Sports: Fenway Park

Photo courtesy of Flickr, uploaded by wallyg.

Photo courtesy of Flickr, uploaded by wallyg.

Honestly, baseball “purists” often make too much of the classic ballparks. Which is more important, quirky outfield dimensions or having enough restrooms? A manually operated scoreboard, or being able to get decent concessions in a reasonable amount of time?

So no one really cared much when some of the old ballparks made way for new ones. Cleveland Municipal Stadium? See ya. Tiger Stadium? Wouldn’t wanna be ya. But no one wants to see Fenway go. If everybody loves Raymond, everyone idolizes Fenway.

It’s been around since 1912. And it’s seen some magical moments. Like the 502-foot homer launched by Ted Williams.  And Carlton Fisk’s 12th-inning homer in the 1975 World Series.

More than anything, though, it’s the Green Monster. It was actually covered with advertisements until it was painted green in 1947. It was originally wood, then was covered in tin and concrete, and now it’s coated with hard plastic. It’s 37’2″ high.

No sport guards its history more fiercely than baseball, and now that the old Yankee Stadium is gone, the Green Monster is probably the sport’s most distinctive icon. Chicago folks might argue for Wrigley Field’s ivy, and they’d have a case. I’m not trying to start a feud here. I think we can safely say that both Wrigley and Fenway have an undeniable claim to being one of the Great American Things.

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