Flashback – September 10, 2006

Dale in the visor, me with the sign down and KellyJ holding her sign high - Photo taken, without our knowing it, by Kelly O'Connor

Dale in the visor, me with the sign down and KellyJ holding her sign high - Photo taken, without our knowing it, by Kelly O'Connor

A story on Deadpsin about a Red Sox fan getting manhandled and thrown out of Yankee Stadium last night (for having the audacity to try and leave his seat during “God Bless America” – please don’t get me started on asshole Steinbrenner’s “All bow down before a show tune” policy!) brought to mind the one time I’ve been thrown out of a baseball park – Fenway Park. For those of you who don’t know the story, I thought I’d share it here. If for no other reason, than to illustrate that it doesn’t take much to get booted from a ballgame.

Let me set this up for you…Jon Lester has a press conference announcing he has cancer. People personally connected to Jon contact me and the end result will eventually be the “K Cancer” t-shirts I sold (donating the money collected to Fred Hutchinson and Dana Farber). But before those shirts were sold, we came up with the idea of “Jon Lester Day” at Fenway. A bunch of us wore his player t-shirt, some made their own, and a few of us brought signs.

My friend KellyJ and I both made signs to show support for Jon. Here, I post the story from the entry I wrote the night after our Sunday, Jon Lester Day, fiasco:

September 10, 2006

This past Monday I had two firsts at Fenway. I went on the ‘official’ Fenway Park tour and then I saw, in person, my first walk-off home run (thank you, Carlos Pena!).

Well, today I had another first. I was escorted out of Fenway Park by the Boston Police.


If you really knew me, you would know how utterly ridiculous this is. Heck, even the two police officers who escorted us out (after filling out mini “incident reports”) were laughing at us.

Kelly and I are probably two of the most unlikely people to get thrown out of Fenway. And as funny as the situation was, Kelly and I both are pretty upset at how it went about. The short version is, because Kelly and I chose not to ‘tell on’ people who were verballing hassling us at the game, WE got thrown out. Pretty much, by Fenway security dude’s own admission, they told on US first, so we got the boot.

The longer version, as told to some friends of mine earlier tonight:

Kelly and I were holding up our signs BEFORE THE GAME BEGAN and some guy behind us yelled something about ‘wanting to see the game not our signs’. Kelly yelled back, “The game hasn’t started yet!”.

Kelly and I are the last two people to do anything during the game that would piss anyone off…intentionally, anyway. Kelly was keeping score, I was taking pictures. We’re kind of creatures of habit that way.

Anyhoo…add to, as Kelly called him, “the ding dong sign guy”, the asshole Yankee fan behind me, who was slamming Fenway Park and the team before the game even started (and who booed Papi when they announced him in the lineup) and then a little later turned to his friend to comment that “Ramirez and Ortiz aren’t in the lineup today”…and also classified Kelly and I as “Royals fans” when we clapped for Tavarez after he lost his no-hit bid..but I digress…

Needless to say, Kelly and I were a little cranky with some of the folks around us.

So “ding dong” and his woman are basically heckling us throughout the game every time we hold up the signs…which, I promise you, we only did between innings. The minute Carl Beane announced the batter, down went the signs…saying some pretty rude things. Kelly and I did rather well ignoring them until the 5th inning, when they really started in earnest. Along with the obscenities and flipping us the bird, they started yelling about how ‘holding a sign doesn’t cure cancer’ and ‘my father has cancer and you don’t see me with a sign!”.

Another sidenote…at one point Kelly asked the woman if she saw Jon’s press conference and did she hear what he said about the fans. The woman responded with “yeah, he asked for privacy for him and his family and you aren’t giving it to them with those signs!”. I JUST finished watching the press conference and he never mentioned privacy once. As a matter of fact, he said that he agreed to the press conference because the fans and media had been so good to him, he wanted to touch base with them.

So Kelly tells annoying chickie if she has such a problem with us, call security. Which she does. Big security guy comes up to us and tells us we can only hold up the signs between innings, not between pitches or between batters. Which WE WERE ALREADY DOING. And we told Big old Mr Security guy this.

So Mr. Big Security Guy leaves us be, but “ding dong” and his chickie keep at us. It got so bad that Kelly and I turned around and said something to them at the same time.

Here I feel the need to add that neither Kelly nor I used bad language during all of this…not so “ding dong “and his chickie.

SO after Kelly and I yell, we turn around and there is BIG old security dude telling us to “look forward and not behind us”.

Kelly says something like ‘sure but tell those people to stop effing yelling at us’ whatever the exact quote was, she said the full word, not ‘effing’. I must admit, had I been the one to respond, I would have used the same exact wording. (NOTE FROM CYN – I originally wrote this when I was on MLBlogs and you couldn’t swear. Fucking. KellyJ said fucking. There, I typed it out!)

Well, as with umpires and baseball players, there is a trigger word for Fenway security and fans, and, apparently, ‘fucking’ is it. Mind you, I don’t blame Kelly at all. She didn’t scream it ‘at’ anyone. It just came out because she was upset. As I wrote, I would have said the same EXACT thing, had I been the one talking to security dude.

He hits his little radio and says “we have two here” and before I know it, there are two Boston cops (one old enough to be my dad, one seemingly young enough to be my son) at the end of our row and big security dude is behind us. “Ladies, please stand up, NOW!”

Which, we did. We aren’t stupid.

In my final Norma Ray-esque moment, I held my sign high as we left the park. Of that I am very proud.

Under the stands we had to give the police our identification and they wrote out mini ‘incident reports’. I asked baby faced cop if I was banned from Fenway forever…and he laughed and said “No, ma’am, only for today”.

I need to add here that the cops were great. Polite, nice and actually laughing at us. They told us that it wasn’t up to them, that they wouldn’t have thrown us out but that they had to listen to Fenway Security.

Kelly was kicking herself as we left that we didn’t ask the cops to pose for a picture.

Kelly took tomorrow off of work because she is volunteering at Fenway for the annual September 11th blood drive. Kelly tells me that Larry Lucchino usually makes a point of being at this event and she’s hoping to get some face time with him to share our story. I hope she gets that time. (ANOTHER NOTE FROM CYN: Kelly did, INDEED, get to tell Larry Lucchino her story. He was horrified and apologized.)

I’ve been made aware that Jon Lester’s parents know of our attempts at “Jon Lester Day” at Fenway and were watching the game today. Unfortunately, we didn’t get on NESN…but there were a lot of t-shirts there. (YET ANOTHER CYN NOTE: I actually got to tell Jon and his parents this story in person the day before he left Boston to go home and start treatments at Fred Hutchinson. So, at least I got Crabcakes to laugh!)

So, in spite of mean people at the park and security guards who might take their jobs a little too seriously (watch out for these women in their late thirties(ME) and early forties(KellyJ!) hee…they’re killers!)…I had a wonderful day today – and we got a win too!


Man, my glasses are rose-colored. 😆

Oh, and Gothamist has some more info on the fan who got harassed by the God Bless America police here*.

*I like the song “God Bless America” but it has no place at a baseball game, especially when they already play the National Anthem before each game.  You don’t need to put your hand over your heart, or take off your hat or even stand for the damn song.  This is America, remember?

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