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Excelling in field events

You won't find her name in the starting lineup, nor will she be introduced before Game 1 of the 2004 World Series tonight at Fenway Park.

But let the record show that Jane Alden has added the touch that designates this a special night at the old ballyard. She has delivered and helped drape the red, white, and blue bunting along the walls of the box seats near first and third base. Oh, up close the bunting looks a bit worn and tattered -- perhaps it's been around since the last World Series victory, in 1918 -- but it's there to lend the sense of importance that the Fall Classic demands.

It was hardly the only act of cosmetic application at Fenway yesterday, because the production surely was a work in progress, even as the Red Sox (from 1-2 p.m.) and the Cardinals (from 5-6 p.m.) went through routine workouts.

Up in the last rows of sections 18 and 19, behind home plate, workers continued to turn those grandstand seats into an overflow area for the hundreds of media members who are here. Since they cannot be accommodated in the press box, many reporters will be filtered into a dining room upstairs, out to seats in sections 3 and 4 in right field, and now into those last rows behind the plate. To try and simulate the comforts of the usual press box, reporters will have the luxury of the Fox coverage, and so it was that as the winds whipped through Fenway, four workers from Custom Cable Services were carefully hoisting four televisions to the rafters so that folks high up in sections 18 and 19 could see replays.

As for the field, it was a vibrant green, though soggy. The American League Championship Series logo behind the plate has been replaced by a new World Series paint job. Workers kept adding the colorful paint, then using large blowers to get it to dry, a trying task on a day when a constant drizzle fell.

No matter what, the field at Fenway is going out in style, because once the World Series is over, the grass will be dug up, state-of-the-art drainage and irrigation will be installed, and a new turf put down. For now, however, it remains what it has been seemingly forever, a field of dreams.

JIM McCABE

red sox extras
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