Carolyn Kruse

Carolyn Kruse

The world knows Fenway park as America’s most beloved and oldest ballpark, but there are many things that make it truly unique. From the moment you walk through the gates,  you can feel the history all around you. MLB superstars from Ted Williams to David Ortiz, Babe Ruth and Pedro Martinez have played in the hallowed halls here. This is sacred ground to a baseball fan. So, as a new season is here, let’s take a look at 9 things that make Fenway Park America’s most beloved ballpark.

The nooks and kranies, the absurd and historic all make the home of the Boston Red Sox what it is today. Regardless of how the team in playing, people come. You’ve heard the famous line from the movie, Field of Dreams, “if you build it, he will come.” Well how about this, if you KEEP it, they will come. And they do, year after year, to enjoy it’s historic place in the world and all it’s idiosyncracies. The church of baseball is Fenway Park.

Fenway is like no other in so many ways. Why we sing Sweet Caroline (at the bottom of the 8th) is rather random. There’s the lone red seat, the odd large wall in left field, the pesky pole and many other rare and remarkable things about Fenway. So, cue the music, let’s walk up to bat and take a swing of the good, the strange and the celebrated.

  • 1. It's the OG

    Fenway is the oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball. It was built in 1912 and in 2012 was added to the National Register of Historic Places. (mlb.com)

    Boston's Fenway Park

    (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

  • 2. There's a monster

    No other ballpark has a monster. We have a big green one. It was originally called “the Wall” but over the years became known as the Green Monster. (It wasn’t painted green until 1947). The Green Monster is the left field wall in the park, and is about 310 feet from home plate. That is the shortest distance to an outfield wall in the Major League. Some pitchers love it, many left fielders hate it, but if you in the seats, it’s an amazing view.

    Green Monster Fenway Park

    (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

  • 3. Step aside Vanna White, We have number turners

    Fenway is one of the few parks left with a manual scoreboard. A scoreboard operating comes from behind the Green Monster to change the score.

    Weird rule: According to MLB, if a ball in play goes through a hole in the scoreboard while the scorers are replacing numbers, the batter is awarded a ground rule double.

    Fun fact: Inside the Green Monster the walls are covered with autographs. There are signatures of players, musicians, athletes from others sports and famous visitors from over the years.

  • 4. One of these things is not like the others

    “The Lone Red Seat” sounds like it’s the title of a novel, but it’s an actual lone red seat in a green.  The red seat was purposely place there to mark the spot where Ted Williams hit the longest home run at Fenway Park. After connecting with Willims’ bat, the ball carried 502 feet into the bleachers landing in the exact spot where the red seat is now located.

    lone red seat fenway park

    (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

  • 5. The Triangle

    It’s kind of like Fenway’s version of the Bermuda Triangle. Balls can carry there and often get lost. Center fielders fear having to chase down a ball that flies to the deepest part of the park. And according to Fenway Fanatics, “The center field triangle is located to the left of the Red Sox bullpen, 420 feet from home plate. A ball that falls safely into play inside the triangle usually means at minimum a triple, even for the slowest afoot; one bad bounce, and you could be looking at an inside-the-park home run.” 

    Fenway park center field triangle

    (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)

     

  • 6. What's with the yellow pole?

    You will clearly see a yellow pole in right field. This is Pesky’s Pole, it helps us identify a foul ball. But,it was originally put there to help Sox legend Ted Williams hit more home runs in right field. Confused? Here’s the deal, Johnny Pesky who played shortstop for the Sox (also a manager, coach and goodwill ambassador) wasn’t know for having a power bat. Former Sox player Mel Parnell, later became an announcer, and used to tease Pesky on-air about his lack of power. He would often mention that Johnny would get lucky when hitting an occasional home run, after his ball would hit the pole and ricochet into the stands. Now fans from all over the world come to sign it.

    Pesky's Pole

    (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

     

  • 7. Everybody sings a 1969 Neil Diamond Song because...

    Because this is Fenway Park! And it all started, not because of Caroline Kennedy. It all started (according to MLB) in 1997 when a Sox employee in charge of music in the park played “Sweet Caroline” in honor of a friend who had just given birth to a baby girl named Caroline. Like wildfire, it caught and has been sung by fans at the bottom of the 8th ever since. On several occasions, Neil has come to lead the crowd in the uber popular hit song.

    Neil Diamond at Fenway Park

    Neil Diamond sings “Sweet Caroline” during a game between the Kansas City Royals and Boston Red Sox in the 8th inning at Fenway Park on April 20, 2013 (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

     

     

  • 8. The Citgo Sign

    Ahhh, the Citgo sign. It’s like a beacon in the night, for those travelers looking to find Fenway Park in Boston. It’s also been a backdrop at games for generations. The landmark sign was first erected in 1940, and was updated with Citgo’s new logo in 1965.  Although it may look like it, at times. no one can actually hit the sign because it’s about 1200 feet from home plate. Tall tales have been told, but not true. However, legend has it that former Toronto Blue Jays player, Joe Carter, who loved playing at Fenway saw more than a sign. It saw the sign as a sign. MLB reported that he once told a reporter when he watched some of his deep hits fly out of Fenway Park, he saw felt like the sign was speaking to him, saying…“C IT GO.”

    The Citgo Sign Fenway Park

    (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

  • 9. The Most Uncomfortable Park is the Most Sought After

    Let’s face it, Fenway can be difficult, uncomfortable and annoying. The obstructed views, the lack of parking, crowded trains to get there, no tailgaiting. It’s old (proof is in the 15 inch wide, small wooden grandstand seats), expensive and usually packed. Yet, all that said, fans still come from all over the world to feel her history. They come to walk where the greats did, and soak in the Boston skyline behind the park’s green walls. Fenway Park is still a bucket list favorite. No other ballpark feels this intimate, this historic, this exciting.

    And frankly who needs tailgating with Jersey Street to walk, eat and shop. The eletric atmosphere filled with sounds of music, fans, and food vendors help make Fenway even more special.

    Jersey Street Fenway Park

    (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)

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