The Wall, now known affectionately as the "Green Monster," is unquestionably the defining feature of Fenway Park. It stands 37 feet high and 240 feet long, and its legend has been building since 1934. Though much has happened to it since then, the large, storied structure remains formidable to players and fans alike.
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The pole on the left-field foul line atop the Green Monster is known as the Fisk Foul Pole, in honor of Carlton Fisk's game-winning homer that struck the pole in the 12th inning of Game 6 of the 1975 World Series.
(Photo by David L. Ryan/Globe Staff)
310 and 96
At the foul pole, the Wall is only 309 feet and 3 inches from home plate, but for most of the century the Red Sox posted a sign that read "315." Club officials refused to allow an independent measurement of the distance, but when a Boston Globe reporter snuck into Fenway and came up with the new figure, the Sox grudgingly changed the sign to read 310 feet. Major League rules today stipulate that no fence in any new park be closer than 325 feet to home plate.
Yellow metric distances were added to the outfield walls in 1976, when it was thought that the US would adopt the metric system; thus the 315-foot marker had a smaller accompanying 96-meter marking in yellow. The metric figures were painted over during the 2002 season.
(Jim Davis/Globe Staff)
A ladder runs from above the scoreboard to the top of the Wall. It was once used to retrieve home-run balls, but it is no longer needed with the advent of the Monster seats. A ball is in play if it hits it.
(Photo by Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff)
Every time a player hits a home run over the Green Monster, the CITGO sign is seen by fans at the ballpark and on television. The computer-operated sign is double-faced and measures 60 feet by 60 feet. In early 2005, the sign received a major restoration and technology upgrade from neon light to LEDs.
(Photo by Essdras M. Suarez/Globe Staff)
The "Fence Green"
The green paint used on the wall is a 100 percent acrylic made by California Paints, which was founded in Cambridge in 1926 and is now based in Andover, Massachusetts. The color, called "Fence Green," is considered proprietary by the Red Sox; it is not sold publicly, and the formula of colorants is a secret. The hue of Fence Green has apparently been the same since the wall was first painted in 1947, although California Paints didn't start producing the color until the 1970s. It takes about 35 gallons of paint to cover the wall. Other green hues are used around Fenway Park, including Scoreboard Green, Box Green, and Special Green.
Inside the Wall
It's scorching in the summer and cold in the spring and fall, but scorekeepers get spectacular front-row seats and a chance to chat with outfielders, who enter through a door that opens onto the field, during breaks in play. Manny Ramirez was particularly fond of ducking inside, sometimes barely making it back out before the game resumed. There is no permanent bathroom, although portables have been used.
(Globe File Photo: Brian Snyder/Reuters)
Graffiti and autographs
The interior walls are scribbled with graffiti. Some of it is illegible, but you will find signatures from many American League players of the last half-century, not to mention non-baseball celebrities such as James Taylor and Neil Diamond. A quote by Tom Petty, "The waiting is the hardest part," graces one beam. And somebody inside the Wall logged the home runs hit by Ted Williams in 1951 (there were 30, including the 300th of his career).
(Photo by Barry Chin/Globe Staff)
The hand-operated scoreboard
The scoreboard today is very similar to the one that was constructed in 1934 and is still manually updated by a pair of attendants who work inside the Wall during games. The line score of the game as well as the day's other American League games is displayed on 16-inch-by-12-inch steel plates weighing 2 pounds that are changed by hand from within the Wall. In 2003, a panel for National League scores was added; those numbers must be changed from the outside between innings.
(Photo by Jim Davis/Globe Staff)
The Morse code
The initials of former-owner Thomas A. Yawkey and his wife Jean R. Yawkey are written in Morse code vertically in two columns on the scoreboard.
(Photo by Stan Grossfeld/Globe Staff)
The late NBC-TV director Harry Coyle put a camera inside the left-field wall. It captured what many consider the best baseball video clip of all time: the 12th inning of Game 6 of the World Series when Carlton Fisk waved his arms, willing his fly ball into fair territory.
(Globe file photo)