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Red chair marks seat of power in Fenway bleachers

Mo Vaughn would swing and grunt and crush another batting practice home run at Fenway Park. He’d watch it land a few rows behind the bullpen. And then he’d turn to anyone listening behind the cage and say, ‘‘No way! No way nobody ever hit a ball to that seat!’’

He was talking about the red seat — the single crimson chair-back in a bleacher section awash in green.

Five hundred and two feet from home plate.

If you are holding a ticket for Seat 21 in Row 37 of Section 42, you are holding a ticket to the red seat. It marks the spot where Ted Williams hit the longest measured home run in the 100-year history of Fenway Park.


From June 10, 1946: Williams blasts mammoth home run

From June 9, 1996: Long ago, Williams’ shot went far away

We’ll never know the true distance of the shots that screech over the left-field wall, over Lansdowne Street, onto the roof of the parking garage that abuts the Massachusetts Turnpike. We all have our favorites.

The red seat marks the spot where Teddy Ballgame’s moon-shot landed when he launched a changeup from Detroit pitcher Fred Hutchinson on June 9, 1946. The ball famously crashed through a straw hat worn by Joseph A. Boucher, a construction engineer who lost the ball in the sun as it sailed over the head of Tigers right fielder Pat Mullin and over the visitors bullpen.

‘‘How far must one sit to be safe in this park?’’ Boucher asked the Globe’s intrepid Harold Kaese when he posed for a photo after the game.

‘‘He threw me a changeup and I saw it coming,’’ Williams told the Globe in 1996. ‘‘I picked it up fast and I just whaled into it.

‘‘I got just the right trajectory. Geez, it just kept going. It was probably as long as I’ve ever hit one.’’


Sox owner Haywood Sullivan made the decision to honor the moment by placing the red chair-back in Section 42 in 1984.