A pair of games—meaningless in the standings—sandwiched between two Red Rolfe division series.
But the Beanpot Classic—at least the second round—isn’t played in any other venue. It’s played in Fenway Park.
“I’m thrilled,” said sophomore second baseman Brendan Byrne, a native of Milton, Mass. “When I was looking at schools, that was a big thing baseball-wise, getting to play in Fenway Park. Every kid growing up around here, that’s their dream—to hit a ball off the Green Monster.”
The same Green Monster Ted Williams once stood in front of and Carl Yazstremski once hammered with line drives.
John Updike’s “lyric little bandbox of a ballpark.”
The home of the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox.
“I am very excited to go back to Fenway,“ captain Schuyler Mann said. “The whole point of the Beanpot is to get out on a major league field, especially one with so much history.”
The Crimson will have to wait one day, though.
Harvard (17-10, 10-2 Ivy) will open the 16th annual baseball Beanpot against UMass at LeLaucher Field—home of the Red Sox A-affiliate Lowell Spinners—at 2 p.m. this afternoon.
The winner will advance to the championship at Fenway at 5 p.m. tomorrow. The consolation game will be played at 2 p.m.
Thursday will mark the Beanpot’s return to Fenway after a controversial one-year absence.
Last year, both rounds were played at Campanelli Stadium in Brockton after Red Sox officials claimed the days slated for the tournament had to be used to re-sod an infield damaged by a cold and rainy April. It was the first year in the history of the event that it wasn’t held at Fenway.
“We had a great time playing in Brockton,” Mann said, “but it wasn’t the same. The whole point of the Beanpot is to play in Fenway.”
The tournament takes on special significance for local players.
Though the baseball Beanpot doesn’t create nearly the same competitive frenzy as its hockey counterpart—highlighted by fierce rivalries and national attention—playing against your former Little League and high school teammates always makes things more exciting.