Wednesday, April 1, 2009

ON SPORTS ~ Friendly Fenway...

Edition #22

Thirteen Things about THE BUMBLES -
and our favorite place...

1. Fenway Park, the home of the Boston Red Sox, is the oldest ball park in Major League Baseball. It was opened in 1912 when they beat the NY Highlanders (later known as the Yankees) but was overshadowed by the sinking of the Titanic.

2. The park is named after the neighborhood it resides in - The Fenway.

3. Fenway's most famous feature is The Wall, aka The Green Monster. This is a 37 foot high wall standing in left field, which was painted green in 1947. Before that it was plastered with advertisements - which have recently started to creep back slowly again. The original wood was replaced with sheet metal after a series of threatening fires in 1926 and 1933.

4. The Wall houses a manual scoreboard. Several poor souls sit back in a hot, dingy metal cave within the wall every game and post the current game stats and American League out of town scores with metal numbers weighing 2 pounds. In between innings they drag a ladder out to change the scores on the National League games from the field since The Wall no longer connects behind that section. Red Sox and visiting players throughout the years have autographed the inside of the Wall. The scoreboard operators have a great field level view.

5. Seats were built on top of The Wall in 2003. Prior to that there was just a screen to protect surrounding businesses and parked cars from suffering broken windows from home runs. The ladder climbing the exterior of The Wall that groundskeepers used to retrieve home run balls from the screen was left in place when the seats were put in, even though it no longer serves a functional purpose.

6. The left field foul pole on top of The Wall is famous for Carlton Fisk's home run in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series which he dramatically waved fair as he watched it leave his bat and clang off the pole. Robin Williams described it so perfectly in "Good Will Hunting."

7. The yellow foul pole in right field is known as Pesky's Pole. Infielder Johnny Pesky from the 1940's was a slap hitter of little power who once frustrated an opposing pitcher by wrapping a home run around the pole located approximately 300 feet from home plate - the shortest distance in MLB. Broadcasters picked up the tale and introduced Pesky's Pole to the lexicon.

8. The pitchers' bullpens in deep right field were put there in 1940 to shorten the field for Ted Williams, the Splendid Splinter, who hit 521 home runs throughout his career.

9. Williams also is the reason behind the lone red seat located deep in the right field bleachers. It was painted red (all other seats are blue) to mark the spot where the longest home run at Fenway was said to have landed. Williams' home run was said to travel 502 feet and punched a hole through the patron's hat sitting in the seat at the time, who famously wondered how far away he had to sit in that park to be safe.

10. Fenway is one of the smallest ballparks in MLB with capacity around 36,000. The Red Sox broke the Cleveland Indians' consecutive games sell out streak at the end of last season surpassing 456 games in a row.

11. Some of the best seats used to reside behind a wall of plexiglass in the 600 Club (aka the .406 Club after Ted Williams' death) above home plate. Though the views and accomodations were luxurious, the experience was much like watching a game in a fishbowl with the sound piped in. The glass was finally removed in 2005 to let back in the fresh air and live sounds when the entire area was renovated and additional primo seating added.

12. The Red Sox post their retired numbers above the right field grandstands to honor #1 Bobby Doerr, #4 Joe Cronin, #6 Johnny Pesky, #8 Carl Yastrzemski, #9 Ted Williams, #27 Carlton Fisk and #42 for Jackie Robinson whose number is retired in all MLB parks.

13. They say there isn't a bad seat in the place because they are all so close to the field. But "they" never sat in one of the obstructed view seats! "They" also must never have sat in the right field grandstands where the seats face The Wall instead of home plate! Many of the seats are small and uncomfortable - because they are the same ones generations before you sat in while watching Babe Ruth before he was sold to the Yankees. That magical connection makes you forget about those odd seats. What we wouldn't give for them on Opening Day next week!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. What do you do? Write Thirteen things about yourself, summarize your week in one entry, make it easy for other bloggers to get to know you on a weekly basis. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is not only encouraged, it is part of being a Thursday Thirteener! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun!


Chris said...

very interesting

Nicholas said...

A very interesting look into a different world!

Rasmenia said...

Wow... I knew next to nothing about Fenway Park before reading this.

Very educational post!

Happy Thursday. :)

Sandy Nawrot said...

You guys are so cute...before you know it, I will be an expert in all things Fenway!

anthonynorth said...

We don't play baseball over here in the UK, but I've seen the odd game on American bases when I was in the RAF. Great fun.

Carmen Shirkey said...

We don't have any great ballparks here, but I've been to Baltimore, and saw Cal Ripken's record-attendance game. :)

Hootin' Anni said...

I LIVE for BASEball!!!!! Opening season is just 4 days away. Altho, my teams are D'Backs, Rockies, and Astros ---all 'home towns'. LOVED your history and especially thought the very last photo was super!

My 13 is posted. All "icky" foods is my point to get across....come over, and take a sample bite!!

Adelle Laudan said...

I must confess, I'd much rather play baseball than watch it. Not sure why that is.
Very informative post.
Happy T13!

Barbara said...

Very fun list. I didn't know any of this before.

jenn said...

Interesting post. I learned something :)

therubycanary said...

My BF and I are moving to Korea in a few weeks for teaching positions, and the thing he is most excited about is going to Korean baseball games. I'll probably bring a book...

Paige Tyler said...

Interesting TT!


My TT is at

My expressions LIVE said...

Not bad and very interesting for the second best stadium in the world....xoxox