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The Stadium: Fenway Park
Location: Boston, MA
Opened on: April 20, 1912
Nickname: Friendly Fenway,
The Cathedral of Baseball,
Hitters’ Ballpark, America’s Most Beloved Ballpark
Home Team: Boston Red Sox
Capacity: 37,755
Attendance Record:  49,000 (10,000 turned away), September 1935
Surface: Kentucky Blue Grass
Construction Cost:  $650,000 in 1912
($20 million in 2020)
  • Left Field Line-
  • Left Center -
  • Deep Left Center-
  • Center Field-
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  • Right Field Line-
  • Surface:

Boston’s Fenway Park, the home ground of local MLB team the Red Sox, is the oldest active ballpark in the United States. It is the second smallest ballpark by total sitting capacity and the fifth smallest by the number of seats. Still, fans call it America’s most beloved ballpark thanks to Fenway Park’s unique features, scintillating games, and historical landmarks. The stadium has hosted 11 iconic World Series games, a feat unrivaled by any other ballpark.

Fenway Park/ Source: Axios

It is said that Babe Ruth built the Yankee Stadium of 1923. But Fenway Park is the very place where Ruth honed the skills to become “The Bambino” and “The Sultan of Swat.” Fenway’s fame led the Red Sox great Bill “Spaceman” Lee to call it “a shrine” for baseball lovers. It has also hosted many sporting, political, religious, entertainment, and cultural events. Fenway Park observed its centennial year in 2012 and the Red Sox home ground is expected to remain functional until 2062.

Fenway is just more than a baseball park with its unique features. It is an emotion to millions of baseball fans. With its alluring features and mesmerizing aura, the stadium successfully reserves a soft corner in millions of people across the globe.

The History

In 1901, Ban Johnson established the American League dissolving the then minor Western League. It was a direct challenge to the National League, which was the only major baseball league until the upstart. Soon Johnson-led league set up a franchise in Boston. It was called the Boston Americans until the 1908 season.

Fenway Park in 1912/ Source: The Boston Globe

The newly formed team constructed Huntington Avenue Grounds in 1901 and continued to play there until the 1911 season. With its meager 11,000 capacity and unattractive interior, the ground didn’t look apt for the rising profile of the Boston Red Sox. Owner John Taylor was looking for a new ballpark and acquired land in the Fenway neighborhood. Construction of a larger baseball stadium began in September 1911, and Fenway Park with asymmetry in its field dimensions was opened on April 20, 1912. The Redo Sox won the inaugural match 7–6 in 11 innings against the New York Highlanders.

Fenway Park in 1920s/Source: Fenway Fanatics



 The area surrounding Fenway Park blends well with the stadium in height and architecture. But when it was built, the plot of land was asymmetrical. The classic design, thus, boasts asymmetry in its field dimensions. It is the second MLB jewel box stadium after Chicago’s Wrigley Field. A large number of pillars supporting the roof obstruct the view from many seats and hint at architectural limitations.

Fenway Park in 1950s/ Source: Pinterest

The smallest foul ground, a short right-field, and nearer outfield make Fenway park a hitters’ paradise. Many fans still view the stadium as a remnant of the “Cookie-Cutter Stadium” era that preceded 1958.

The short left field from the home plate allows right-handed hitters to exploit the stadium features. This led many to call this the bordering wall “the Green Monster.” A terrace-style gallery was added above it in 2003. The bullpen area 7-meter closer to the right-center field than the bleacher wall. As a result, left-handed hitters score a lot in that area. Though the ballpark has the shortest outfield distance, the fence behind it curves away sharply. As a result, home runs to the area are very few.

The Short Right Field & Pesky Pole/ Source: Pixels


Fenway Park was extensively rebuilt in 1934 following a fire incident.

In 1946, it was made a double-tier ballpark. Fenway Park received arc lights a year later making it the third stadium to have them. The 1983 renovation added private suites above the home plate. Five years later, 610 galls-enclosed club seats replaced the press box, which was reconstructed on the roof of club seats. Expansions in 2005 and 2006 saw the area remodeled with two open-air levels, a dedicated standing room, and seats with concierge services.

Fenway Park received a Daktronics screen in 2000. The terrace-seating arrangement was there above the Green Monster in 2003. Before the 2012 centennial celebrations, renovations added three new scoreboards and a revamped Gate D concourse. All wooden seats were replaced with plastic ones and the stand was completely refurbished.

Fenway Park/ Source: USA Today

 Purely Baseball Things To Know

  •  Fenway Park is the oldest and the most hitter-favored MLB ballpark.
  • There were 11 World Series at the stadium with the Red Sox winning six – 1912, 1918, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2018 – and the Boston Braves (now Atlanta Braves) in 1914.
  • Boston Mayor John F. Fitzgerald threw the first ball and the inaugural game ended with the home team’s victory over New York Highlanders.
  • Fenway Park witnessed a surge in the crowd following the 1967 “Impossible Dream” season of the home team.
  • In September 2008, the ballpark broke the 455 consecutive sellout record of Cleveland’s Progressive Field. Within nine months, Fenway Park set an MLB record of 500 consecutive sellouts. The run ended in 2013 with 794 Red Sox sellouts.
  • The formation of the field with a short right-field fence and closure outfields is perfect for hitters to exploit. Its narrow foul territory adds 5 to 7 points extra to batting in every game.
  • Often outfielders end up jumping over the lowly built bullpen wall while running after balls.
  • Red Sox’s left-handed batter Ted Williams scored most of his home runs hitting the ball into the bullpen area located opposite the right-center field. This led sportswriter to dub the bullpen as “Williamsburg.”
  • On June 9, 1946, Ted Williams hit the ball to land 502 ft away. This longest home run at Fenway Park is highlighted with a lone red seat numbered 21, row 37 in section 42, among more than 37,000 green bleachers.
  • According to The Year Babe Ruth Hit 104 Home Runs, a book written in 2007, Babe Ruth hit a massive 545-ft home run on May 25, 1926.
  • A 2001 hit by Manny Ramirez was on its way to land outside the ballpark when it hit the light tower and fell inside. Official estimates pegged it at 501 ft.
  • The Boston Braves had their 1914 World Series and 1915 season at Fenway Park.
  • It hosts the Baseball Beanpot, a local intercollegiate tournament. Teams play the final round at Fenway.
  • Every year two minor league teams play a regular season at the stadium. It also hosted many minor league games, including the Cape Cod Baseball League.
  • The right field grandstand had replicas of 11 numbers retired by the Red Sox in memory of its greatest players. Out of these, 42 number of Jackie Robinson was retired by MLB.
The Green Monster/ Source: Daily Hampshire Gazette

 The Ground Rules at Fenway Park

The ball hitting or going above the scoreboard      A double
The ball reaching the left-center field wall to the right of the flag pole      A home run
The ball landing on the line behind the flag pole      A home run
The ball directly hitting the wall or flag pole      A home run
The ball hitting the line in the center      A home run
The ball hitting the right of the wall in center      A home run
The ball hitting left of the line before flying into the bullpen      A home run
The ball directly flying into bullpen/ going under canvas or reaching tarp cylinder/ hitting top of the left-field scoreboard before bouncing outside      A grand double
The ball striking the redline atop the green wall      A home run
The ball hitting the rail of the triangle area      A home run

Fenway Park Gate/ Source: TripSavy

Other Events

· Boxing

Fenway Park hosted the first open-air boxing match of Boston in 1920. For the next four decades, it was a regular place for boxing shows in the city.

· Soccer

The stadium hosts local and international soccer matches. Many well-known European soccer clubs from the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, and Italian Serie A continue to play their pre-season matches here.

·  American Football

Starting from 1916, Fenway has been hosting American football matches. Starting from 2021, there are plans to have an annual Fenway Bowl between two teams from the Atlantic Coast and the American Athletic conferences.

·  Hockey

Fenway Park was the venue for the 2010 NHL Winter Classic. The annual Frozen Fenway ice-skating and ice hockey events draw local and regional school, college, and university teams.

·  Concerts

The stadium allowed concerts for the first time in 1973. Dave Matthews’ band, Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, and Lady Gaga had their concerts at the ballpark since then.

·  Polartec Big Air

In February 2016, Fenway witnessed the Polartec Big Air snowboarding and skiing. A part of the US Grand Prix Tour,  the International Ski Federation organized it.

Historic Moments At Fenway Park

  • The History Maker
  • Fenway Park is the oldest functional ballpark in MLB.
  • Fenway is named after the surrounding neighborhood, which was carved out by filling "Fen" or marshy land.
  • Babe Ruth was with the Red Sox and played at Fenway Park from 1914 to 1919. His home runs during the 1918 and 1919 seasons saw him becoming a national sensation.
  • The stadium became a part of the National Register of Historic Places in 2012.
  • The ballpark opening failed to get adequate attention. The press was busy covering passenger liner Titanic, which sank with over 1,500 deaths five days ago.
  • About 50,000 visitors thronged Fenway Park in June 1919 favoring the Irish Independence. Éamon de Valera, the then president of the Irish Republic, spoke at the rally.
  • Players over the years have their signatures engraved on the Green Monster wall.
  • Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" has become a tradition at Fenway Park. It is played in the middle of every game either at eight innings or in doubleheaders.
  • Lady Gaga’s 2017 concert at the stadium was the first by a lead female artist.

Ballpark Firsts

First Game Boston Red Sox vs. New York Highlanders
Ceremonial First Pitch Mayor John F. Fitzgerald
First RBI Tris Speaker, Boston
First Home Run Hugh Bradley vs Philadelphia Athletics
First Winning Pitch Charley “Sea Lion” Hall
First Shutout May 20, 1912
First No-Hitter June 21, 1916
First All-Star Game July 10, 1945
First Night Game June 13, 1947