Fenway Park Review
Review of Fenway Park Rating: 5
by Malcolm MacMillan
- Fenway is the oldest and arguably most notable MLB park
- Tackle this fan favorite in two days, if possible
Fenway Park is often dubbed “America’s Most Beloved Ballpark,” and it won’t take you long to see why. From the Green Monster to the iconic Citgo sign and from jostling through the crowded concourses to enjoying a famous Fenway Frank, it’s hard not to be thrilled about your first visit to Fenway. And while some long-awaited things can be a letdown, you won’t experience any of those feelings here. Sure, Fenway doesn’t have the 21st century amenities of a place like Yankee Stadium or the modern-meets-yesteryear feel of Oriole Park at Camden Yards, but visiting one of the most celebrated sports facilities in North America is something you’ll remember for a lifetime.
Fenway Park celebrated its 100th anniversary is 2012 and is the oldest park in Major League Baseball. Its seating capacity is the fourth lowest in the Majors, which gives Fenway a somewhat quaint, intimate feel. The park has a long, storied history that you can read about online or in countless baseball history books. You’ll feel as though you’re a part of that history from the moment you catch a glimpse of the park’s red brick design.
The park’s prime attraction, of course, is the Green Monster outfield fence in left field. The Monster is 37 feet high and one of the most recognizable sights in North American sports. It also dwarfs the outfield fences that run throughout the rest of the park. In center, the wall is 17 feet high, but drops between three and five feet in right field. As you check out the Monster, you won’t be able to miss the unique shape of the field itself. Fenway’s playing surface measures 310 feet down the left field line, and has measurements of 390 feet, 420 feet, 380 feet and 302 feet moving from left to right. With the odd shape, large area to cover and chance of balls caroming off the myriad fence angles, center field at Fenway might be the hardest position to play in baseball.
Another notable place to visit is the famous Pesky’s Pole foul pole in right field. The Red Sox allow visitors to sign the pole, so be sure to carry a Sharpie and add your name to the thousands of others. Not to be ignored is the pole in left field, known as the Fisk Pole. The pole is named in honor of former catcher Carlton Fisk’s memorable 1975 World Series home run, which bounced off the pole in extra innings. The image of Fisk waving the ball fair is one of baseball’s most enduring World Series memories.
No visit is complete without a stop in the outfield to visit the Lone Red Seat. This seat is found in row 37 of section 42 in right field and recognizes the longest home run hit at Fenway – a 502-foot shot launched by Ted Williams in 1946. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to sit in the iconic seat before the game begins, if even for a moment.
As you navigate your way through the ballpark, you’ll notice that the concourses are a little tighter than you might be used to seeing. Sure, the crowds have something to do with this feeling, but you can’t help but realize these walkways were build back when people were, ahem, a little smaller. A wide-open area, however, is the Big Concourse, which runs between Gate B and Gate C, or roughly behind right and center field. Here, you’ll find the park’s widest selection of food, entertainment and a pile of picnic tables at which you can enjoy your meal.
If you want to browse through the team’s illustrious history, look no further than the Red Sox Hall of Fame, situated outside the EMC Club on the lower level behind home plate. In this area, you can view plaques that recognize former players, executives and broadcasters. If you’re visiting Fenway Park for the first time, be sure to hit a Fan Services booth at gate B, D or E to pick up your first-timer fan pack.