Behind the Green Monster: Red Sox Myths, Legends, and Lore

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This was a highly controversial idea, as most Boston area sports fans consider Fenway Park to be sacred ground, and demolishing the old park would have caused a significant outcry as did the closure and later demolition of Tiger Stadium after that same year after decades of grassroots efforts to try to save it.

Several groups sprang up, such as "Save Fenway Park" to try and block the move. All involved parties wrangled for several years on the details of the new stadium. One plan even involved building a "Sports Megaplex" in South Boston, where a new Fenway would be located next to a new stadium for the New England Patriots. The Patriots ultimately built a new stadium in Foxborough, and that plan was abandoned. Even after several more rounds of deliberations, the Red Sox could not reach an agreement with the city of Boston for a new stadium.

In , the Red Sox ownership group announced that the team would stay at Fenway Park indefinitely. At the same time, he said that engineers have told the team that the structure has 40—50 years of life remaining and that there is nothing in the plans for a new ballpark.

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Its location in the Kenmore Square area includes many buildings of similar height and architecture, causing it to blend in well with its surroundings. This results in the park appearing smaller and less imposing than other major outdoor sports venues in the country. When pitcher Roger Clemens arrived in Boston for the first time in , he took a taxi from Logan Airport and was sure the driver had misunderstood his directions when he announced their arrival at the park.

Clemens recalled telling the driver "No, Fenway Park, it's a baseball stadium Fenway Park is one of the two remaining classic parks still in use in major league baseball the other being Wrigley Field , and both have a significant number of obstructed view seats, due to pillars supporting the upper deck.

These are sold as such, and are a reminder of the architectural limitations of older ballparks. By Rule 1. Regarding the narrow foul territory, Will writes p. The narrow foul territory in Fenway Park probably adds 5 to 7 points onto batting averages. Five to 7 points are a lot, given that there may be only a or point spread between a good hitting team and a poor hitting team. Some observers might feel that these unique aspects of Fenway give the Red Sox an advantage over their opponents, given that the Red Sox hitters play 81 games at the home stadium, while each opponent plays only a handful 9 for AL East teams, 6 for some AL teams, and only 3 for other AL teams and the NL teams which play at Fenway for interleague games.

Will does not share this view p. Historically, Fenway Park has been decidedly unfriendly to left-handed pitchers, Babe Ruth being one of the few southpaw exceptions. Ruth started his career as a pitcher mostly during the "dead-ball era" , and had a career record of 94 wins, 46 losses. Fenway Park had the smallest seating capacity in the major leagues for a number of years, but that is no longer the case.

A number of the classic ballparks had seating capacities under 40,, and some were smaller than Fenway. Montreal's Jarry Park was smallest of all the modern ballparks, at about 28, At the time of Jarry Park's closing in , the other old ballparks were gone, and Fenway's capacity was listed according to Sporting News Baseball Guides at 33,, making it the smallest in the majors at that point. Fenway began to grow incrementally over the next three decades, as pockets of seating areas were added from time to time.

Before the season, Fenway Park's capacity was increased to 39,, where it remains following additional renovations for the season [25] rendering Fenway as the fourth smallest, behind the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum , Tropicana Field and PNC Park. Template:Update after Renovations prior to the season now allow the Sox to sell roughly more tickets each game, though the official capacity has not increased. There have previously been proposals to increase the seating capacity to as much as 45, through the expansion of the upper decks, while others notably former team owners, the JRY Trust have called for razing the historic ballpark entirely and building a similar, but larger and more modern, scalable facility nearby.

These proposals are now effectively moot as a result of the alternative modernization plan undertaken by the current ownership. It would be fairly simple to completely replace the upper deck with a modern multi-level structure similar to today's retro-modern ballparks; the upper deck was never a part of the original structure, meaning that it has far less historic value, and replacing just the upper deck could drastically modernize the stadium. The proposed replacement park see above called for a large scoreboard atop the Green Monster.

Doing so in the current ballpark could allow the right field seats to be expanded. The Green Monster is the nickname of the thirty-seven-foot, two-inch Part of the original ballpark construction of , the wall is made of wood, but was covered in tin and concrete in when the scoreboard was added. The wall was covered in hard plastic in The scoreboard is still manually updated throughout the game today.

Despite the name, the Green Monster was not painted green until ; before that it was covered with ads. The Monster designation is relatively new. For most of its history it was simply called the wall. In recent years, terrace-style seating has been added on top of the wall. That deep right-center point is conventionally given as the center field distance. True center is unmarked, ft from home plate, to the left of "The Triangle" when viewed from home plate.

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The end of the bleachers form a right angle with the Green Monster and the flagpole stands within that little triangle. That is not the true power alley, but deep left-center. The true power alley distance is not posted. It was built there primarily for the benefit of Ted Williams, to enable him and other left-handed batters to hit more home runs, since it was 23ft closer than the bleacher wall.

Ironically fewer than two dozen of Williams' home runs would end up falling into the bullpen area. The box seats were added when the bullpens were built in The right field line distance from the remodeling was reduced by some 30ft. The lone red seat in the right field bleachers Section 42, Row 37, Seat 21 signifies the longest home run ever hit at Fenway. The ball landed on Joseph A. Boucher, penetrating his large straw hat and hitting him in the head. A confounded Boucher was later quoted as saying, Template:Cquote2.

The latter blast struck a light tower above the Green Monster denying it a true landing point, to which the official estimate deferred to Williams' record placing Ramirez's home run exactly one foot short. As noted in the book The Year Babe Ruth Hit Home Runs, researcher Bill Jenkinson found evidence that on May 25, , Babe Ruth hit one in the pre bleacher configuration which landed five rows from the top in right field, an estimated ft from home plate.

Ruth also hit several other "Ruthian" blasts at Fenway that landed across the street behind straightaway center field, estimated at ft. Pesky's Pole is the name for the pole on the right field foul line, which stands a mere ft from home plate, the shortest porch left or right field in Major League Baseball. Oddly, this distance has never been posted on the foul pole. Despite the short wall, home runs in this area are relatively rare, since the fence curves away from the foul pole sharply. For comparison's sake, the much larger "Old" Comiskey Park in Chicago had several dozen home runs hit over its roof, yet no one has ever hit one over Fenway's much shorter right field roof.

The pole was named after Johnny Pesky, a light-hitting shortstop and long-time coach for the Red Sox, who hit some of his six home runs at Fenway Park around the pole but never off the pole. Pesky and the Red Sox give credit to pitcher Mel Parnell for coining the name. The most notable for Pesky is a two-run homer in the eighth inning of the Opening Day game to win the game in his career, Pesky hit 17 home runs. On September 27, , on Pesky's 87th birthday, the Red Sox organization officially dedicated the right field foul pole as Pesky's Pole with a commemorative plaque placed at its base.

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Fisk provided one of baseball's most enduring moments in Game 6 of the World Series against the Reds. Facing Reds right-hander Pat Darcy in the 12th inning with the score tied at 6, Fisk hit a long fly ball down the left field line. It appeared to be heading foul, but Fisk, after initially appearing unsure of whether or not to continue running to first base, famously jumped and waved his arms to the right as if to somehow direct the ball fair. It ricocheted off the foul pole, winning the game for the Red Sox and sending the series to a seventh and deciding game the next night, which Cincinnati won.

But legend has it that a rat in the left field camera booth had frightened the cameraman, causing him to stay focused on Fisk's "waving it fair". From to , there was a 10ft high incline in front of the then 25ft high left field wall at Fenway Park, extending from the left-field foul pole to the center field flag pole. As a result, a left fielder in Fenway Park had to play part of the territory running uphill and back down. Boston's first star left fielder, Duffy Lewis, mastered the skill so well that the area became known as "Duffy's Cliff".

It also served as a spectator-friendly seating area during the dead-ball era when overflow crowds would sit on the incline behind ropes. It is often compared to the infamous left field "terrace" at Cincinnati's Crosley Field , but, in truth, the degree all-grass incline there served an entirely different purpose as an alternative to an all dirt warning track found in most other ballparks. It was a natural feature of the site on which Crosley Field and its predecessors were located; slightly less severe inclines were deliberately built in center and right fields to compensate.

If fans pick up just one book, this one should probably be it. Always equipped with Sox knowledge and witty quips on air, Remy took to the pen and paper to express his opinion, sharing who he thinks are the best 44 Sox players of all time. Ballou reveals relatively unknown facts about the Red Sox and Fenway Park, information that any Red Sox fan would find wildly interesting.

But he does cover a lot of bases, from the early 20th century World Series wins to the more recent league dominations. Pictures definitely add to the draw of this text.

A day at the office with Wally the Green Monster

The most notable thing about this book is the picture on the cover — the infamous shot of Pedro Martinez grabbing the year-old Don Zimmer by the head and throwing him to the ground. Even in their off years, something happens that stays in the minds of fans. From their epic losses to their unbelievable comebacks, the Boston Red Sox are always exciting to watch, and very often, even more exciting to read about.

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