Boston Red Sox: Ranking the 10 Greatest Quirks About Fenway Park

Jason M. BurnsContributor IIApril 11, 2011

Boston Red Sox: Ranking the 10 Greatest Quirks About Fenway Park

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    BOSTON - OCTOBER 5:  An aerial view of the inside of Fenway Park taken during game four of the American League Division Series between the Oakland Athletics and the Boston Red Sox on October 5, 2003 at in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Boston is filled with history and architectural achievements that bring the city a unique urban personality all its own.  Nowhere is this more apparent than in between Yawkey Way and Lansdowne Street, home to Fenway Park.

    While the exteriors of this memorable major league ballpark have inspired photo opportunities for decades, it is the interiors that have made Fenway a must-visit location for any baseball fan, Red Sox or otherwise.

Wear And Tear

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    BOSTON - OCTOBER 16:  Fenway Park is seen before game five of the American League Championship Series bewtween the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays during the 2008 MLB playoffs at on October 16, 2008 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Michael Heima
    Michael Heiman/Getty Images

    While some ballparks have received criticism for their deteriorating conditions, the lived-in physical appearance of Fenway Park is considered endearing to its historical significance.

    Whether it is the deep-rooted cracks in the foundation or door arches too small for modern masses to pass under without ducking, the construction has stood the test of time, all while preserving what made it special for those first fans that passed through the gates in 1912.

The Green “Monstah”

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    BOSTON - APRIL 20:  Boston Celtic Championship banners hung from the Green Monster during a tribute to Red before the start of the Boston Red Sox  versus the New York Yankees on April 20, 2007 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty
    Elsa/Getty Images

    The backdrop of green that looms over left fielders in Fenway Park has become an extension of the Red Sox roster throughout the years.  Thousands of balls have dinged off of its surface, leaving divots like signatures that decorate the wall as a reminder of the teams that have come and gone.

    First painted the recognizable green in 1947, the wall has since become one of the most iconic symbols in all of baseball.  When reconstruction on the park began in the early 2000s, seats were added to the top of the wall, allowing a new generation of fans to view the monster in an entirely different way.

The Scoreboard

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    BOSTON - JULY 13:  Manny Ramirez #24 of the Boston Red Sox offers up his beverage from the Green Monster during a pitching change on July 13, 2008 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Red Sox defeated the Baltimore Orioles 2-1.  (Photo by E
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Nowhere is the history of the ballpark more preserved than on the Green Monster itself where the original manual scoreboard still tracks the game for those fans not interested in the digital world.

    Updated by hand from within the Green Monster, the scoreboard was added in 1934 and although new high definition screens were recently erected out in center, most eyes remain and the tried and true old school method that harkens back to a simpler time.

Pesky’s Pole

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    BOSTON - OCTOBER 24:  A detail view of Peske's Pole  in right field prior to Game One of the 2007 Major League Baseball World Series between the Colorado Rockies and the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on October 24, 2007 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo b
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Normally a big yellow pole out in right field wouldn’t be all that significant, but when it comes with a mythology tied to one of the most beloved Red Sox players of all time, a big yellow pole takes on a life of its own.

    Said to be coined Pesky’s Pole for a game-winning home run by Johnny Pesky, the right field foul marker has become a monument to Red Sox history, inspiring countless fans to sign its surface.

The Citgo Sign

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    BOSTON - JULY 13: A general view of the outfield at Fenway Park taken during the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Toronto Blue Jays on July 13, 2007 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Although it doesn’t actually sit within the confines of Fenway Park, the iconic Citgo sign that rises up above the Green Monster is as much a part of the history of the ballpark as the ballpark itself.

    Like a sun stretching up over the horizon, the sign is an extension of the Boston Red Sox and has looked down on the home team since it was built in 1965. 

The Ladder

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    BOSTON - OCTOBER 16:  The final scoreboard is seen after the Boston Red Sox defeated the Tampa Bay Rays after game five of the American League Championship Series during the 2008 MLB playoffs at Fenway Park on October 16, 2008 in Boston, Massachusetts. Th
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    At one point in time, the ladder that rises up the side of the Green Monster did serve a purpose.  It was originally used by grounds crew members to collect home run balls, but when seats replaced the netting, the ladder became obsolete.

    Now, with no specific destination, the ladder acts as a miniature golf-like obstacle, causing many balls to bounce off of its surface and ricochet back into play, much to the dismay of visiting left fielders who have yet to master the Monster.

The Red Seat

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    BOSTON - CIRCA 1955:  (UNDATED FILE PHOTO) Baseball legend Ted Williams (1918 - 2002) of the Boston Red Sox swings a bat circa 1955. The 83-year-old Williams, who was the last major league player to bat .400 when he hit .406 in 1941, died July 5, 2002 at
    Getty Images/Getty Images

    Section 42.  Row 37.  Seat 21.  The most famous seat in Fenway Park.

    Painted red to honor the longest home run ever hit at the park, the seat, 502 feet from home plate, has become an iconic symbol and a Where’s Waldo between-innings time killer for first-time visitors.

    Ted Williams struck that home run.  Fans have reveled (and sat) in it ever since.

No Man’s Land

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    BOSTON - OCTOBER 5:  An aerial view of the inside of Fenway Park taken during game four of the American League Division Series between the Oakland Athletics and the Boston Red Sox on October 5, 2003 at in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Known as “the triangle,” the area in center field where balls go to die is a geometrical nightmare for outfielders.  420 feet from home plate, balls seem to get lost in its embrace, inspiring base runners to stretch out doubles into triples and on more than one occasion, inside-the-park home runs.

Morse Code

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    BOSTON - JULY 15:  Daniel Nava #60 of the Boston Red Sox is unable to make the catch off the Green Monster in the seventh inning against the Texas Rangers on July 15, 2010 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Many people have seen it, but not everyone understands its significance.

    Running vertically down the Green Monster scoreboard are a series of Morse code symbols that actually mean something.  The dots and dashes stand for the initials of Thomas A. Yawkey and Jean R. Yawkey, owners of Fenway Park from 1933-1993.

    At Fenway Park, there’s history even between the lines.

The Experience

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    More than anything, visiting Fenway Park is about the experience.  Where else can two friends, one a lifetime Red Sox fan and the other a lifetime Yankees fan, put the rivalry aside and love the game more than their team for nine whole innings.

    Now that might be the biggest quirk of all.*

    * It should be noted that the Red Sox won this game 4-0 on April 10, 2011 in a Josh Beckett pitched gem.  I’d say that made my experience a tad better than his.  Go Sox!