Fenway Park opened on April 20, 1912. The same year that the Titanic sank!
Located at 4 Yawkey Way, in Boston, the original cost of construction was $650,000. Since it was built in the Fenway neighborhood, the baseball stadium was named Fenway Park.
Fenway Park is the oldest active major league baseball stadium. It still has some seats that have an obstructed view.
In 1934, Fenway Park's trade mark left field wall was built. Standing only 310 feet from home plate, the 37 foot, 2 inch high "Green Monster" had a 23 1/2 foot fence on top to protect motorists and pedestrians on Lansdowne Street. The "Monster" was built 240 feet long from 30,000 pounds of iron.
In 2002, the fence on top of the great wall was taken away and seats were added.
Originally, advertisemnets covered the wall. But in 1947, it was painted green which gave the wall it's name.
Running vertically down the scoreboard, between the columns of out-of-town scores, are the initials "TAY" and "JRY" displayed in Morse code; a memorial to former Red Sox owners Thomas A. Yawkey and Jean R. Yawkey.
The manual score board which was added in 1934, remains one of only two manual score boards in the major leagues. Only Wrigley Field in Chicago has one like it.(In 1975, an electronic portion of the score board was added. Only out of town scores are done manually now)
Today, the outfield wall travels from the Green Monster toward the center field "Triangle". Center field is 420 feet from home plate.
The bull-pen area in front of the right field bleachers was added in 1940 and soon called "Williamsburg". Since the bull pen was 23 feet closer, Red Sox slugger Ted Williams hit many home runs there.
In the right field bleacher section, sits a lone, red seat(Section 42, Row 37, Seat 21). This designates the longest home run in Fenway Park history. A 502 foot tape measure blast by Ted Williams off of Tigers pitcher Fred Hutchinson on June 9, 1946.
In 1947, lights were added to Fenway Park. The Red Sox were the third to last major league team to have lights.
The curving railing from the bull pen around to the right field corner, known as the "Belly", was also added in 1940. This reduced the right field distance by 30 feet.
The right field foul pole was named for Red Sox short stop Johnny Pesky who hit some of his home runs around the pole which stood only 302 feet away. On September 27, 2006, the Red Sox officially name the foul pole, "Pesky's Pole". It was Johnny Pesky's 87th birthday.
The foul pole down the left field line, on top of the Green Monster was recently named "Fisk Foul Pole". In game 6 of the 1975 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds, Red Sox catcher Carlton Fisk hit a Pat Darcy pitch off the pole to give the Red Sox the win in the bottom of the 12th inning. One of the most famous home runs in World Series history, and the famous scene of Fisk using body "english" to keep the ball fair.
From 1912-1933, "Duffy's Cliff" was a 10 foot incline in front of the Green Monster. This incline ran from the left field foul pole to the center field flag pole. Named after Red Sox outfielder Duffy Lewis, the "Cliff" was removed during the 1934 renovation of Fenway Park. The "Cliff" was originally installed to add support to the wall and to compensate for the difference in "grade" between the field and Lansdowne Street on the outside of the wall. Also, ropes would frequently be temporarily installed and fans were allowed to sit on the grassy cliff.
Many pitchers through the years argued that the posted 315 sign on the Green Monster was not correct. The Red Sox refused to measure the distance so a reporter from the Boston Globe was able to sneak in and measure the distance. In 1995, the report was that the Green Monster actually stood only 310 feet away. The expanation was that the distance had been measured when "Duffy's Cliff" was there. The distance included the incline. When the cliff was removed, it shortened the distance by 5 feet.
In the 1980s, more renovations took place. Private boxes were added to the roof behind home plate. The old "press box" was replaced by 610 seats that were enclosed by glass and named the "600 Club". The new press box was added to the top of the 600 Club.
In 2002, the 600 Club" was re-named the ".406 Club" after Ted Williams who was the last player to hit .400.(.406)
Many other changes have been made to Fenway Park. After the 2005 World Championship season, a complex drainage system and new turf were added. Fenway had always been known for soggy conditions after it rained.
1,300 new seats were also added in 2005. That brings the seating capacity to 38,805. As a matter of fact, Fenway Park no longer has the smallest number of seats among major league stadiums. Pittsburgh's PNC Park is now the smallest.
Fenway Park Dimensions:
The left field foul line is now set at 310 feet from home plate. Deep left center stands at 379 and center field is at a peculiar 389 feet 9 inches.
Right center is a deep 420 feet. From right center the distance lessens as the fence curves from 380 feet down to a short 302 at the Pesky Pole. The back stop is 60 feet behind home plate.
The Red Sox Fenway Park has hosted three All Star Games. 1946, 1961 and 1999.
Nine World Series have been played at Fenway. The most recent being the Red Sox World Championship in 2004.
On September 12, 1979, Carl Yastremski collected his 3,000th hit.
Game six of the 1975 World Series. Carlton Fisk's dramatic home run beats the Cincinnati Reds to force a game seven which the Red Sox lost.
In 1986, pitcher Roger Clemens strikes out 20 batters.
Sign Up For My Free Newsletter!
Return from Fenway Park to Old Ball Parks
Return To Baseball Legends