Here’s to 100 years of Fenway Park, and to 100 more.
The Fenway experience is unmatched, there is nothing like going to Fenway Park for the first time and feeling so much history within seconds of your visit. It is the oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball, recording its first official regular season game on April 20, 1912. On that day, the Red Sox defeated the New York Highlanders, later known as the New York Yankees, 7-6 in front of 27,000 fans. I couldn’t think of any scenario better than that Opening Day at Fenway.
Holding just under 40,000 fans, Fenway Park is a great place to watch a game. As these dedicated fans have been known, The Royal Rooters of decades ago and the Fenway Faithful of today have experienced 7 World Series titles alongside an 86 year draught before the epic 2004 win. The history behind it, the emotion, and the passion are all unique to Fenway, which adds to the feeling one gets when he realizes he is in a place that has stood for 100 years.
When John Henry brought Larry Lucchino to the Red Sox in 2002, most fans thought America’s most beloved ballpark was going to be torn down for a new stadium. However, to the excitement of Red Sox nation, Lucchino chose renovation over demolition. Because the park has stood for a century, Fenway has obviously had to undergo several facelifts to keep up with the times. Even with the changes to Fenway, the place is still full of history, the most history of any ballpark. Many people travel to Fenway not to see a game, but to simply take a ballpark tour and experience the feeling for themselves.
One of the coolest things about Fenway is that it is unlike any other stadium due to the structure. The walls of Fenway create an intimate feeling of being so close to the players because of the odd angles. Fenway’s dimensions are more peculiar than any other park in baseball measuring 310 feet down the left field line; 379 feet in left center field; 390 feet center field; 420 feet in deep center field; 380 feet in deep right field; and 302 feet down the right field line. Fan, Greg Geddes, talked about the angles of Fenway as one of the things that makes it so special. He said, “There is only one Fenway. Fenway's dimensions and architecture were based on necessity, and the result was an unplanned, bizarre and glorious ballpark. I don't want a "new" and "entertaining" Fenway with "conveniences." I want to watch a baseball game at the greatest ballpark in the world.”
Something else Fenway is surely known for is that left field wall, The Green Monster, which measures 37 feet high. It has only been green since the 1947 season because before then, the left field wall was covered with advertisements. It was not until the 2002-2003 offseason that 274 seats were added to the top of the Monster. Those seats have been considered by many baseball fans, Red Sox or not, as the best place to watch a game in the sport.
There is another special seat located in Fenway Park. Section 42, row 37, seat 2. If you arrive to a game early enough you can look out into the right field bleachers and see a painted red seat in the sea of green. This seat signifies one of the most famous home runs in Red Sox history, the longest home run hit in Fenway Park by Red Sox legend, Ted Williams, in 1946.
The history of Fenway is associated with the famous players who lined up to take the field. Hall of Famers Joe Cronin, Bobby Doerr, and Jimmie Foxx played there. Baseball legends Joe DiMaggio and Babe Ruth played there. The record breaking 2004 World Series team played there. Memories of Fenway date back all the way to 1912 as its 100th birthday nears.
Fan George V. Mitrovich, like most of Red Sox nation, feels a connection with Fenway and believe it is a place that should remain alive forever. He said, “Historians will demur, but Fenway Park is better known than the Tea Party, Paul Revere's ride, or Faneuil Hall. When a place has been visited by more than 100 million people, inspired a million stories, drawn baseball worshippers from around the world, such a place belongs not to the wrecking ball, but to the ages.” There is no way Fenway Park could ever be recreated with a new stadium. You can’t recreate it. There is nothing like it, and there never will be. So here’s to 100 years of Fenway Park, and to 100 more!