Fenway Park is a bandbox of a baseball stadium that holds about 25,000 people on a good day with a bang-up ball game. Around the field on opening day, Tuesday, were scattered a bare 9,600 devotees of the national sport, waiting to see what effect the tightened draft regulations have had on the caliber of professional baseball.
The answer was not immediately discernible. The ball game was inevitably won by the Yanks, 3-0, mostly because Hank Borowy refused to give the Red Sox a peek at the ball in the pinches. The performance was similar to pre-Pearl Harbor baseball.
But there was a noticeable difference: the pitchers were, for some strange reason, way ahead of the batters all the way. The infield was jittery and most men grabbed the ball and threw it rather than follow the slow deliberate movement that was the old mark of professionalism.
The batting was in general poor, with the average batsman tending to hit below the ball and late. Probably the outstanding example of the tendency to hit late was Lindell's game-winning home run into right field in the second inning; Conroys two-base floater along the first base line in the sixth and Metkovitch's two stupendous misses before he tripled in the second corroborated the impression.
Of course, the comparisons are unfair. All the baseball there is today can be caught out at Fenway Park any day when the Sox are in town, and it's good enough for occasional times off, although it doesn't rate with peace-time stuff as steady fare.
As to the problem of getting to the game: the subway to Park and thence to Kenmere Square does the trick, but getting back becomes an entirely different matter. It's less crowded to walk over to Mass. Avenue and grab the trolley back to Harvard.