It looks as if it was kissed by an endless stretch of gentle sun, this most famous lawn in New England. But as the players take to the field Friday in the Red Sox home opener, the nearly emerald grass of Fenway Park will hide a sometimes frantic, monthslong effort to defy the cruelest winter and spring in memory.
In fact, the most valuable players this spring never wore mitts and cleats, but heavy gloves and work boots, as part of a gargantuan effort that nobody should try at home. The grounds crew employed massive heaters, spread hundreds of yards of hose, and created an entire elaborate — and warm — ecosystem within the confines of the famous ballpark. On the coldest February nights, Fenway was like a little patch of tropics.