Fenway Park: Wikis

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Fenway Park
The Fens
America's Ballpark
ALE-BOS-Fenway.PNG
Fenway from Legend's Box.jpg
Location 4 Yawkey Way
Boston, Massachusetts 02215
Coordinates 42°20′47″N 71°5′51″W / 42.34639°N 71.0975°W / 42.34639; -71.0975Coordinates: 42°20′47″N 71°5′51″W / 42.34639°N 71.0975°W / 42.34639; -71.0975
Broke ground September 25, 1911
Opened April 20, 1912
Owner New England Sports Ventures (NESV) / Boston Red Sox
Surface Grass
Construction cost US$650,000 ($14.3 million in 2008 dollars)
Architect Osborne Engineering Corp.
Capacity 35,000 (1912)
34,824 (1953)
33,513 (1977)
33,993 (night) & 33,557 (day) (2001)
37,400 (night) & 36,984 (day) (2008)
37,402 for night games, 36,974 for day games (2010)[1]
Field dimensions Left Field: 310 ft (94.5 m)
Deep Left-Center: 379 ft (115.5 m)
Center Field: 389 ft 9 in (118.8 m)
Deep Right-Center: 420 ft (128 m)
Right Field: 380 ft (115.8 m)
Right Field: 302 ft (92 m)
Backstop: 60 ft (18.3 m)
Tenants
Boston Red Sox (MLB) (1912–present)
Boston Braves (MLB) (1914–1915)
Boston Bulldogs (AFL) (1926)
Boston Redskins (NFL) (1933–1936)
Boston Shamrocks (AFL) (1936-1937)
Boston Yanks (NFL) (1944–1948)
Boston Patriots (AFL) (1963–1968)
Boston Beacons (NASL) (1968)
2010 NHL Winter Classic

Fenway Park is a baseball park near Kenmore Square in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Located at 4 Yawkey Way, it has served as the home ballpark of the Boston Red Sox baseball club since it opened in 1912, and is the oldest Major League Baseball stadium currently in use. It is the only one of the original standards ballparks that is still in use. It is also the oldest venue used by a professional sports team in the United States.

Because of the ballpark's age and constrained location in an urban neighborhood next to Boston University's large campus, the park has had many renovations and additions over the years not initially envisioned, resulting in unique, quirky features, including "the Triangle", "Pesky's Pole", and most notably the famous Green Monster in left field. Fenway Park is renowned for hosting dedicated Red Sox fans, collectively called "Red Sox Nation". Every Red Sox home game since May 15, 2003, has sold out; in 2008, the park sold out its 456th consecutive Red Sox game, breaking a Major League record.

Fenway Park has also been the site of many other sporting and cultural events, including professional football games for the Boston Redskins and the Boston Patriots, concerts, hockey games, and political campaigns.

Contents

History

Fenway Park in 1914

The Red Sox moved to Fenway Park from the old Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds. In 1911, owner John I. Taylor sold the team at the same time he developed land bordered by Brookline Avenue, Jersey Street, Van Ness Street and Lansdowne Street into a larger baseball stadium.[2]

Former owner John I. Taylor claimed the name Fenway Park came from its location in the Fenway district of Boston, which was partially created late in the nineteenth century by filling in marshland or "fens".[3] However, given that Taylor's family also owned the Fenway Realty Company, the promotional value of the naming at the time has been cited as well.[4] Like many classic ballparks, Fenway Park was constructed on an asymmetrical block, with consequent asymmetry in its field dimensions.

Attendance at the park has not always been great, and reached its low point late in the 1965 season with two games having paid attendance under 500 spectators.[5] Its fortunes have risen since the Red Sox' 1967 "Impossible Dream" season, and on September 8, 2008 with a game versus the Tampa Bay Rays, Fenway Park broke the all-time Major League record with its 456th consecutive sellout, surpassing the previous record held by Jacobs Field (now Progressive Field) in Cleveland, Ohio.[6] On Wednesday, June 17, 2009 the park celebrated its 500th consecutive Red Sox sellout. According to WBZ-TV, the team joined three NBA teams which achieved 500 consecutive home sellouts; one of those teams was the Larry Bird-era Boston Celtics of the 1980s.[7][8] Former pitcher Bill Lee has called Fenway Park "a shrine".[9]

Fenway Park during the 1914 World Series


Changes to Fenway Park

The old wooden seats of Fenway's Grandstand section.

Some of the changes include:[10]

  • In 1934, the scoreboard was added, with what was then considered high technology lights representing balls and strikes.[11] The score is still updated by hand today from behind the wall (except the National League scores which need to be changed out on the field).[12]
  • In 1946, upper deck seats were installed; Fenway Park is essentially the first double-tiered ballpark in Boston since the South End Grounds of the 1880s.
  • In 1947, arc lights were installed at Fenway Park. The Boston Red Sox were the third-to-last team out of 16 major league teams to have lights in their home park.
  • In 1976, metric distances were added to the conventionally-stated distances because it was thought that the United States would adopt the metric system. Today, few American ballparks have metric distances posted. Fenway Park retained the metric measurement until mid-season 2002, when they were painted over. Also, Fenway's first message board was added over the center field bleachers.
  • In 1999 the auxiliary press boxes were added atop the roof boxes along the first and third base sides.
  • Before the 2003 season, seats were added to the Green Monster.
  • Before the 2004 season, seats were added to the right field roof, above the retired numbers, called the Budweiser Right Field Roof.
  • Before the 2005 season, a new drainage system was installed on the field. The system, along with new sod, was installed to prevent the field from becoming too wet to play on during light to medium rains, and to reduce the time needed to dry the field adequately. Work on the field was completed only weeks prior to spring training.
  • After the 2005 season, the Red Sox completed their plans for the .406 Club area, which became the EMC Club. The construction resulted in 852 pavilion club seats, 745 pavilion box seats, and approximately 200 pavilion standing-room seats along the left- and right-field lines, resulting in approximately 1300 additional seats.
  • The winter of renovations focused on renovating the luxury boxes as well as adding a new food concourse area and renovated bathrooms behind the third base grandstands.
  • Before the 2008 season, the temporary luxury boxes installed for the 1999 All-Star Game were removed and permanent ones were added to the State Street Pavilion level. Seats were also added down the left field line called the Coca-Cola Party-Deck. 100 standing-room tickets were also added to the pavilion increasing capacity to just under 40,000 people. The Coke bottles, installed in 1997, were also removed to return the light towers to their original state. All bleacher seats were replaced and the seating bowl water-proofed as well.
  • Before the 2009 season, the right field roofbox seating area was renovated and expanded and the original 1912 seating bowl was water-proofed and seats replaced.

Proposed (then canceled) new Fenway Park

On May 15, 1999 then Red Sox CEO John Harrington announced plans for a new Fenway Park to be built near the existing structure.[13] It was to have the same dimensions on the field, include a new Green Monster, basically be a replica of the current park, but be modernized to replace some of the old features of Fenway Park. Some sections of the old Fenway Park were to be preserved (mainly the original Green Monster and the third base side of the park) as part of the overall new layout. Most of the old park was to be demolished to make room for new development, with one section remaining to house a baseball museum and public park. 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. Several groups sprang up, such as "Save Fenway Park" to try and block the move.[14]

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 Foxboro, 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 2005, the Red Sox ownership group announced that the team would stay in the current Fenway Park indefinitely.[15]

Features

The front of Fenway Park facing Yawkey Way.
A view of Fenway Park and the surrounding neighborhood.

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 1984, 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 ... this is a warehouse." Only when the driver told Clemens to look up and he saw the light towers did he realize he was in the right place.[16]

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.[17]

Map showing Fenway Park in 1917.

As discussed by George Will in Men at Work (MacMillan, 1990), Fenway Park is a "hitters' ballpark", with its short right-field fence (302 feet), narrow foul ground, and generally closer-than-normal outfield fences. By Rule 1.04, Note(a),[18] all parks built after 1958 have been required to have foul lines at least 325 feet long and a center-field fence at least 400 feet from home plate. Regarding the narrow foul territory, Will writes (p. 175):

The narrow foul territory in Fenway Park probably adds 5 to 7 points onto batting averages. Since World War II, the Red Sox have had 18 batting champions (through 1989)... Five to 7 points are a lot, given that there may be only a 15- or 20-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. 117).

Will's book pre-dates the smaller retro ballparks and the home run barrage that began in the early/mid-1990s, as well as the Red Sox World Series wins of 2004 and 2007.

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 (.671 winning percentage). Ruth also set a World Series record by pitching 29⅔ scoreless innings, a record that lasted until broken by Whitey Ford of the New York Yankees in 1961.

The seats atop the Green Monster

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 40,000, and some were smaller than Fenway. Montreal's Jarry Park was smallest of all the modern ballparks, at about 28,000. At the time of Jarry Park's closing in 1977, the other old ballparks were gone, and Fenway's capacity was listed (according to Sporting News Baseball Guides) at 33,513, 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 2008 season, Fenway Park's capacity was increased to 39,928, where it remains following additional renovations for the 2009 season[19] rendering Fenway as the fourth smallest, behind the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Tropicana Field and PNC Park. Renovations prior to the 2009 season now allow the Sox to sell roughly 350 more tickets each game, though the official capacity has not increased.[20]

There have previously been proposals to increase the seating capacity to as much as 45,000 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.

The Green Monster

The Green Monster measures 37 feet, 2 inches tall.

The Green Monster is the nickname of the thirty-seven-foot, two-inch (11.3 m)[21] left field wall in the park. Only 305–315 feet to home plate, it is a popular target for right-handed hitters.

Part of the original ballpark construction of 1912, the wall is made of wood, but was covered in tin and concrete in 1934 when the scoreboard was added. The wall was covered in hard plastic in 1976. The scoreboard is still manually updated throughout the game today. Despite the name, the Green Monster was not painted green until 1947; 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.

"The Triangle"

The triangle

"The Triangle" is a region of center field where the walls form a triangle whose far corner is 420 feet (128 m) from home plate. That deep right-center point is conventionally given as the center field distance. True center is unmarked, 390 feet from home plate, to the left of "The Triangle" when viewed from home plate.

There was once a smaller "triangle" at the left end of the bleachers in center field, posted as 388 feet (118.3 m). 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. The foul line intersects with the Green Monster at nearly a right angle, so the power alley could be estimated at 336 feet (102.4 m), assuming the power alley is 22.5 degrees away from the foul line as measured from home plate.[22]

"Williamsburg"

"Williamsburg" was the name, invented by sportswriters, for the bullpen area built in front of the right-center field bleachers in 1940. 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 23 feet closer than the bleacher wall. The name was inspired both by Colonial Williamsburg and Yankee Stadium's hitter-friendly right field area that was often called "Ruthville".

"The Belly" is the sweeping curve of the box-seat railing from the right end of "Williamsburg" around to the right field corner. The box seats were added when the bullpens were built in 1940. The right field line distance from the 1934 remodeling was reduced by some 30 feet.

The Lone Red Seat

The Lone Red Seat

The lone red seat in the right field bleachers (Section 42, Row 37, Seat 21), is there to signify the longest home run ever hit at Fenway. Williams' bomb was officially measured at 502 feet (153 m)—well beyond "Williamsburg". According to Hit Tracker Online, the ball, if unobstructed, would have flown 520 to 535 feet.[23]

The ball landed on Joseph A. Boucher, a Yankee fan, who was supposedly taking a nap at the time, penetrating his large straw hat and hitting him in the head. A confounded Boucher was later quoted as saying,

How far away must one sit to be safe in this park? I didn't even get the ball. They say it bounced a dozen rows higher, but after it hit my head, I was no longer interested. I couldn't see the ball. Nobody could. The sun was right in our eyes. All we could do was duck. I'm glad I did not stand up.[24]

No other player at Fenway Park has ever hit the seat since, although on June 23, 2001 Manny Ramírez hit two home runs; one estimated at 463 feet and another one with an official estimate of 501 feet. 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.[25]

As noted in the 2007 book The Year Babe Ruth Hit 104 Home Runs!, researcher Bill Jenkinson found evidence that on May 25, 1926, Babe Ruth hit one in the pre-1934 bleacher configuration which landed five rows from the top in right field, an estimated 545 feet from home plate. Ruth also hit several other "Ruthian" blasts at Fenway that landed across the street behind straightaway center field, estimated at 500 feet.

Foul poles

Although it is only 302 feet to "Pesky's Pole", the fence directly behind it sharply curves away.

Pesky's Pole is the name for the pole on the right field foul line, which stands a mere 302 feet 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 1946 Opening Day game to win the game (in his career, Pesky hit 17 home runs). In similar fashion, Mark Bellhorn hit what proved to be the game-winning home run off of Julián Tavárez, in Game 1 of the 2004 World Series off that pole's screen.

On September 27, 2006, 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.[26]

In a ceremony before the Red Sox's 2005 interleague game against the Cincinnati Reds, the pole on the left field foul line atop the Green Monster was named Fisk Foul Pole, in honor of Carlton Fisk. Fisk provided one of baseball's most enduring moments in Game 6 of the 1975 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.

NBC-TV director Harry Coyle had wanted to aim the camera on the ball. 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". This play clinched an Emmy award for Coyle and NBC's coverage of the Series.

"Duffy's Cliff"

From 1912 to 1933, there was a 10-foot (3.0 m) high incline in front of the then 25-foot (7.6 m) 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".

The incline served two purposes:

  1. it was a support for a high wall;
  2. it was built to compensate for the difference in grades between the field and Lansdowne Street on the other side of that wall.

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 15-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. The incline in center field of Minute Maid Park has been considered a tribute to Duffy's Cliff.[27]

As part of the 1934 remodeling of the ballpark, the bleachers and the wall itself, Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey arranged to flatten the ground along the base of the wall, so that Duffy's Cliff no longer existed, and thus became part of the lore of Fenway Park. Thus the base of the left field wall is several feet below the grade level of Lansdowne Street, accounting for the occasional rat that might spook the scoreboard operators. ("The Fenway Project", ISBN 1-57940-091-4.)

For decades there was considerable debate about the true left field distance, which was posted as 315 feet (96 m). For years, Red Sox officials refused to remeasure the distance. Reportedly, The Boston Globe was able to sneak into Fenway Park and remeasure the line. When the paper's evidence was presented to the club in 1995, the line was finally remeasured by the Red Sox and restated at 310 feet (94.5 m). The companion 96 meters sign remained unchanged, until 1998, when it was corrected to 94.5 meters. A theory about the incorrect foul line distance is that the former 315 ft (96 m) measurement came from the Duffy's Cliff days. That measurement likely included the severity of the incline, and when the mound was leveled, the distance was never corrected.[28]

EMC Club

In 1983, private suites were added to the roof behind home plate. In 1988, 610 stadium club seats enclosed in glass and named the "600 Club", were added above the home plate bandstand, replacing the existing press box. The press box was then added to the top of the 600 Club. The 1988 addition is largely credited with changing the air currents in Fenway Park to the detriment of hitters.

In 2002, the organization renamed the club seats the ".406 Club" (in honor of Ted Williams' batting average in 1941), six days after his death. (Williams is the last player to hit .400 or better to finish a season in the major leagues.)

During the 2005/06 offseason, as part of the continuing expansion efforts at Fenway Park, the existing .406 club was rebuilt. The second deck now features two open-air levels: the bottom level is the new "EMC Club" featuring 406 seats and concierge services, and above that, the State Street Pavilion, with 374 seats and a dedicated standing room area. The added seats are wider than the previous seats.

Stadium usage

Baseball

The Red Sox's one-time cross-town rivals, the Boston Braves used Fenway Park for the 1914 World Series and the 1915 season until Braves Field was completed.

Since 1990 (except in 2005 when, because of field work, it was held in a minor league ballpark), Fenway Park has also played host to a baseball version of Boston-area intercollegiate sports' prestigious Beanpot tournament. The University of Massachusetts joins the traditional Beanpot trio of Boston College, Harvard University, and Northeastern University in the four-team tournament.

Beginning in 2006, the Red Sox have hosted the "Futures at Fenway" event, where two of their minor-league affiliates play a regular-season doubleheader as the "home" teams. In 2006, the Lowell Spinners and Pawtucket Red Sox played, with both winning. The 2007 event featured Lowell and the Portland Sea Dogs as the two featured farm clubs, again with both teams winning. Before the Futures day started, the most recent minor-league game held at Fenway had been the Eastern League All-Star Game in 1977.[29]

The 2009 Atlantic Coast Conference baseball tournament was scheduled to be held at Fenway Park, but a scheduling conflict has caused the 2010 tournament to be scheduled at Fenway Park instead.[30] Due to economic reasons, the ACC elected to move the 2010 tournament from Fenway Park to NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro, NC, but is still looking to host a tournament at Fenway Park in the future.[31]

Football

Despite its relatively small size, Fenway Park's oblong layout actually makes it a reasonably viable facility for various forms of football.

In 1926, the first American Football League's Boston Bulldogs played at both Fenway and Braves Field; the Boston Shamrocks of the second AFL did the same in 1936 and 1937. The National Football League's Boston Redskins (later becoming the Washington Redskins) played at Fenway for four seasons, 1933 to 1936, after playing their inaugural season in 1932 at Braves Field as the Boston Braves; the Boston Yanks (which eventually evolved into the team now known as the Indianapolis Colts) played there in the 1940s; and the American Football League's Boston Patriots called Fenway Park home from 1963 to 1968 after moving there from Nickerson Field, the direct descendant of Braves Field. At various times in the past, Dartmouth College, Boston College and Boston University teams have also played football games at Fenway Park.

Soccer

On May 30, 1931, 8,000 fans came out to Fenway Park to see the New York Yankees of the American Soccer League beat Celtic 4–3. The Yankees goalkeeper, Johnny Reder, would later return to play for the Boston Red Sox. Fenway Park was also used by the NASL team, Boston Beacons, as their home field for the 1968 season.

2010 NHL Winter Classic

Panorama of 2010 NHL Winter Classic.jpg

The National Hockey League staged the 2010 NHL Winter Classic on January 1, 2010, with the Boston Bruins hosting the Philadelphia Flyers. It was the third in the NHL's current series of New Year's Day games.[32] Bruins, Red Sox and city officials made the official announcement on July 15, 2009 at an impromptu stage constructed over the Red Sox dugout along the first base line of Fenway Park. The NHL anticipated a more than week-long event surrounding the game to include events at TD Garden, the Bruins home venue, as well and public skating and an additional game involving men's teams from Boston College and Boston University at Fenway Park.[33] The Boston Bruins won the game 2-1 in overtime and became the first home team to win a "Winter Classic".

Non-sporting events

Irish rebel and future President of Ireland, Éamon de Valera addressed Boston's Irish asking for their support in the effort to form an Irish republic before a crowd of 40,000 at Fenway Park on June 29, 1919.[34] President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave the last campaign speech of his political career at Fenway Park in 1944.[35][36]

Although Fenway Park was not previously a frequent venue for concerts, the Red Sox new ownership has used the venue for two concerts each year, starting in 2003 with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's The Rising Tour, the first major concert since 1973 when there were concerts on consecutive evenings with Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles as the headliners. Following Springsteen were Jimmy Buffett in 2004, and The Rolling Stones who kicked off their 2005 A Bigger Bang Tour with two consecutive shows at Fenway Park. On July 7–8, 2006 the Dave Matthews Band played at the stadium, with Sheryl Crow. In the summer of 2007, The Police played two of their shows on their 30th anniversary reunion tour at Fenway. Neil Diamond announced a concert at Fenway Park on August 23, 2008 as part of his world tour, on the big screen during the Red Sox home opener on April 8.[37] Dave Matthews Band returned to Fenway in 2009, playing two shows on May 29 & May 30, with Willie Nelson as the opening act both nights. On May 31, 2009, Jam Band band Phish performed [38] at the park. Promotional materials for the show featured the Fenway organist playing a version of Phish's song "Tweezer". Paul McCartney played at Fenway Park on August 5 and August 6 of 2009.

On September 17, 2008, Fenway Park was consecrated as a temporary federal court to host a naturalization ceremony. 3,032 immigrants from 140 countries sat in the box and loge seats along the first base line, stretching from right field in to home plate. The ceremony was led by US District Judge Patti Saris and lasted about an hour. The greatest number to become citizens were from the Dominican Republic, the homeland of Red Sox slugger David Ortiz and former Red Sox outfielder Manny Ramirez.[39]

Public address announcers

The press box

Fenway Park has had four public address announcers in the over forty years dating back to the Impossible Dream season of 1967, with veteran composer and radio announcer Sherm Feller serving for 26 of those years. The most recent announcer, Carl Beane, began his career in radio in 1972 and has handled duties at Fenway since 2003.

Announcer Years
Sherm Feller 1967–1993
Leslie Sterling 1994–1996
Ed Brickley 1997–2002
Carl Beane 2003–current

Retired numbers

Retired numbers along Fenway Park's right field roof.
Bosret14.png
Jim Rice's number 14 was retired by the Boston Red Sox in 2009

There are eight retired numbers above the right field grandstand. All of the numbers retired by the Red Sox are red on a white circle. Jackie Robinson's 42, which was retired by Major League Baseball, is blue on a white circle. The two are further delineated through the font difference; Boston numbers are in the same style as the Red Sox jerseys, while Robinson's number is in the more traditional "block" numbering found on the Dodgers jerseys.

Until the late 1990s, the numbers originally hung on the right-field facade in the order in which they were retired: 9-4-1-8. It was pointed out that the numbers, when read as a date (9/4/18), marked the eve of the first game of the 1918 World Series, the last championship series that the Red Sox won before 2004. After the facade was repainted, the numbers were rearranged in numerical order.

The Red Sox policy on retiring uniform numbers was once one of the most stringent in baseball—the player had to be elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, play at least 10 years with the team, and retire as a member of the Red Sox. The final requirement was waived for Carlton Fisk as he had finished his playing career with the Chicago White Sox. However, Fisk was assigned a Red Sox front office job and effectively "finished" his baseball career with the Red Sox in this manner. In 2008, the current ownership relaxed the requirements further with the retirement of Johnny Pesky's number 6. Pesky has not been inducted into the Hall of Fame, but in light of his over fifty years of service to the club, the management made an exception. Pesky would have had 10 seasons but he had given 3 seasons as an Operations Officer in the U.S. Navy during WWII.[40] The latest number retired was 14, worn by Jim Rice. Rice met the original requirements, retiring after playing sixteen seasons with the Red Sox and entering the Hall of Fame in 2009.[41]

Red Sox Retired Numbers[42]
Number Player Position Red Sox Years Date Retired Notes
1 Bobby Doerr 2B 1937–44, 46–51 1988-05-21 US Army, 1945
4 Joe Cronin SS 1937–45 1984-05-29
6 Johnny Pesky SS, 3B, 2B 1942, 46–52 2008-09-28 US Navy, 1943–45
8 Carl Yastrzemski LF, 3B, 1B 1961–83 1989-08-06
9 Ted Williams LF 1939–42, 46–60 1984-05-29 US Marines, 1943–45, 52–53
14 Jim Rice LF 1974–89 2009-07-28
27 Carlton Fisk C 1969, 71–80 2000-09-04
42 Jackie Robinson Brooklyn Dodgers 1947-1956, retired by Major League Baseball 1997-04-15

Ground rules

(all ground rules based on[43])

  • Foul poles are inside the field of play.
  • A ball going through the scoreboard, either on the bounce or fly, is a ground rule double.
  • A fly ball striking left-center field wall to right of or on the line behind the flag pole is a home run.
  • A fly ball striking wall or flag pole and bouncing into bleachers is a home run.
  • A fly ball striking line or right of same on wall in center is a home run.
  • A fly ball striking wall left of line and bouncing into bullpen is a home run.
  • A ball sticking in the bullpen screen or bouncing into the bullpen is a ground rule double.
  • A batted or thrown ball remaining behind or under canvas or in tarp cylinder is a ground rule double.
  • A fly ball that strikes the top of the ladder on the Green Monster and then bounces out of play is three bases. (The only ground rule triple in MLB)
  • A fly ball that lands above the red line on top of the Green Monster and bounces onto the field of play is ruled a home run.

Access and transportation

References

  1. ^ http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/bos/ballpark/facts.jsp
  2. ^ Knight, Graham. "Huntington Avenue Grounds / Boston Red Sox / 1901-1911.". Ballparkwatch.com. http://www.ballparkwatch.com/stadiums/past/huntington_avenue.htm. Retrieved 2008-10-09. 
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External links


Simple English

Fenway Park is the home baseball stadium of the Major League Baseball team, Boston Red Sox. The park, the oldest of all current Major League Baseball stadiums, opened in 1912. The name Fenway Park comes from the stadium being located in the Fenway district of Boston. One of it's well-known feature is the Green Monster in left field.

Fenway hosted the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in 1946, 1961, and 1999, and has been the host of nine World Series.

Other websites

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