On Wednesday May 21, 2014, I had the opportunity to connect with history in a way that many Red Sox fans can only dream of: I spent 1 inning inside the Green Monster scoreboard. What did it look like inside?
What does the view onto the field look like?
In this post you will learn about the history of the Boston Red Sox, Fenway Park, and see what it looks like inside the Green Monster scoreboard.
The history of the Boston Red Sox begins in 1901.
The team comprised 1 of the 8 original teams of the American League.* However, at their start the Red Sox did not play as the Red Sox, but as the Boston Americans—the Boston team in the American League.
In 1903, the Boston Americans won the first World Series by defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates 5 games to 3 games.
In 1904, John I. Taylor purchased the Boston Americans. After a dismal 1907 season, Taylor changed the uniforms and name of the team.
In 1908, the team began wearing white uniforms with red stockings. Taylor renamed his team “Red Stockings,” after the red socks the team wore.
Later, Taylor shortened the name to “Red Sox.”
Between 1901 and 1911, the Red Sox played at the Huntington Avenue Base Ball Grounds.
The grounds seated approximately 9,000 fans and 1,000 additional fans could stand behind ropes in foul territory and the outfield.
The Red Sox’s lease on the Huntington Avenue Grounds was set to expire at the end of the 1911 season. Rather than renew the lease, Taylor built his team a new ballpark on land that he had purchased in Boston’s Fenway.
The Red Sox played their first game in Fenway Park on April 20, 1912 against the New York Highlanders; in 1913 the Highlanders changed their name to the “New York Yankees.”
Taylor disliked the unenclosed expanses of the Huntington Avenue Grounds because it allowed fans to watch a game without paying. Taylor fixed this flaw when he built his new park.
In 1912, Fenway Park featured a wall across its outfield to prevent fans from watching a game without buying a ticket. This wall still remains but it has changed since 1912.
Built of wood, the original wall burned down in 1934. Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey replaced the wooden wall with a tin wall.
Yawkey sold advertisements along the Fenway wall until 1947, when he painted the wall green and installed a manual scoreboard at its bottom. This green wall became known as the Green Monster.
In 1976, Yawkey replaced the tin wall with a hard plastic wall--this is the wall that stands today, although in 2003, the New England Sports Ventures ownership group modified the monster by adding seats on top of it.
What Does it Look Like Inside the Green Monster Scoreboard?
Inside the Green Monster scoreboard you will find a narrow space that contains a lot of history.
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*The original 16 teams of baseball:
American League: Chicago White Stockings, Boston Americans, Detroit Tigers, Philadelphia Athletics, Baltimore Orioles, Washington Senators, Cleveland Bluebirds, and Milwaukee Brewers.
National League: Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Phillies, Brooklyn Superbas, St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Beaneaters, Chicago Orphans, New York Giants, and Cincinnati Reds.