I went to Fenway Park in Boston to make a video for work. Here’s what I learned.
Work sent my roommate/friend/coworker Paul and me to Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, to do a behind-the-scenes video. (We’d previously gone to AT&T Park in San Francisco.) We were at Fenway yesterday. Here are 11 interesting things I learned about the ballpark.
1 | The Green Monster wasn’t always green
It started out as navy blue with white advertisements on it. But that distracted the players, so the ownership needed to find a new color… and they settled on green.
2 | But the green didn’t stop there
After the wall was done, ownership made everything in the entire park that shade of green… which is called Fenway Green… and is patented by the Red Sox. Only they can order it. (Although you can find the Pantone codes for it if you research it enough online. And by “enough” I mean, “one quick Google search.”)
3 | I was amazed by the seats in Fenway
It’s the oldest park in the majors, and the seats in the grandstand section are still the original seats. They’re tiny (only 15 inches across — not equipped for today’s grandiose Americans), they’re packed in together, and the wood on them is splintering. Having them, and the history they bring, also seems like a convenient way to avoid having to get up to ADA codes.
4 | Maybe it’s so people can fit in those seats, but the food at Fenway was all very small
It was less expensive than other parks, but, yeah, small. Anyway, the Bostonians seemed much more focused on beer than food.
5 | Red Sox mania is for real… that bandwagon is overflowing
The park was sold out and everyone… I mean everyone… was in Red Sox stuff. Although a lot of it was green and pink, as I’ve mentioned before.
6 | The fans show up
When we were in San Fran, the ratio of fans in Giants gear to fans in Cubs gear (the Giants were playing the Cubs) was about five to one. Here, the ratio of Red Sox gear to Minnesota Twins gear was about 5,000 to one. Meaning either Red Sox fans are crazier than Giants fans… or the Cubs have a larger nationwide fan base than the Twins. Or both. It’s probably both.
7 | The scalpers give you an authentic Boston experience
There were a ton of scalpers outside of Fenway… and ALL of them had thick Southie Boston accents. I love that.
8 | The one red seat
I like that they have one red seat amongst their sea of green seats in the outfield. Apparently, that’s where the longest homer in Fenway ever went — Ted Williams hit it over 500 feet, to hit the guy sitting in that chair — so they replaced the green chair with a red chair. I dig little touches like that.
9 | Modern Boston fans aren’t like the old ones
During the seventh inning, the wave broke out. I felt like Boston fans were supposed to be so old and knowledgeable and grizzled that they’d resist the wave. But I forgot… we’re in bandwagon Boston now. So the wave was long and strong, all over that historical park where every great player of the past 90 years has swung a bat. Ted Williams is probably rolling over in his cryogenic freeze tank.
10 | My painful memories
The hardest thing for me to look at in the stadium was the angled wall behind third base. That’s where Franklin Gutierrez’s double hit during Game 7 of last year’s ALCS. The Indians’ third base coach, Joel Skinner, didn’t read the carom right, held Kenny Lofton at third when he would’ve easily scored, and kept the Indians’ deficit at 3-2. After that, the wind went out of their sails and they got blown out. I just wanted to go down and smack that wall. It’s probably what Cubs fans feel about the part of the left field wall that Steve Bartman reached over.
11 | The liquid on the ground
I was walking around in the eighth inning and the concourse had that traditional old stadium film of liquid on the ground. Is it spilled beer? Overflowing urine? Probably a little bit from column A… a lot bit from column B.