April 1993 - Bald Spot To Beantown

My passion for baseball began when I was a mere pup. I was weaned on AAA ball, played in the shadow of the majestic Rocky Mountains by the dearly departed Denver Bears (now that's a name for a baseball team, but that's another story...)

College took me up the road to Boulder, and I liked it so much I stayed. Five miles from my front door, up the aptly named Sunshine Canyon, is a place called Bald Mountain Scenic Area (affectionately dubbed "The Bald Spot"). An easy hike up a winding trail leads to the 7,160-foot treeless summit that offers a splendid view of both the Great Plains and the Continental Divide. In my many treks, I encountered eagles, mule deer, rabbits, and lizards, among other critters. The subtle scent of pine wafting on the crisp mountain air completed the sensory picnic.

The Bald Spot became my year-round hangout. I went there when I needed to be alone with my thoughts (I planted myself on a rock there when Yoko Ono asked the world to pause in silence after the murder of John Lennon) but I also had great fun there with my friends. The Spot was always a hit with out-of-towners, and no tour of Boulder was complete without it. It was my place to play and my place to ponder. I could escape reality and get in touch with it at the same time. This is a very accessible place to soak up the grandeur that is Colorado, and it became my own Rocky Mountain High.

A hot job prospect brought me to Boston for the first time in January of 1982. Never having lived closer than 600 miles to a Big League city, the presence of the Red Sox intrigued me as much as the job. On the big day, I insisted on having my picture taken in front of frigid Fenway before I went off to my interview. At least I had my priorities straight! The aura of Yawkey Way must have inspired me to greatness, because I got the job. I tore myself away from the Denver Bears and the Bald Spot for a new life in the Land of the Bean, the Cod, and the Olde Towne team.

During my first couple of years here, I lamented that I no longer could zip to the Bald Spot, or anything like it (the Pru Observation deck didn't do the trick). In trade, I lived my second childhood at Sox games. One day during batting practice, when I was perfectly fielding my position (the box seats near the foul pole), I had a minor revelation: Fenway Park had become my new Bald Spot!

At Fenway, I can go solo and escape the daily grind, or with friends to rehash it. Like the Bald Spot, it's is definitely on the "must see" list for visiting friends and family. This historic ball park has some spectacular sights, sounds and smells of its own, as well as wildlife, both human and otherwise. Although the physical virtues of Fenway Park and the Bald Spot couldn't be more different, both places satisfy exactly the same emotional and social needs for me. When I realized the parallels, I was ecstatic. It all seemed to make so much sense.

So, for about half the year, I enjoy Boston's functional equivalent of the Bald Spot. Fenway Park is now one of my favorite places on the planet. Win, lose or rainout, a visit to Fenway is always a treat.

Now, about the off-season...

©2003 - 2007 Douglas T. Dinsmoor


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