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# A ballpark figure, in other words

In Billy Baker’s June 22 Metro article “How hot was it? It was so hot that . . . ,” he writes that the Red Sox groundskeeper “said he could probably fry enough eggs on the Green Monster to feed the entire city.” Baker correctly adds, “Not possible, mathematically, but he could probably fry enough for everyone in the stadium.”

This is a classic estimation problem, so I did the math. I teach quantitative reasoning at UMass Boston; if school were in session I’d assign this problem.

The Green Monster is about 40 feet tall. The Fenway Park seating chart suggests that it’s about two-thirds as long as the distance to home plate along the third base line; call that 200 feet. So its area is about 8,000 square feet.

Imagine that a frying egg fills a square between 3 and 4 inches on a side. That’s between 9 and 16 per square foot — call it 10 eggs per square foot to make the arithmetic easy. With the wall flat on the field, like a frying pan, you could fit eggs for about 80,000 people — good enough for all of the roughly 37,000 fans at the park even if you left pathways to get to the eggs to turn them over. It would take about eight shifts to cook for all 600,000 Bostonians.

Ethan Bolker

Newton Highlands