As a long time Boston Red Sox Fan, I always dreamed of being able to say “I hit a ball off the Green Monster at Fenway Park.”. On July 14th (my birthday), I did. I hit one off the wall! Granted, it was a pickleball, and the stadium was largely empty…..but hey, it was a clean shot, I absolutely crushed it. It was awesome.
For three days a company called Pickle4 took over Fenway Park as part of their Ballpark Series where they are bringing pickleball to “….the hallowed grounds of America’s most iconic ballparks. Imagine the thrill of serving, volleying, and scoring on the same turf where legends have played……”. Sounds a bit crazy, but a few hundred of us were frolicking in the Fenway outfield. I’ve been in the stadium hundreds of times, this was the first time I touched the “hallowed ground”.
Pickleball for everyone
Over the 3 days of this event, there was an amateur tournament, a pro tournament, and open court rental for groups willing to pony up. My friend Chris had a connection at WEEI, one of the sponsoring media, so we got complimentary access to court #3 right at the base of the famous Green Monster. (p.s. Chris is stronger than me, he hit one OVER the wall which got him a reprimand from event organizers). It was all good, we played exactly where Carl Yastzremski, Jim Rice and Manny Ramirez stood. For Red Sox fans, that’s heady stuff.
We saw all types. Pros warming up, 4.5 amateurs of all ages, teenagers, thirty somethings, and of course a good dose of the 60+ crowd. Chris and I spent much of our time teaching the rules to a group of young WEEI employees who were fascinated to learn what all the fuss was about. We literally watched them go from complete confusion to fist-pumping ecstasy within a matter of an hour or two. We felt we were spreading the pickleball love to the next generation.
The publicity and profile of this event at Fenway were huge in raising the awareness of pickleball in New England’s biggest metro area. Pickleball is a unique sport where everyone can feel, if only for a brief moment like they can play like a real athlete. Being at Fenway park, supercharged that sensation.
Pickleball Business Advisors is brothers Bill and John Pryor. We provide a variety of consulting services based on extensive experience in fitness business development, and research into the fast growing pickleball marketplace. To initiate a feasibility assessment for your pickleball club, or for other consulting, contact us so we can learn about your project.