As 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.