Make no bones about it: despite a recent trio of Super Bowl trophies in Foxborough, New England is still a baseball region -- and it has been this way long, long before the Red Sox exorcised the curse of the Bambino in 2004. Don't believe us? Use the coast as your guide, and make your way up and down the north Atlantic seaboard, from Cape Cod -- testing ground for the nation's top collegiate talent -- to Portland, Maine, where you'll stop amid a journey through four levels of the storied Red Sox organization (Class A to the big league club). Soon you'll find yourself at 4 Yawkey Way, just in time to participate one of the most distinctive viewing experiences in pro sports. You may not care for Neil Diamond, but one chorus of Sweet Caroline at Fenway and you'll know just how much these people love their baseball.
Looking down at the most famous wall in baseball: Fenway's Green Monster.
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
Top-of-the-Monster seats are some of the most coveted in Boston.
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
At Cape venues like Wareham's Spillane Field, they don't charge admission.
Dick Searles/Wareham Gatemen
Luke Winn & Dan Hoyle's Midwestern Loop
Two SI.com writers took a six-day, four-state tour of games in the Midwest, and kept a full journal to whet your appetite for baseball tourism.
1. Portland Sea Dogs (Double A -- Red Sox, Eastern League) Location: Portland, Maine Stadium: Hadlock Field
There's only one Green Monster, but Portland's replica comes pretty close. Hadlock Field sports the "Maine Monster" in left -- a 37-foot wall that even has the signature Coke bottle and Citgo sign. It has played defense for Josh Beckett, Edgar Renteria, Gary Sheffield, Jonathan Papelbon, A.J. Burnett, and Orlando Cabrera, all of whom have taken the field for the Sea Dogs.
2. Lowell Spinners (Class A -- Red Sox, New York-Penn League) Location: Lowell, Mass. Stadium: Edward LeLacheur Park
How much do New Englanders love baseball? The Spinners have sold every ticket to LeLacheur Park from 1999 through 2006; the current streak stands at 243 consecutive games and counting. And why not? Lowell is notorious for its range of creative promotions, from Bald is Beautiful Night, to Star Wars night, to Birth Night ... where the first pregnant woman to give birth wins a year's supply of diapers.
3. Pawtucket Red Sox (Triple A -- Red Sox, International League) Location: Pawtucket, R.I. Stadium: McCoy Stadium
The PawSox are most perhaps famous for the longest game in baseball history, a 33-frame, multi-day contest against the Rochester Red Wings in 1981-- a game in which both Cal Ripken Jr. and Wade Boggs played, going a combined 6 for 25. They are now long gone, but have fun "fishing" for autographs from future stars from the first row, a level elevated eight feet off the field.