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What Is Up with the Ladder on the Green Monster at Fenway Park ?

Wise GuidesCorrespondent IJune 24, 2009

When former Red Sox pitcher Bill ‘Spaceman’ Lee first walked into Fenway Park and saw the park’s famous left-field wall, the Green Monster, he asked: “Do they leave it there during games?” They do, and over the decades it has become the signature feature of Fenway Park – the paint is Fenway Green, by the way – and ballpark architecture everywhere. It’s a tempting target for right-handed hitters, standing 37½ feet tall but a mere 310 feet from home plate, provides a very visual incentive for pitchers to keep the ball down, and is a challenge to left-fielders who must play it’s unpredictable caroms.

There’s certain to be one of those if a ball strikes the ladder that climbs up the side of the Monster. It was put there so home run balls could be retrieved from the netting above the wall; the netting has been replaced by seats but the ladder remains, and it’s in play.

The wall is far from the only quirk in this oldest of Major League ballparks. In center field, just a shade toward right, is an area of the park called The Triangle where the wall juts out to 420 feet. It’s the deepest part of the park, 'a place where doubles become triples but home runs often go to die'. A yellow line climbs the wall above the point of the triangle; anything hit to its left is in play, and to its right is a home run (the umps have their own challenges at Fenway).

Finally, there is the right-field foul pole, better known as “Pesky’s Pole,” named in tongue-in-cheek homage to former Sox player Johnny Pesky. He hit only 17 career home runs but one of them curled around the pole, 302 feet from home plate, and won a game for the Sox.

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