Taking the family to Fenway on Saturday for game 1 of the American League Championship Series? (Boy, that feels good to say again, doesn’t it?) You won’t be alone, obviously, and if you’re unsure of the situation unfolding in front of you, here are a few suggestions:
1. Where is the least-expensive and most convenient place to park?
Look, we’re no longer in the glorious days of being able to park at St. Mary’s T stop in Brookline and pay for two hours of parking until the meters expire at 6 p.m. If you’re not going to take the T to Kenmore Square (which you should), Landmark Center, only blocks from the ballpark, provides some of the safest, most economical parking in the Fens. Easy in. Easy out, especially for those heading down Beacon Street after the game. Call for rates though, as they may change for playoff games.
2. Where is the best and least-expensive place to eat?
The best? Eastern Standard by a country mile. The second-best? I’m partial to Boston Beer Works’ menu. Yes, their beer too. And if you’re looking for a craft beer and some tater tots, The Lower Depths is for you. As for the least expensive, well, there’s a McDonald’s right off the T stop, although we still pine for the magnificent slices at the long-lost Baldini’s (God rest its soul).
3. Where’s the best place to get the best deal on Sox gear for the kids?
I still have my 1992 Colorado Rockies T-shirt I bought from a vendor a year before the expansion franchise’s inception. I got that from the same area where I bought my Marty Barrett poster in the mid-80’s (I still have it too). The Yawkey Way Store, across the street from the park, is still the way to go though. It’s the sort of spot that will produce wide eyes on any first-time child, which means you may actually shell out a few bucks more than what the knockoff down the street is going for, but it’s worth it. (I also bought a Toledo Mud Hens hat here once. Full disclosure.)
4. Programs? Yes or no?
I have programs my grandfather scored in from 1981. Yes. One hundred times, yes. Kids may not get it, but how cool would it be to give them a scorecard from an ALCS game somewhere down the road?
5. What if they lose and my child is upset?
Do what my Mom did in 1986 when I cried at the foot of my bed when the New York Mets won Game 7 of the World Series. Say, “Welcome to the club.”
OK, it’s an old club, but some of you get the point.
They’re not losing anyway.