Goodbye, Dr. Steinberg

fathers-day-at-fenway-2002.jpgAs I wrote in my blog article, Fenway Holiday, oneof the best days I’ve ever had at Fenway Park took place on Father’s
Day, 2002. On that day, I brought my then three year-old son to his
first Red Sox game. He insisted on wearing his duck boots (it was a wet
day) and on wearing his blue Red Sox helmet backwards (funny, now that
he’s 8, he still wears his hat backwards). After the game, my son and I
joined thousands of others on Fenway’s outfield grass, playing catch in
the shadow of the Green Monster. I’ll always remember the emotional
rush of the day — an truly remarkable experience for a young dad —
and I remember thinking, this is my favorite day as a parent.

That was my introduction to Dr. Charles Steinberg, the Red Sox’
Senior Vice President for Public Affairs who, last week, accepted a
front office position with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Steinberg, who
invented Fathers Day at Fenway, transformed the fan experience
for all of us in Red Sox Nation, and the news of his departure made me
truly sad. Am I being overly sentimental? No.

With Steinberg in the front office, we knew there was someone with
power who was thinking about the kids of Red Sox Nation, and someone
who was tending to the sacredness of the Fenway experience 81 games per
year. Steinberg designed the Fenway experience for Fenway first-timers,
which injected magic into the game for all fans, every game, regardless of the win-loss outcome.

Certainly, winning changed the tone of the fan experience at
Fenway Park. But so much of the joy we’ve grown accustomed to at Fenway
was masterminded by Steinberg. He is a treasure. He is L.A.’s treasure
now. Seems a fitting destination for the Walt Disney of baseball.

Red Sox Nation will miss him. And we are grateful to him.

1 Comment

Rob–I, too, am saddened by his departure. As a public relations professional myself, I view him as a genius, a guru, a role model. He has done amazing things for the Red Sox and the fans. He can even play “Sweet Caroline” on the guitar! He’s always “there” for the fans, which is something I’m not sure that every team can say about their people in equivalent positions.

I sent him an e-mail to congratulate him on his new job, to tell him I’d miss him, and to thank him for the opportunity to run for RSN president myself. I had given him a copy of my CD when we were at the Boston Tavern last summer. He always had a smile on his face, and even his e-mail seemed to smile back at me. I hope he is as happy in California as he has seemed in Boston. I wish him and his new “peeps” all the best, but I know that we have all benefitted from his vision and “can-do” attitude. His are very big shoes to fill.

Wanda Fischer

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