Fenway Park

Ever Wonder Series: Why did the distance of Fenway Park's Green Monster change?

Ever Wonder Series: Why did the distance of Fenway Park's Green Monster change?

Of all of Fenway Park's quirks, my favorite might be how the 315-foot sign on the Green Monster suddenly became 310.

It's possible I love this story because the sportswriter gets to be the hero.

In 1995, the Globe's Dan Shaughnessy decided to settle one of the most persistent rumors of his career. He remembers hearing it as a cub reporter during the 1975 World Series, when the Reds insisted to a man that Fenway's famed left field fence couldn't possibly be 315 down the line.

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They all believed it was closer, but no one could prove it, because the Red Sox resisted periodic efforts to measure and answer the question once and for all.

That didn't stop the Globe from accessing the park's original 1912 blueprints, which showed the wall at 308 feet. They enlisted a World War II reconnaissance pilot to examine aerial photos, and he pegged it at 304. The author George Sullivan crawled up the foul line with a yardstick and settled on 309-5.

None of those numbers ever became official, though, because 315 by that point had been well-established as part of the park's lore. Fenway opened in 1912, was extensively renovated in 1934, and added bullpens in 1940, giving us the dimensions we essentially recognize today. For more than 60 years, the 315 sign at the base of the foul pole beckoned right-handed sluggers, terrified pitchers, and lived in what felt like perfect accuracy.

But Shaughnessy had other ideas. He finally decided to take matters into his own hands in March of 1995. His friends on the grounds crew looked the other way as he hopped a fence in an empty Fenway and unfurled a 100-foot Stanley SteelMaster tape measure.

It only took a matter of minutes to prove his hunch correct: 315 wasn't 315 at all.

It was 310, or 309-3, to be precise. Shaughnessy wrote about his findings in late April, and within a month, the Red Sox had quietly changed the sign to 310, which it remains to this day.

"My whole life looking at that wall, it was 315," Shaughnessy said. "Shortly after the story appeared, they changed it to 310, which surprised me. It was very un-Red Sox like in those days, and these days.

"Now when I see 310, I take some pride in that."

Red Sox hold touching Memorial Day tribute at Fenway Park

Red Sox hold touching Memorial Day tribute at Fenway Park

The Boston Red Sox on Monday paid tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the United States of America.

At a nearly-empty Fenway Park, the Red Sox honored Memorial Day by dropping the American flag over the Green Monster. Robert Bean, a Medford, Mass., native and retired member of the United States Marine Corps and National Guard, performed “Taps” to top off the moving tribute.

See more from the ceremony below:


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Boston was supposed to host the Kansas City Royals for a Memorial Day matchup. Unfortunately, we were unable to be treated to baseball on the holiday, but credit to the Red Sox for going on with their tribute to our fallen heroes.

On National Nurses Day, Red Sox honor them with tribute on Fenway Park's grass

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Photo courtesy of the Boston Red Sox

On National Nurses Day, Red Sox honor them with tribute on Fenway Park's grass

Fenway Park is empty and it's uncertain the next time it will be filled with fans, but the Red Sox wanted to make sure their salute to nurses on National Nurses Day was visible.

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The Fenway grounds crew, led by head groundskeeper Dave Mellor and his penchant for mowing designs into the outfield grass, had a message for nurses as they continue to battle on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

Note the socially distant socks. 

The Sox and actor John Krasinski honored medical workers from nearby Beth Israel Hospital's COVID-19 unit with a surprise visit to Fenway last month.