Fenway Park Tickets
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BOSTON RED SOX: Fenway Park
When the Boston Red Sox hosted the first official game at Fenway Park on April 20, 1912, it was big news, as the Red Sox posted a 7-6 win over the New York Highlanders (later to be the New York Yankees) in 11 innings. In fact, it might have been the lead story in all the papers except for one other story that had been dominating the East Coast papers for several days-the sinking of the Titanic five days earlier.
That’s how long Fenway Park has been a relevant part of Americana. Red Sox tickets have long been one of the most cherished items in New England (due in part to the stadium’s relatively small capacity of 36,298) and the Sox have worked their way into the fabric of the region.
A significant part of that fan obsession comes from Fenway Park, one of the most historic ballparks in the major leagues. The quirks of the park have reached almost mythic status, led by the fabled Green Monster towering over left field. The Red Sox claim it’s 310 feet to the 37 foot-high Monster, but other estimates have disputed that figure. There’s no disputing one other feature of the Green Monster-it includes the only in-play ladder in the major leagues. The purpose of the ladder? It allows the groundskeeper to remove batting practice home run balls from the netting above the wall. And if you ever get a chance to play left field for the Red Sox, you’ll discover a room behind the manual scoreboard at the base of the Monster where Red Sox left fielders autograph a wall as a testament to their time in left.
The Green Monster is a legendary place for home runs to come to rest, but the Red Sox actually tweaked the walls in right field to help one of their most important sluggers. With lefthanded Ted Williams their most important hitter in the early 1940s, the Red Sox moved the bullpens to right field, which had the effect of reducing the fences in that area by 23 feet. Williams, of course, went on to be one of the game’s best hitters for both average and power.
The Red Sox have made occasional rumblings in recent years about searching for a Fenway replacement, angering fans who consider Red Sox tickets at Fenway a birthright. But in recent years, owner John Henry has shown a commitment to refurbishing Fenway rather than searching for a new park. Seats were added on top of the Green Monster in ‘03 (they’re sold at the ticket office only and are not offered online) and Yawkey Way is closed on game days to provide another attraction for fans.
Fenway has been a living monument to the game’s history, with perhaps the peak moment coming on July 13, 1999, when baseball unveiled the All-Century Team at the All-Star Game. In a moment for the ages, Ted Williams made an appearance on the team and was spontaneously surrounded by both the current All-Star teams. Red Sox favorite son and eventual game MVP Pedro Martinez caps the night with a terrific pitching performance, as he strikes out five batters (Barry Larkin, Larry Walker, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, and Jeff Bagwell) in a two-inning performance.
Year Built: 1912
‘12 attendance: 37,567 per game; 3,043,003 total
Dimensions: 310 to left, 379 to left-center, 389 to center, 380 to right-center, 302 to right
Hotels Nearby: Howard Johnson, Howard Johnson Inn, Boston Hotel Buckminster, The Eliot Suite Hotel, Hyatt Regency Cambridge
Thrill of victory: Oct. 21, 1975: Game 6 of the Red Sox-Cincinnati Reds World Series is delayed three days by rain. It turns out to be worth the wait. In one of the most memorable moments in baseball history, Carlton Fisk leads off the home half of the 12th with a home run off Pat Darcy. The image of Fisk edging down the first base line, pleading with his ball to stay fair, is etched in the memory of every Red Sox fan.
Agony of defeat: Oct. 22, 1975: As Red Sox have grown to expect, heartbreak followed triumph almost immediately. After Fisk’s clutch homer, it seemed the pieces were in place for the Sox to break the 1918 drought. Red Sox World Series ticket were the hottest item in Boston. The Sox took a 3-0 lead in Game 7 but the Reds battled back, and in the top of the ninth with two outs Joe Morgan hit an RBI single to give the Reds a 4-3 lead and, eventually, the World Series title.
Red Sox Ticket Tips: Fenway Park is the model many newer “retro” parks were built on. But don’t be fooled-rather than the wide rows and terrific sightlines fans have come to expect in newer parks, Fenway Park seating is, in both good and bad ways, very antique. Rows are, for the most part, narrow, as are the seats. Some aren’t angled the right way-for example, don’t buy a seat down the right field line. The bleacher seats are cheaper and are positioned directly toward home plate. But foul ground is minimal and it’s difficult to find a truly bad seat unless you’re positioned behind one of the concrete beams that support the upper deck. Be forewarned: because of its small capacity, owners have to squeeze every dollar out of Red Sox tickets that they can. You won’t be anywhere in the infield for less than $45, and the best tickets are $80 and above. If you truly want to experience the best of a Fenway Park game, there’s only one series to see: the New York Yankees. Yankees-Sox is the very definition of a cultural rivalry.