Perched high atop the Green Monster with the wind whistling at her back, Judy McElhaney sipped a medium Dunkin’ Donuts coffee to keep warm.
Before she arrived at Fenway Park for Game 1 of the World Series Wednesday night, she debated which jacket she’d bring to combat the chilly temperatures expected throughout the night.
It was 50 degrees at first pitch, but temperatures were forecast to dip into the low 40s and high 30s later in the night. With playoff games lasting close to four hours, it can get nippy as the clock strikes midnight.
“We have hats, gloves, and I did pull the winter coat out of the closet, I haven’t had to do that yet,” said McElhaney, who had standing-room tickets on the Green Monster for the battle between the Red Sox and Cardinals. “It’s going to be a late night. We’ve been up here before, but the predictions haven’t been that it’s going to be as cold as it’s going to be tonight.”
There is no protection from the elements on the Green Monster. As cars whip past on the Mass. Pike, a biting wind sweeps across the Monster seats.
Maria Mojica, who works as a cashier in one of the concession stands on the Monster, knows all too well how cold it can get up there.
Tucked behind the light tower at the far end of the wall, just above where the Monster meets the center-field wall, the wind seems to blow the hardest.
“This is the coldest part of the park,” Mojica said. “When the wind factors in and blows up here, you have to hold onto everything. A customer can’t pull money out and leave it on the counter.
“We have three sides open and the wind is blowing right through. It gets very cold, especially during this time.”
Even so, that doesn’t stop fans from buying an ice-cold beer or refreshment.
“On the contrary, it doesn’t matter what the weather is,” Mojica said. “When the game gets going, they start buying.”
While working throughout the night, the grill of the concession stand doesn’t lend enough heat to keep warm, so Mojica uses a space heater — a luxury most fans would have loved to enjoy throughout the night.
But for most attending the game, winter coats, hats, scarves, earmuffs, and gloves were relied on most.
“We wore some long underwear, a sweater, fleece, down jackets, a hat, and mittens,” said Nancy Morris, a Milwaukee native.
‘We have hats, gloves, and I did pull the winter coat out of the closet, I haven’t had to do that yet.’
Is it possible to be too warm?
“Not for long,” Morris said. “I think it will be pretty good for a while, but the late few innings or so will be a little chilly.”
Across from the Green Monster in the right-field bleachers, fans are equally exposed to the wind and less protected from the cold than their peers tucked away in the grandstand.
Manny Snyderman, a season ticket-holder since 2001, attended postseason games in 2004 and 2007, and he didn’t remember it being as cold as it was expected to be during Game 1.
With fleece-lined jeans, two sweatshirts, and a blanket to sit on, Snyderman was prepared for a long night at the park.
“This will be a midnight game,” Snyderman said. “I think it will be somewhere in the high 30s. You’ve got a lot of crowd, so that helps.
“We’re totally exposed. If it rains, we don’t want that, but it looks pretty good.”
The weather hardly fazed John Lang, a Red Sox fan from New Hampshire.
“I’m from New Hampshire, you know it’s going to be cold,” said Lang, who was sitting close to the top of the right-field bleachers. “It doesn’t really bother me too much at all.”
If the Red Sox are leading by the time the ninth inning rolls around, the cold weather is a bit more bearable.
“I’m hopeful,” McElhaney said. “If they’re winning, you don’t mind if it’s cold.”Anthony Gulizia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @gulizia_a