Battle for the Planet of the Fenway Flashback

On October 6, 2001, I had the honor of attending Cal Ripkin's final game at Fenway Park with my son. While there wasn't some of the insanity that sometimes accompanies me and my trips to Fenway, it was a memorable night nonetheless.

It was the final game of the season and I had purchased 5 games from a friend with season tickets. Every year this guy sends out a list of 25-30 games he's making available for purchase before the season starts. This means he sells the tickets for games he doesn't want.

I always like going to opening day and the last game of the season. Opening Day is fun because its Opening Day! The final game can be fun too-they always give away a car (I'll win one of these years), the game could have playoff implications, it could be a farewell game for a player headed to free agency or something else cool could happen, like Cal Ripkin's Fenway finale.

Ripkin announced his retirement after the season began, and my friend started needling me about taking him to the game. I told him I was taking my son.

At the game some of the season ticket regulars got on my friend for giving up such an historic ticket. My son had a blast. It was his 7th Birthday celebration so he got a bunch of "ballpark stuff" (foam finger, cap, baseball etc) courtesy of dad.

At the end of the game he tried to get Cal's autograph, but the push of the crowd was too much for such a small kid and he came away empty handed. I made a framed collage of the ticket stubs, a picture of us at the park and the commemorative program for him later. He still talks about the game now and again. It's one of his early Fenway memories and destined to be one of his Fenway Flashbacks someday.

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