Fenway Park – Ballpark Review

Check out my other reviews by clicking the links in the list below. List is my personal ranking of favorite to least.

  1. PNC Park – Pittsburgh Pirates
  2. Oriole Park at Camden Yards – Baltimore Orioles
  3. Fenway Park – Boston Red Sox
  4. Wrigley Field – Chicago Cubs
  5. Comerica Park – Detroit Tigers
  6. Yankee Stadium – New York Yankees
  7. Citi Field – New York Mets
  8. Miller Park – Milwaukee Brewers
  9. Nationals Park – Washington Nationals
  10. Progressive Field – Cleveland Indians
  11. Marlins Park – Miami Marlins

All photos were taken by me.

Fenway ParkBoston, MA

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The 5th ballpark I got to visit is the classic Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox. This is baseball’s oldest ballpark built in 1912 and an absolute must visit for any baseball fan. It seats 37,949.

Claimed as “America’s Most Beloved Ballpark” Fenway Park stands west of downtown Boston in a neighborhood called Fenway-Kenmore.

If you go to Fenway, try to find any way to the game that avoids driving. Parking close to the stadium can cost around $40. Parking even a mile or more away can cost $20 or more. If you must drive, DEFINITELY leave with more than enough time. Getting in and out of Boston can be rough with traffic and congestion.

There are multiple trains in the area that can get you the park for a low price. There are multiple stations outside the city where you can pay to park and take the T into the game.

If you went to Fenway for your first time and there wasn’t a game that day, you might not realize that you’re outside the ballpark. It’s small and looks like another brick building. Roger Clemens thought he was outside a warehouse when he was traded to Boston when the cab driver dropped him off at the park.

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On game day though, the surrounding streets are closed to traffic and turn into a massive block party. There is a ton of stuff to do. These Boston fans love their Red Sox, and they show up early to have fun.

Lansdowne Street is filled with food vendors and the surrounding bars are all packed. The food from the vendors on the streets is some of the best you can find. Definitely worth trying. If you wait to eat until inside, go for a Fenway Frank. It’s a classic park, got to have a baseball classic food to match. Lansdowne is home to great night life for anyone looking for something to do after a night game.

image-6Van Ness Street is a great place outside the park to get a glimpse of some Red Sox history. You can find plaques commemorating the careers of great players, the retired numbers of Red Sox legends on the side of stadium, and statues on multiple Red Sox legends at the Van Ness/Ipswich Gate.

The main entrance to the park actually takes place on Yawkey Way. They scan your ticket out on the street. There are more food options and different family activities on this street. The team shop is located on Yawkey Way outside the ballpark.

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When you go inside the park, you can tell it was built in 1912, and that is one of the things that makes the experience so awesome. The concourses aren’t very wide and the ceiling is low as you walk through areas that have seating above them.

From the Green Monster in left, the triangle in center, and Pesky’s Pole down the right field line, the playing field layout is easily the most unique in baseball. This place blew me away once I walked through the tunnel and saw the field for the first time.

First thing you notice when you walk into the seating sections is how massive the Green Monster actually is. At 37′ 2″the Green Monster is the tallest wall in baseball and one of the most iconic features in all of sports.

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It stretches 231 feet from the left field line out to center field. It is only 310 feet down the line in left, you just have to get it over the Monster. It looks big on TV, but it’s even bigger in person.

Seats were put on top of the Green Monster in 2003, they’re tough to get though. You need a ticket to even get on top of the Monster for a picture which was a bummer.

On the wall of the Green Monster is a hand operated score board. A couple people work underneath the wall through the games to manually operate the boards. It’s really cool. They have out of town scores as well as the Red Sox. The National League scoreboard is blocked by supports underneath the wall, so someone comes out with a ladder in between innings to update the scores.

The Triangle is an area in center field 420 feet away from the plate where the walls meet to form a triangle. True center field is about 390 feet away and the wall is 17 feet tall. It’s a tough play for defenders when the ball heads to that area.

There are two garage-like doors to the left of the triangle if you are looking out from home plate. On the other side of the door on the left is a place called the Bleacher Bar. You can go into the Bleacher Bar and walk up and see through the door onto the field. The entrance is on Lansdowne Street. It’s open all year and even is open on game day so you can watch the teams take batting practice from there. They close it so you can’t see the field once the game starts though. You don’t need a game ticket to enter. It’s awesome. Coolest bar I’ve ever been to.

Right field has it’s own character as well. The bullpens are located 380 feet away in right center field and the wall is only 5 feet high. If you continue into right the wall drops down to a height of 3 feet.

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The foul pole, known as Pesky’s Pole, is only 302 feet from the plate, but it’s not an easy place to hit a home run. The pole named after Red Sox infielder Johnny Pesky who wasn’t a power hitter (17 career home runs). An old Red Sox announcer started calling the pole that after Pesky won a game with a home run that barely hooked around the pole.

In section 42 behind the bullpens, 37 rows up, you can find a lonesome red seat amongst the green seats. This seat is to commemorate where a 502 foot home run hit by Ted Williams landed. Big Papi called bullshit on a ball being hit that far. Ted Williams did it “vitamin” free too.

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You can buy a ticket to the seat through the Fenway box office.

Tickets for a Red Sox game are expensive. The place is always sold out and the atmosphere is always electric. The fans back the Sox 100% whether they’re in 1st place of dead last. They charge a lot because they know it is such a popular destination, but it is worth it to see this place at least once.

If you sit up in the infield grandstand, you risk an obstructed view by a support pole. When we went, we bought tickets a couple rows off the field on the third base line. It was awesome to sit a couple rows back to watch Mike Trout play.

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This brings me to the only thing I don’t like about this park. The seating. It is very crammed and very uncomfortable. The rows in between sections are narrow and wide enough for one person to go up or down. The seats themselves narrow and there isn’t a lot of leg room. If you sit down on the right field line, the seats are facing the green monster in left, and you have to sit with your neck turned the whole time to see the action.

The seats in the infield grandstand under the upper deck are wooden. They’re the same seats that were installed in 1934. While this is awesome, they’re extremely tough to sit in. It’s more of an experience to say that you sat in them. Replacing the seats would decrease capacity by a couple thousand. I don’t see it happening.

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Pretty obvious difference in 1934 seats vs newer seats.

Fenway offers awesome ballpark tours every day as well, which are well worth it.

The tour took us into the press box, on top of the Green Monster, visitor’s clubhouse, and the Royal Rooters Club. Inside the club I found my favorite place in the park. A showcase featuring a signed baseball from every World Series Championship team from 1903 to present.

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1927 Yankees World Series Champions signed ball with Babe Ruth right in the middle. Incredible.

Fenway Park is as good as it gets. The fans are passionate. The atmosphere is un-matchable. There’s tons of stuff to do for fans of all ages. It’s one of the world’s most famous sports venues. It could be the best place to watch a ball game, it just isn’t the most comforting place to watch a ball game. The tight seating is apart of the park’s character, it just didn’t benefit a tall guy like myself. It’s expensive, but well worth every dollar spent. Be sure to sing ‘Sweet Caroline’ with the whole ballpark before the bottom of the 8th.

This place is truly one of a kind.

Overall, 9.5/10.

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