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Paul Covelle’s (Franklin Pierce) first Fenway Park experience was less than desirable. He and his cousin bought tickets from a scalper and they were for the wrong night. They then bought standing-room-only stubs and were late getting into the game. When Manny Ramirez hit a home run, they each leaned forward to try and see it and dropped $40 worth of food and drink on the ground.
“That was my most memorable night at Fenway,” said Covelle as he sat in the right-field stands and squinted out at Fenway itself. “And it was also probably my worst night.”
Over the years, when Covelle would make a 15-minute drive — if even that long — from his home in Medford, Mass., to the ballpark that fostered his baseball dreams, the bad first impression was filtered out. And when Chatham traveled two hours to work out at the hallowed stadium on Wednesday afternoon, the hometown kid was finally more than just a spectator.
“I just can’t believe that I’m going to play on the field today,” he said. “It’s awesome, this day is so laid back and just great.”
He wasn’t alone in thinking so. First there are the handful of Massachusetts natives who, like Covelle, have been to the park as fans and were eager to take to it as players. Then there was the rest of the team and coaches that, as fans and workings parts of the game, were endeared by the venue’s majestic charm.
A lot of the players had never been to Fenway while others see Pedro Martinez, David Ortiz, Pokie Reese and Shea Hillenbrand as part of their extended family. Some had never seen the Green Monster in person. Others had spent many a night — whether it be in the grandstand in right or bleacher seats in center — wondering what it would take for them to hit a ball over the coveted wall.
Chatham (13-15-1) joined the Cape Cod League’s other nine teams in a trial in Boston, where all players ran a 60-yard dash and took batting practice before infield-outfield. It was a showcase of sorts with scouts — in puddles about the stands — scratching on notebooks and holding up camcorders, but also a reprieve from the demanding league schedule. When the Anglers host Yarmouth-Dennis (15-14) on Wednesday, they could just have another gear at their disposal.
“I mean this is Fenway Park,” said reliever Bryan Goossens (Siena). “This the dream as a kid, to play here or play in a stadium like this. It’s like it’s come full circle, from dreaming to get here to practicing here and being so close.”
Broadcast coverage of the Anglers and Red Sox begins at 6:40 p.m. with the Anglers Extra Pregame Show. Watch and listen on TRZ Teamline or listen by phone 1-800-846-4700, code 3481. Visit Broadcast Central for more information.