Home of the Boston Red Sox since 1912, Fenway Park is the oldest operating baseball park in the country. As such, the park has many quirks that make for a unique experience. See them all on a ballpark tour of this Boston landmark, or come see the Sox playing in their natural habitat.
The Green Monster
The 37ft-high left-field wall is only 310ft away from home plate (compared to the standard 325ft), so it's popular among right-handed hitters, who can score an easy home run with a high hit to left. However, batters can just as easily be deprived of a home run when a powerful but low line drive bounces off the Monster for an off-the-wall double. As all Red Sox fans know, "the wall giveth and the wall taketh away."
The Green Monster was painted green in 1947 and since then it has become a patented part of the Fenway experience. Literally. The color is officially known as "Fence Green" and the supplier will not share the formula.
At the base of the Green Monster is the original scoreboard, still updated manually from behind the wall.
The Pesky Pole
The Pesky Pole, Fenway's right-field foul pole, is named for former shortstop Johnny Pesky. Johnny "Mr Red Sox" Pesky was associated with the team for 15 years as a player and 46 as a manager, coach and special instructor, until his death in 2012.
Many a double has turned into a triple when the ball has flown into the deepest, darkest corner of center field (where the walls form a triangle). At 425ft, it's the furthest distance from home plate.
The Red Seat
The bleachers at Fenway Park are green, except for one lone red seat: seat 21 at section 42, row 37. This is supposedly the longest home run ever hit at Fenway Park – officially 502ft, hit by Red Sox left fielder Ted Williams in 1946.
Yawkey Way: race and the Red Sox
For more than four decades, the road on the west side of Fenway Park was called Yawkey Way, named for the former owner of the Red Sox. In 2018, with the blessing of current Red Sox ownership, city officials changed it back to its original Jersey St.
Namesake Tom Yawkey – Red Sox owner from 1933 until his death in 1976 – was revered for the good work of his family foundation. But during Yawkey's tenure, while society and baseball changed, the team and the city did not, sparking allegations of racism. Red Sox management resisted efforts to integrate, and Yawkey passed on the chance to sign baseball greats Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays. The Red Sox were the last all-white team in the major leagues, holding out until 1959 to sign their first African American player.
The racist legacy of the organization, as well as the city, plagued the franchise well after Yawkey’s death. Even now, this seemingly progressive city has a reputation for overtly racist displays, especially by sports fans. The Boston Globe documented that athletes reported more incidents of being targeted by racial slurs in Boston than in any other city in the past 25 years (including one highly publicized incident in 2017).
In an attempt to make Fenway Park more welcoming to all, current Red Sox owner John Henry led the push to revert the street name, telling local newspapers that he was "haunted" by the club's history. The Red Sox are also involved in the Take the Lead Campaign, an initiative to end hate speech and to promote diversity and inclusion on the fields.
Incidentally, the former Yawkey Way Ext is now known as David Ortiz Dr, after the Dominican-born slugger, who led the Sox to three World Series victories before retiring a hero in 2016.
Fenway Park tours
Tours operate year-round. Hour-long tours depart at the top of the hour, but there are short 15-minute tours for those in a hurry. All tours are fully accessible. Tickets can be bought online in advance. There's also the option of a virtual guided drone tour of Fenway Park.
Boston Red Sox tickets
If you want to see a game, it's best to buy tickets well in advance. Limited game-day tickets go on sale (one per person) at Gate E, 90 minutes before the game, but people start lining up five hours ahead of time.