Tim Wakefield, Jason Varitek, Kevin Youkilis Cherish Mystique of Fenway Park Through 100 YearsBOSTON –– The date was May 21, 2004, merely another regular season game for the majority of the Red Sox' roster.

Except it wasn't for Kevin Youkilis. That day is etched in the third baseman's memory forever, considering it marked his rookie debut at Fenway Park. For the first time on that night, he experienced the aura of one of baseball's most sacred parks.

"When I ran onto the field for the very first time, it was definitely an adrenaline rush that I'd never had before," Youkilis said. "A lot of craziness was happening, so you can't put into words what it is, but it's definitely one of those times you remember for the rest of your life."

On the eve of the 100th anniversary celebration of Fenway Park, Youkilis appreciates his role in Fenway's history. When thrown into the fire, he contributed to ending the Red Sox's 86-year title drought as they finally captured a World Series trophy.

"It was pretty wild because I was a rookie in '04 and it was surreal in the fact that when you're in the crowd and your watching it's one thing," Youkilis said. "But when you're playing, you have a whole 'nother case of emotion."

Rewarding the Fenway faithful was just as special for Tim Wakefield. From the day he joined the Red Sox in 1995, he's watched the stadium transform from an aging ballpark to a modern one.

It started with eliminating the net and adding the monster seats. The modernization of the park continued when the organization expanded the clubhouse, which was notoriously cramped beforehand.

Amid all the renovations, Wakefield said, Fenway Park has managed to maintain its mystique.

"What a cathedral to play in," the knuckleballer said. "It's like going to church every day pretty much. And this stadium is a star here, Fenway is a star. There's been many a times where you can feel the momentum change in this ballpark."

There’s no greater representation of that sentiment like the 2004 American League Championship Series. Down 3-0 to the Yankees, Wakefield and Jason Varitek were among the ones that rose in the face of adversity and turned the tide.

They continued to create history in 2007. Surrounded by a new cast of budding stars, Varitek –– the team's veteran captain –– anchored the club as they toppled the Rockies to bring another banner to Fenway.

Since then, Boston's been salivating for more. All the while, in the seats at Fenway, Varitek marveled at the fan base's transition from a starved group in the '90s to a title-hungry one in 2012.

"It's a unique home," Varitek said. "We have had parts of being through, I want to say, the pre-championship and the post-championship. And it's brought energy from negative energy to positive energy. From people wondering when they're going to get their hearts broken to when are we going to win our next one."

From player to player, the experiences and memories in the heralded stadium are different. But in the end, Fenway Park has remained the same.

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