Thursday, April 10, 2008

And the Home-Town Field Was Festooned with Bunting

Opening Day dawned brightly as yours, Hurdy Chadwick, and Stuffy McInnes boarded the locomotive, which chuffed through fields and yards to the Hub of Boston. City side, your intrepid correspondents joined the cheering throngs and rode the street-car to the hallowed grounds of Fenway Park.

The scene encircling the ball-ground was festive and gay, with mounted police-men keeping order as rooters piped up in choruses celebrating the fair home team. The air was redolent of sausages, peppers and onions, and many men took drink early in the day.

Inside the walls of Fenway, the park was festooned with bunting and shining with fresh coats of lacquer. The crowd of 34,000, many of them ladies, cheered for the glee clubs, which, assembled on the grass field, treated the rooters to rousing songs in honor of our heroic base-ball men.

As the crowd settled into the spacious Fenway chairs, a brass band struck up a jaunty rhythm as brightly colored banners were unfurled from the upper seats in left-field, signifying the Bostons' triumphant season as World Champion clouters and glove-men.

As the festivities continued, members of other Boston sports-teams walked the hallowed grass of the base-ball pitch, laden with trophies of past achievements.

Bold aviators in their new-fangled flying machines barnstormed the park, eliciting gasps of delight and awe from the assembled spectators. The men and ladies of the park let out collective murmers of appreciation as the champion hurlers and clouters entered the field in their brilliant team flannels to receive their shining Victory baubles. Joy and jubilation spread through even the most hardened hearts of the John Q. Publics in attendance.

It was a gay time in the old ball-park, and not a voice was heard over the public announcer's throaty baritone as he implored the assembled crowd to welcome a ceremonial hurler. Billy "The Hermit" Buckner entered the park to deliver the first toss of the horsehide. His return came more than two decades after his well-known muff in the Bostons' World Series bid against the New York "Mets". The gentleman hurler was embraced by each and every rooter in attendance, his gaffe evermore washed away in the sunlight of Opening Day.

The spectacle of the ceremonies was one that neither your Hurdy Chadwick nor Stuffy McInnes will soon forget. But a game was to be played! Following Buckner's southpaw delivery to the home-plate, the shout was to "Play ball!"

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