Today, 20 April 2011, marks 99 years since the Red Sox officially opened Fenway Park with a 7-6, 11-inning victory over the New York Highlanders. With that in mind, the team officially announced plans to celebrate the park’s 100th anniversary next season with the unveiling of a new web site, fenwaypark100.com.
Today, 20 April 2011, marks 99 years since the Red Sox officially opened Fenway Park with a 7-6, 11-inning victory over the New York Highlanders. With that in mind, the team officially announced plans to celebrate the park’s 100th anniversary next season with the unveiling of a new web site, fenwaypark100.com. There, fans will be able to find a wide array of information, including a look at the park throughout the first 100 years, the features that make Fenway Park unique like the Pesky Pole and the Green Monster, and how to purchase bricks marked with personal messages that will be placed in the area of the concourse spanning from Gate B to Gate C. In addition, fans young and old will have the opportunity to share stories and ideas to mark the anniversary.
From President and CEO Larry Lucchino:
“We have decided to take an affirmative and active and engaging approach to this whole thing and try to make this celebration of 100 years unique. In our mind, it deserves a fitting, a grand and an extended celebration.”
In baseball, a ground-rule double is usually called when a batted ball bounces in fair territory on the field of play and then goes into the stands, in which case the batter and any runners are awarded two bases. These can also be called when a ball in play hits or gets lodged in an on-field obstruction; an example of this would be a ball that rolls under the canvas that covers the tarp cylinder at Fenway Park in the right field corner, known as “Canvas Alley.” Some time ago, a story began to circulate, thanks in part to Boston-area television sports reporters, that Fenway was the only ball park in Major League Baseball that included in its ground rules a ruling for a ground-rule triple. Apparently, there was a belief that if a batted ball strikes the ladder on the Green Monster during play, the batter would be awarded three bases. This has also been given credibility by several respected online sources to further perpetuate this belief.
For several years before the Monster Seats appeared above the infamous green left field wall, the Red Sox erected a 23-foot-high net above it in 1936 that stretched its entire length to offer some protection to businesses on Lansdowne Street from home run balls hit over the 37-foot-high structure. To enable groundskeepers to climb up to the netting and retrieve any balls that landed there, a ladder was installed that starts near the upper-left corner of the manual scoreboard, 13 feet above the ground. Once the Monster Seats were installed in 2003, the ladder was no longer a necessity but the team left it in place as a visible reminder of a “forgotten” feature of the ball park.
In truth, hitting the ladder with a batted ball only matters if the ball strikes the top of it and then goes out of the park, in which case the batter along with any base runners are awarded two bases; otherwise, the ball stays in play and batters and base runners alike can advance on their own free will. According to Fenway Park ground rules listed at the official online site for the Red Sox, there is no mention of a ground-rule triple, thereby making it merely an urban myth.