It's official. According to a newly revised CCBL schedule, the 2009 All-Star Game will be held at Fenway Park on Thursday, July 23. For those who are chosen, this will be a tremendous opportunity to play in "America's Most Beloved Ballpark."
Interestingly, there appears to be no announcement by the league nor do we see anything on the Cape Cod Times newspaper site. Perhaps we missed something? The Red Sox calendar does show July 23rd as an open night at Fenway. The following Thursday night is scheduled to be All-Star Recognition Night at Fenway.
As has been discussed on CodBall on a few other occasions, it should be interesting to see how many spectators this game draws. For players, scouts and pro personnel folks - in other words, for those who this game is all about - hosting this game at Fenway will be wonderful.
For those who are interested as to whether the game will draw 3,000, 5,000 or 8,000 fans, my guess is that the crowd will be more toward the smaller side. As baseball-crazy as the New England region, and Boston in particular is, this is a pro sports town. With few exceptions, such as keeping an eye on a certain baseball team that plays 200 miles to the south and a basketball team that plays 3,000 miles to the west, Bostonians are a parochial bunch who think the world ends where Route 495 begins. Some of us may even believe that Worcester and Springfield are in a different time zone.
Anyone who listens to local sports radio knows how few calls are received from people who want to talk about Boston College football or UMass basketball. There is interest in February's Beanpot and there might actually be two or three callers to WEEI who want to talk about a B.C. appearance in the Meineke Car Care Bowl, but unfortunately college athletics are way down on the list of sporting interests.
I hope the game draws a great crowd. Maybe just throwing open the gates to Fenway will be enough to draw a large crowd to one of the shrines of the game. It will certainly be a good opportunity for folks to walk around Fenway and be able to sit in a box seat that they otherwise couldn't afford without getting their own personal federal bailout. It doesn't matter to me if the game is held at Fuller Field or Fenway Park, but I like the fact that the folks in the Cape League are being creative and are willing to try something like this.