Fenway Park…No Longer Sold Out

Last June, the Boston Red Sox surpassed sold out its 745th consecutive game, making it the most consecutive sellouts in North American major pro sports history.  The NBA's Portland Trailblazers, once sold out 744 straight home contests.

But Wednesday night…it was a completely different story.

In case you were wondering (and I know you were), the first sellout of the historic streak was May 15, 2003, when the BoSox beat up the Texas Rangers 12-3. In 2008, Boston broke the Major League record by selling out its 456th consecutive game.

Oh, the average paid attendance during the sellout streak?  36,544.

Here are ten things you might not have known about the historic park located at 4 Yawkey Way.
In 1911, then-team owner John Taylor broke ground on the piece of land that ended up being home to FenwayPark. $650,000 and a year later…the stadium was complete. And in case you’re wondering, that’s a mere $15.7 million by today’s standards. By comparison, the New York Yankees just spent close to $1.5 billion for their new home.
Without a doubt, FenwayPark is regarded as a hitters’ park…but it’s not for the reasons you might think. Never mind the short porch in rightfield, it’s the league-small 99,000 square feet of foul territory that helps (according to George Will) add “five to seven points to batting averages”.
When FenwayPark opened 100 years ago, it could hold 35,000 fans. During a September 22, 1935 doubleheader against the New York Yankees, the team managed to shoehorn 47,627 people into the bandbox.
Of the 28 hitters with more than 3000 career hits, only a handful ever suited up for the Boston Red Sox. And of those hitters, it’s Carl Yastrzemski that is tops when it comes to hits at FenwayPark. The 1989 Hall of Fame inductee collected an amazing 1822 regular season base hits at the stadium.
In 2008, the Boston Red Sox broke a Major League record by selling out its 456th consecutive game. On June 10, 2012, the team achieved its 745th consecutive sellout, making it the most consecutive sellouts in North American major pro sports history. The NBA's Portland Trailblazers, once sold out 744 straight home contests.
As the story goes, on June 9, 1946, Boston Red Sox legend Ted Williams hit a 502 foot home run that crashed through the straw hat of a New York Yankees fan. In case you’re curious how far that home run traveled, head to FenwayPark and look for Section 42, Row 37, Seat 21…it’ll be the lone red seat among a sea of green bleacher seats. The original seat is is the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
As a shock to no one, the 2005 movie “Fever Pitch” didn’t bring home a single Academy Award nomination. On the other hand, John Williams has been nominated for 48. What does the legendary composer have to do with the Boston Red Sox? Dude composed the official theme for the 100th Anniversary of Fenway Park. Yup…there is such a thing.
Everyone knows the Green Monster in leftfield is just a hair more than 37-feet high, right? But, does everyone know that it didn’t start at that height? From 1912 to 1933, the then wooden wall was 25-feet high and featured a 10-foot high incline in front of it. Why? Something had to support the thing and, naturally, a mass of dirt would be the likely candidate.
At the base of the Green Monster is FenwayPark’s legendary hand operated scoreboard. Since it has to be seen from hundreds of feet away, the numbers are definitely a little bigger than one might suspect. But just how big? The runs and hits tiles are 16 inches by 16 inches and weigh three pounds apiece.
From World Series celebrations to NHL hockey games. Legendary rock concerts to championship boxing matches…FenwayPark has been the home of plenty of memorable moments. That said, the 100 year old stadium has never seen a perfect game. The closest it came was in 1917. Babe Ruth started the game and walked the leadoff hitter. Ruth argued the call and was tossed out of the game. ErnieShore came in in relief and after that initial batter was thrown out trying to steal second…retired the next 26 batters he faced.
Shawn Anderson

About Shawn Anderson

Shawn Anderson is that guy who, instead of sitting there talking about the game going on around him, is talking wise about the history of baseball. He believes baseball figures such as Tommy John, Harold Baines, Ron Guidry and Billy Martin deserve their own plaque somewhere if not in Cooperstown. You can follow him on Twitter at @HOVG.