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National Geographic goes inside Fenway Park

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff  March 26, 2012 09:23 AM

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Not sure if you heard, but Fenway Park is turning 100 years old next month. There's a coffee table book and everything.

Despite the overload of "Fenway 100" we're bound to for the coming weeks, the new National Geographic special, "Inside Fenway Park: An icon at 100" certainly looks like it will be a winner. Narrated by Matt Damon, the special uses a Red Sox-Yankees game from last season to help narrate the rich history of the ballpark. It debuts in some cities tonight, but will air locally on WBGH tomorrow night at 9.

From the PBS web site:

Inside Fenway Park: An Icon at 100 hears from players and historians that Fenway Park is not just home to a legendary baseball team, the place where Babe Ruth made his major league debut and Ted Williams set records. It is also a public space that is vital to the city of Boston. From the very beginning, Fenway hosted all sorts of events, including other sports, masses for World.War.I soldiers, a 1919 rally for Irish independence,and Franklin D. Roosevelt's last presidential campaign speech.

We see how, in 2002, Fenway Park narrowly escaped demolition, the fate of most other early baseball palaces. The ownership group that took over in that year was committed to the ballpark?s preservation, turning the run-down stadium into both a fan favorite and the most popular tourist attraction in Boston.

Fenway Park is a memory palace for generations of fans and ballplayers, a place where you can sit in the same seat as your grandfather to watch the stars of the day play America?s pastime. In fast-paced, mobile America, the old building provides a sense of continuity, an anchor to our past.

Here's a quick clip. Looks interesting enough that we'll even forgive "Sweet Caroline" making its way to the show.

Watch Inside Fenway Park: An Icon at 100 - Preview on PBS. See more from pbs.


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About the Author

Eric Wilbur is a Boston.com sports columnist who is still in awe of what Dana Kiecker pulled off that one time in Toronto. He lives in the Boston area with his wife and three children. Comments and suggestions for the best Buffalo wing spots are encouraged.

Contact Eric Wilbur by e-mail or follow him on Twitter.

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