With four World Series victories since 2004, Red Sox fans are quite familiar with the concept of pride in their favorite team. And next month, there will be another reason for Boston’s LGBTQ fanbase and their allies to be proud.
The Sox are hosting the seventh annual Pride Night at Fenway Park on Tuesday, June 11.
Before that evening’s contest, the Sox will present a pregame Pride Party on Fenway’s Right Field Roof Deck with ticket proceeds benefiting the Boston Pride organization. Tickets sell for $32 and $34, and are available here.
Additionally, the Red Sox are promising “a special group” will be on hand to sing the national anthem before the game. During last year’s Pride Night, that duty was handled by Boston Gay Men’s Chorus.
In conjunction with this special event, Boston Pride is raffling off the opportunity to throw out a first pitch on the same Fenway Park mound trod by an endless roster of baseball legends from Babe Ruth to Pedro Martínez.
The raffle tickets cost $100, and in addition to the first pitch opportunity, the winner receives four tickets to watch the game from the comfort of Fenway’s State Street Pavilion, as well as dinner for four at Sweet Cheeks, a neighborhood barbecue restaurant.
The drawing takes place on June 1 as part of Faneuil Hall’s Pride Day festivities and proceeds benefit Boston Pride and Victory Programs.
When a civic institution as important to Boston as the Red Sox openly celebrates its LGBTQ fan base, it’s especially noteworthy given the struggles and prejudice that the community still faces in the team’s hometown. It took until 2015 for LGBTQ rights organizations such as Boston Pride and OutVets to be allowed to march in the city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, after previous attempts were met with vocal hostility and beer bottle attacks. An unsuccessful attempt to bar them from marching again was made as recently as 2017.
Even a simple gesture of solidarity such as painting the Red Sox logo in rainbow colors on the Fenway mound during last year’s Pride Night was met with a slew of internet trolls. In response to the logo, the Red Sox social media feed was filled with angry fans crying “when’s the straight night?” and demanding that the Sox “promote real marriage between a man and a woman.”
So it’s especially encouraging that the Red Sox didn’t give such bigotry even a moment’s consideration when scheduling another Pride Night for this season. It sends a message that Boston Pride is David Ortiz and the bigots are the 2004 Yankees. There’s no way they’re ever going to win.
It’s also worth noting that Boston’s opponents that evening are the Texas Rangers, one of two teams in MLB who will not be hosting a Pride Night in 2019. The Houston Astros are the other. Astute readers will note that both of these teams have something in common. Everything is bigger in Texas, with the exception of a sense of inclusion.
This is one game where, regardless of which team you root for, everyone should love that dirty water.