Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Boston's Fenway Park Keeps Baseball Tradition Alive
Summertime holidays to Boston, even for non-baseball fans, should always include a visit to historic Fenway Park.

The stadium near Kenmore Square opened in 1912 after costing $650,000 to build and, even though it's gone through several renovations, it still retains its old-time charm and intimacy. It held 35,000 people in the beginning and now can accommodate 38,805, That capacity is one of the smallest in the majors, but the perennially contending Red Sox sell out every game — allowing it to have a player payroll second only to the arch-rival New York Yankees.

The 37-foot left field wall, affectionately known as "The Green Monster," is the most notable part of the stadium and includes a manually operated scoreboard within it. But Fenway's other odd outfield dimensions also add to its character.

A seat in the right field bleachers is painted red to designate the longest measurable home run ever hit in the park, a 502-foot shot by "The Splendid Splinter" Ted Williams in 1946. The left field foul pole has been renamed "Fisk Pole" in honour of the memorable home run hit by Red Sox catcher Carlton Fisk that landed just inside it to win game six of the 1975 World Series, which the team eventually lost to the Cincinnati Reds.

The numbers of eight retired players — Bobby Doerr (#1), Joe Cronin (#4), Johnny Pesky (#6), Carl Yastrzemski (#8), Williams (#9), Jim Rice (#14), Fisk (#27) and Jackie Robinson (#42) — are located above the right field grandstand.

Fenway Park is the oldest venue used by any professional sports team in the U.S. and, while it may lack some of the comforts and amenities of recently built stadiums, it's still one of the best places that you'll ever see a ball game at.

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