which has become a fan favorite from Baltimore to Seattle). As Borer tells us in this captivating book, Fenway is short on comfort but long on character.

Faithful to Fenway investigates the mystique of the ballpark. Borer, who lived in Boston before and after the Red Sox historic 2004 World Series win, draws on interviews with Red Sox players, including Jason Varitek and Carl Yastrzemski, management, including Larry Luchinno and John Henry, groundskeepers, vendors, and scores of fans to uncover what the park means for Boston and the people who revere it. Borer argues that Fenway is nothing less than a national icon, more than worthy of the banner outside the stadium that proclaims, “America’s Most Beloved Ballpark.” Certainly as one of New England’s greatest landmarks, Fenway captures the hearts and imaginations of a deferential and devoted public. There are T-shirts, bumper stickers, banners, and snow globes that honor the ballpark. Fenway shows up in popular films, novels, television commercials, and in replicated form in people’s backyards-and coming in 2008 to Quincy, Massachusetts, is Mini-Fenway Park, a replica stadium built especially for kids.

Full of legendary stories, amusing anecdotes, and the shared triumph and tragedy of the Red Sox and their fans, Faithful to Fenway offers a fresh and insightful perspective, offering readers an unforgettable pilgrimage to the “Mecca of baseball.”




Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
Fenway Park (Boston, Mass.)
Baseball -- Social aspects -- Massachusetts -- Boston.
Boston Red Sox (Baseball team)