Fenway's 'red seat' just one of many legendary homer sites in ballparks across America (2024)

It sounds like a tall tale, a campfire story for the kids. And yet in some fashion, it happened: On June 9, 1946, in the first inning of the second game of a doubleheader between the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park, Ted Williams jumped on a Fred Hutchinson changeup and hit it so good, so good, that it climbed two-thirds of the way up the right-field bleachers before crashing atop the straw hat worn by a fella named Fred Boucher of Albany, N.Y.


No fewer than five Boston newspapers ran varying accounts of the mighty blast. One sportswriter, the Boston Globe’s Harold Kaese, took it upon himself to trek out to the bleachers for a chat with Mr. Boucher, who told the hustlin’ scribe, “The sun was right in our eyes. All we could do is duck. I’m glad I didn’t stand up. They say it bounced a dozen rows higher, but after it hit my head, I was no longer interested.”

Guestimates in the next day’s papers put the distance at 450 feet. Thanks to input from an array of physicists, mathematicians, meteorologists and baseball scholars, the home run is now listed as having traveled 502 feet. In 1984, Teddy Ballgame’s hat-denting homer was granted landmark status at Fenway Park when the Red Sox applied a coat of bright red paint to Seat 21 in Section 42, Row 37. That Fenway didn’t actually have bleacher seats in 1946, just long wooden benches, is beside the point. But, yes, many a slugger over the years has expressed doubts that Williams really hit the ball that far. Red Sox first baseman Triston Casas, after hitting an April 13 home run at Fenway Park that was measured at 429 feet, told reporters, “That’s my best ball, for sure. I had one hit harder, exit velo-wise, last year. But that Ted Williams seat is starting to feel more and more like a myth.”

In 2015, the Hall of Fame-bound Sox slugger David Ortiz told the Globe’s Alex Speier: “The red seat. Cough — bull — cough.”

But let’s not quibble: Everyone agrees Williams hit a home run for the ages that day, which is why the “Red Seat” is as much a part of your $25 Fenway Park tour as the Green Monster and Pesky’s Pole. RetiredWorcester Telegram sportswriter Bill Ballou put it best in his 2003 history of the Red Seat: “While it has become legend, it is not a myth and never has been one. It may not be in exactly the right place in the bleachers, but it can never lose its place in Red Sox history.”


And yet all ballparks, from the beer leagues to the big leagues, have a red seat. Oh, it might not be red, might not be an actual seat at all, or even a plank of wood, but it’s that special place where somebody’s mighty blast sailed over the fence and directly into local lore, never to be forgotten by those who were there, even if the details get fuzzy or pumped with embellishment.

Plus, your red seat might not be somebody else’s red seat. What follows are five stories about home runs that didn’t win pennants or championships, didn’t set records, didn’t establish statistical milestones for the sluggers who hit them. Nor were they hit in actual regular-season, big-league games. They’re Snow Globe home runs is what they are, bright and shiny but existing in their own little world, every one of them worthy of a red seat.

CC Sabathia and the eucalyptus tree

Bob Patterson Park, Vallejo, Calif., 2003

CC Sabathia broke into the big leagues in 2001 as an eager 20-year-old with the Cleveland Indians. He closed out his brilliant career in 2019 as a grizzled 39-year-old New York Yankee. Along the way, the 6-foot-6 left-hander, his weight fluctuating over the years but cemented at 300 pounds per Baseball-Reference, won 251 games and registered 3,093 strikeouts; when he makes his debut on the Hall of Fame ballot next winter, his passage to Cooperstown should be rubber-stamped.

What often gets left on the cutting-room floor in any discussion of Sabathia’s playing career is that the man could hit a little. He didn’t get many plate appearances over the years, the DH and all, but he did hit three big-league home runs, all of them no-doubters.

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CC Sabathia hits one of his three career home runs for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2008. (Morry Gash / Associated Press)

But back home in Vallejo, Calif., about 23 miles north of Oakland, people who watched Sabathia during his growing-up days knew he could hit the long ball. As for next-generation Vallejo High baseball players who may have had actual doubts, seeing was believing when Sabathia appeared in the school’s annual alumni game in February of 2003.


It was the alums vs. the current players, and the old-timers fielded a pretty good team. In addition to Sabathia, it included Damon Hollins, an outfielder who played parts of four seasons in the big leagues between 1998 and 2006 with the Braves, Dodgers and Rays, and Joe Thurston, an infielder whose seven seasons in the bigs between 2002 and 2011 included stops with the Dodgers, Phillies, Red Sox, Cardinals and Marlins. Dave Bernstine, Sabathia’s catcher at Vallejo High, played three seasons of minor-league ball. Infielder Chris Smith played four seasons in the Angels farm system.

Imagine what it must have been like for the kids to play against all those pros who had once been Vallejo Redhawks.

Imagine what it must have been like to watch CC Sabathia hit a home run that, even now, more than two decades later, is hard to put into words by those who were there.

“When I think of that home run, what comes to mind is, ‘Oooooooooh,’” said Josh Ramos, 38, the current baseball coach and athletic director at Vallejo. Ramos was a senior, and playing shortstop, when Sabathia, armed with an aluminum bat, jumped on a pitch from senior Aaron Boggs and hit it high and deep to right field. (Boggs, who also played football at Vallejo, died in 2020. He was 35.)

“I had seen CC taking batting practice before the game,” Ramos said. “And then I looked over to my third baseman, Pat Brooks, and I said, ‘He’s going to hit a bomb right here.’ He kind of nodded up and down, and when he hit the ball it was, ‘Oooooooooh.’ That’s what I heard. Oh my gosh, it was hit so far.”

How far? As far as that old eucalyptus tree way out there beyond the shop building, that’s how far.

The eucalyptus tree is Justin Saroyan’s show-and-tell in this discussion. He’s Vallejo High Class of ’96 — an outfielder on the varsity team during Sabathia’s sophom*ore year — and he was in the third-base dugout when the ball headed for that tree.


“It was mind-blowing how quickly it got out,” said Saroyan, 46, who was later a recreation supervisor at the Vallejo Recreation District for 25 years. “I think it hit about 10 or 20 feet up the tree. The sound was as if you took a baseball bat and hit the tree.”

Saroyan grew up in Vallejo, as did his father. “I played on the same fields my father played on in Little League and high school,” Saroyan said. “He would always tell me about different guys he grew up with who hit monster home runs, and where they landed, and I got interested in that. Plus, I was an A’s fan and I watched (Mark) McGwire and (Jose) Canseco. I followed the Herculean feats of the great sluggers.”

Saroyan was inspired to measure the distance of Sabathia’s home run. His finding: 511 feet to the base of the eucalyptustree.

A grainy video of the home run shows Sabathia’s swing, after which the camera moves to the right, showing the shop building and, beyond that, the tree. The flight of the ball can’t be seen. As Sabathia crosses home and is mobbed by teammates, Damon Hollins can be heard saying, “C, you ain’t right, man.”

Yes, Sabathia was using an aluminum cudgel. Yes, the pitcher was a high school student. “But CC always had a good swing,” said Hollins, now first-base coach of the Kansas City Royals. “I remember watching on SportsCenter or someplace when he hit a home run in Cincinnati. He’s balanced, he’s short to the ball, he’s direct to the ball, he’s out in front on the fastball, front foot is down. If he had played a long time in the National League before they had the DH he would have led all pitchers in home runs for sure.”

Vallejo no longer stages an alumni baseball game, but Sabathia returned to take part in a home run derby after Ramos became head coach. “It was just home run after home run after home run from him,” Ramos said. “It’s so great that he’s remained part of the program. I was 15 the first time he came by, pulling up in his white Ferrari. You don’t know what it’s like to be a kid and get to practice with a guy like that.”

Thanks to contributions from Sabathia, financial as well as being a longtime presence, Vallejo High now plays at the renovated and renamed CC Sabathia Field at Bob Patterson Park.


The eucalyptus tree, old and tired, was taken down several years ago.

“At one point it was just a trunk, and then it started to fall down,” Saroyan said. “I like to say it was because CC hit it so hard with that baseball.”

The Babe bids Sanford adieu

Goodall Park, Sanford, Maine, Oct. 1, 1919

Offseason barnstorming was easy money for ballplayers in the early 20th century, and nobody cashed in like Babe Ruth. Ever the showman, the Babe suited up for exhibition games throughout the northeast and even out west, his mere presence guaranteed to shut down entire towns so that folks could flock to the local ball field and see baseball’s greatest slugger swing for the fences.

That’s exactly what happened on Oct. 1, 1919, when Ruth, star pitcher/outfielder for the Red Sox, took a busload of teammates to Goodall Park in Sanford, Maine, to play a stitched-together collection of local All-Stars. According to the Portland Evening Express, “… all factories and stores closed, and the attendance was the record one for the season.”

Ruth was fresh off a season in which he had socked a major-league record 29 home runs for the Red Sox, and now he’d be playing at Goodall Park, a postcard-pretty ball yard donated to the town by the wealthy Goodall family. That the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago White Sox would be playing Game 1 of the World Series that very day didn’t mean a thing; it would be another two years before live broadcasts of the Fall Classic crackled over the airwaves. In retrospect, Sanford fans needn’t have bothered investing their time in the 1919 World Series; turns out the Chicago “Black Sox,” as they were called, were trying to lose. Not so the Babe. True, he did insert himself in the lineup as his team’s third baseman, an odd choice for a lefty thrower, but Ruth was all business when he stepped up to the plate in the eighth inning and hit a three-run homer over the right field fence and right into Sanford lore. All that’s known about the pitcher is what’s in the boxscore: “Barclay.”

True, it was only 288 feet down the line in those days. But, according to the Sanford Tribune, “Ruth caught the old pill and sailed it over the right field fence, 30 or more feet inside the foul line and with a clearance of a full forty feet.” It didn’t go unnoticed by the Tribune that the Babe was “… thereafter taking his time in jogging around the bases in the wake of the two men who preceded him across the plate.” The final score was Red Sox 4, “Sanford Pros” 3.

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Babe Ruth barnstorming in 1923 in California. (Photo Reproduction by Transcendental Graphics / Getty Images)

More than a century later, the home run remains a point of civic pride. Locals proudly point to the right-field fence (not the same fence, of course) as they tell you it was one of the last home runs Ruth hit in a Red Sox uniform before his contract was sold to the New York Yankees two months later, an event that changed history for both ball clubs.


It also helps that Goodall is such a spectacularly beautiful, old-timey park that it looks like a place Babe Ruth would have hit a home run. The original wood grandstand was destroyed by an arsonist in 1997, but a spirited fundraising effort brought in $1 million for a rebuild. Still oozing nostalgia, Goodall Park is home to the Sanford Mainers of the New England Collegiate Baseball League, as well as the local high school team and, of course, the Sanford Babe Ruth League.

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The Sanford Mainers doing drills, with Goodall Park’s outfield in the background. (Gabe Souza / Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

Sanford native Jacob Ouellette, 32, a marketing specialist with Stonewall Kitchen in nearby York who also serves as chairman of the Sanford Mainers, has vivid memories of how the Babe’s home run factored into rebuilding Goodall Park. “They were selling T-shirts with a cartoon-like drawing of what Goodall Park used to look like, and it had a caricature of Babe Ruth holding a bat and towering over it,” he said. “It was the coolest shirt in the world. As a little kid I wore it as my nightshirt.”

While there are no living witnesses to the Sultan of Sanford’s mighty swat, to step into Goodall Park is to get an instant history lesson, according to Carl Johnson, a Stonington, Conn., native who came to Sanford in 1956 to play baseball at the old Nasson College.

“It was the first thing I learned about Goodall Park,” said Johnson, 86. “Almost any time you were there you’d hear people talking about Babe Ruth and the home run.”

Oddibe hitting shots off the firehouse again

Veterans Field, Chatham, Mass., June 26, 1984

Former big-league outfielder Oddibe McDowell, now in his 10th season as baseball coach at McArthur High School in his native Hollywood, Fla., apologized for having only a few minutes to talk, what with practice beginning soon. But when he was asked about the home run he hit for the United States Olympic baseball team in 1984 to settle matters in an exhibition game against the Cape Cod League All-Stars, McDowell responded in a way that made it seem he wasn’t in much of a hurry anymore.

“Oh, the firehouse,” he said over the phone, laughing softly.

Yes, the firehouse. And then McDowell relayed an anecdote from a few years back about a friend who was planning a trip to Chatham, Mass., a touristy little town on the southeast tip of Cape Cod.

“I said to him, ‘Ask the people about the home run I hit to the firehouse,’” McDowell said. “I told him I played there once and caught hold of a ball and it just went a long, long ways.


“I don’t know if the firehouse is still there,” McDowell said, “but that’s where the ball went. I’ll never forget that one.”

The original firehouse, located on the other side of Depot Road across from Chatham’s Veterans Field, no longer exists. But a newer, larger firehouse sits on roughly the same footprint, all the better to accommodate a newer, larger fire department. New firehouse or old, it’s still the place where McDowell, a 5-foot-9, 165-pound center fielder out of Arizona State who just three weeks earlier had been selected by the Texas Rangers with the 13th pick in the June amateur draft, launched a two-run, ninth-inning home run off University of Delaware pitcher Mark Johnston that carried Team USA to a 5-4 victory in an exhibition game against Team Cape Cod.

Judy Scarafile, who would later serve as president of the Cape Cod Baseball League and was there that night, said, “When he hit it, we all just stopped and looked and couldn’t believe how far it went. Everyone was saying, ‘Look at it! What a shot!’”

Just how far of a shot was it? To assist with this story, a dream team of Cape Cod League stalwarts, including league historian Mike Richard, longtime publicist John Garner, Chatham Anglers president Steve West and field director Robby Grenier — joined by retired Chatham Fire Dept. chief Pete Connick — took part in a mission to measure the distance of McDowell’s home run. They began at home plate, continued beyond the 357 sign in right-center, and stopped at the spot where it’s believed the ball one-hopped the old firehouse. Their finding: 502 feet.

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Chatham’s Veterans Field, with the current version of the firehouse visible over the right field fence. (Barry Chin / The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

One newspaper account put the attendance for the game at 4,000. That’s being modest, said John Castleberry, the current Cape Cod League commissioner as well as a scout with the San Francisco Giants. He, too, was at the game.

“There were probably 10,000 people there,” he said. “I know the difference. There were people on top of the hill and down the lines, and they were six deep. And for the US team to win the game that way, with that kind of a home run, was pretty exciting.”

The Cape Cod Baseball League, founded in 1923, is the place where wannabe future big-leaguers go to hone their skills, polish their resumes, and, who knows, maybe even find summertime romance. Heck, there’s even a movie — “Summer Catch,” starring Freddie Prinze Jr. — that throws all three of these pursuits into one cinematic stewpot.


More than 1,600 CCBL players have gone on to play in the big leagues. Some of them left their mark by clouting tape-measure home runs. In 1988, Frank Thomas hit three home runs in Wareham, a feat that has an additional dose of luster considering the future Hall of Famer was using a bat given to him by Kansas City Royals star Bo Jackson during a meeting at Fenway Park. (They were both products of Auburn.) Also in 1988, at Eldredge Park in Orleans, future San Diego Padre Dave Staton hit a 440-foot home run over the center field fence during the Cape Cod League All-Star Game.

And yet it’s that home run by a non-Cape Cod League player — Oddibe McDowell — that continues to get the gab.

“Part of it is his name — Oddibe,” Scarafile said. “It’s a name you remember. And it was Team USA. Everybody wanted to see that team.”

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Oddibe McDowell with the Atlanta Braves in 1990. (Focus on Sport / Getty Images)

Indeed, Team USA was billed as a cast of future big-league stars. Future Hall of Famer Barry Larkin played for the team, as did Mark McGwire, Will Clark and B.J. Surhoff. As for McDowell, he was the winner of the 1984 Golden Spikes Award, presented to the nation’s top amateur ballplayer, and was named College Player of the Year by Baseball America.

At the Summer Games, where the baseball competition was a “demonstration sport,” Team USA lost to Japan, 6-3, in the championship game at Dodger Stadium. After that, it was off to professional baseball. McDowell needed just a 31-game minor-league tuneup in 1985 before the Rangers promoted him to the big leagues. He hit 18 home runs his rookie season, and 18 the next year. He played seven seasons in the majors, including stints with the Indians and Braves.

One of his proudest moments took place when his father, Oddibe Sr., came to watch him play for the Rangers and struck up a conversation with Minnesota Twins star Kirby Puckett.

“My dad was on the field watching batting practice when Kirby came up to him,” McDowell said. “Kirby said to my dad, ‘Is that your son?’ When he said yes, Kirby said, ‘I wanted to come out and watch because I can’t believe that little guy can hit the ball that far.’ My dad passed away in 2022. That conversation with Kirby was a great memory for him, and for me, too.”


Turns out it wasn’t just folks on Cape Cod who marveled at how far that 165-pound kid could hit a baseball. Kirby Puckett did, too.

The right field porch behind the right field porch

Legion Field, Greeneville, Tenn., around 1955

Semipro baseball was a staple of small-town America during the first half of the 20th century. Fans would turn out by the hundreds to support local factory teams, the crowds sometimes swelling into the thousands if the game involved a pair of hardbitten rivals or if word got out there were ringers in the lineup.

Greeneville, Tenn., located in Greene County, 70 miles east of Knoxville and 56 miles north of Asheville, N.C., was no exception. Magnavox, the electronics giant, had opened a “radio box factory” in 1946 that became the biggest employer in town, and it sponsored a baseball team that played its home games at Legion Field on State Route 11-E, about a mile-and-a-half from the house where Andrew Johnson lived before and after his term as 17th president of the United States.

The ball club, its players decked out in crisp white home uniforms with “MAGNAVOX” splashed across the front in red block letters, became such a powerhouse that each season began with expectations it would represent Tennessee in the National Baseball Congress World Series in Wichita, Kan.

“Sports and Magnavox went together,” said George Collins, curator of the Greeneville-based Magnavox Historical Preservation Association. “Magnavox respected the community and it respected the people. And baseball was the most important sport in the county, so there was no question it’s something they would support.”

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A Magnavox uniform on display in Greeneville. (Courtesy Magnavox Historical Preservation Association)

Wayne Phillips, 75, sports editor emeritus of the Greeneville Sun, can speak firsthand to the popularity of the Magnavox baseball club. As a child growing up in Saint James, about 13 miles outside Greeneville, he frequently attended the team’s games at Legion Field.

“People would call the house and say, ‘We’re going to watch Magnavox and does Wayne want to go with us,’” Phillips said. “That’s how it was in those days. I was just this little kid, and someone would come by and pick me up. Everybody went.”


For Phillips, watching the Magnavox ball club laid the foundation for a long, distinguished career in sportswriting. Hired as a part-time photographer in 1972 after getting out of the Army, he soon found his way to the sports department and landed a full-time gig. Perhaps best known for his decades-long coverage of the University of Tennessee football team, Phillips was inducted into the Tennessee Sports Writers Association Hall of Fame in 2016.

Talk to Phillips about Magnavox baseball and he’ll tell you about that day in 1955, or maybe 1956, or 1954, but, yes, probably 1955, when somebody hit a towering fly that cleared the right-field fence at Legion Field. But unlike Babe Ruth’s home run at Goodall Park in 1919, you had to be there to appreciate it.

Phillips was there. He was a few months shy of his seventh birthday in the summer of 1955, and the home run he witnessed became a child’s scrapbook moment that he remembers to this day, even if the specifics are unknown.

“That home run, I can still see it happening,” Phillips said.

What he can still see happening is a batter hitting a pitch high and deep to right, the ball easily clearing the fence and plopping down into the middle of Arnold Street. There was a cluster of smallish houses across the street in those days, set on a little rise, and the ball hopscotched its way up the stairs and onto the front porch of one of those houses.

An old man was sitting on the porch, watching the game. The door to his house was open. The ball, having arrived on the porch, now bounced into the house.

The old man stood up, went into the house, and closed the door. He did not return.

Now it wasn’t uncommon for balls hit to right field to make it to Arnold Street. The ballpark was oddly shaped, a bandbox for left-handed pull hitters but Death Valley for right-handed hitters. “Down the line in right field wasn’t much at all, maybe 300 feet, and it had a wooden fence that was no more than five feet high,” Phillips said. “But left field went on forever. I never did see anyone hit a home run out there.”


But he did see the home run that went into someone’s home. Funny the things you remember, right? In this case, it wasn’t the distance of the home run that made it special; it was the laugh track.

“There was tremendous buzz,” Phillips said. “Everyone was laughing because of the way the ball went right into the man’s house. He had been sitting on the porch watching the game, and he just gets up and walks into the house to get the ball. I think he kept it. How could I forget something like that? People talked about it for years.”

Yet to this day Phillips has been unable to determine who exactly hit the home run.

“I wish I knew who hit it,” Phillips said. “I’ve been asking around. Unfortunately, most of the people who were there that day have passed away.”

Attempts to identify the old man who lived in that Arnold Road house around 1955 were equally unsuccessful. As for the house itself, “It’s still there,” Phillips said. “And I’m glad it’s still there. It brings back memories every time I go by it.”

Boardwalk and Baseball and Bo Jackson

Baseball City Stadium, Davenport, Fla., March 5, 1989

In 1988, and with great fanfare, the Kansas City Royals moved their spring training base from Fort Myers, Fla., to a new facility called “Boardwalk and Baseball,” in Davenport, Fla., a few miles north of Haines City. It was supposed to be part-entertainment complex, with all kinds of amusem*nt park rides, and part-baseball mecca, with the Royals playing their Grapefruit League games in 7,000-seat Baseball City Stadium.

It never really caught on. As Joe Posnanski of the Kansas City Star wrote in 2002, “… you wonder whether anybody — anybody — considered that maybe it wasn’t the world’s best idea to build a little baseball amusem*nt park three exits west of Disney World.”

The Royals have been doing their spring training in Surprise, Ariz., since 2003. To nobody’s surprise, Boardwalk and Baseball — the amusem*nt rides, the ballpark, everything — has long since been torn down.


But Baseball City Stadium will always be important to me, because it’s the site of my red seat home run. It happened on March 5, 1989, in the second inning of a Grapefruit League game between the Red Sox and Royals. That’s when Bo Jackson jumped on a pitch from Sox starter Oil Can Boyd and sent it over the left-field fence and then over the 71-foot scoreboard beyond that fence. Estimated distance, according to the Royals: 515 feet.

But as this is my red seat home run, let’s rewind the tape a couple of hours. I was covering the Red Sox for the Hartford Courant, and something happened that day I would have remembered even if Jackson had not hit a 515-foot home run: When I stepped into the elevator that morning I found myself standing next to actress Barbara Billingsley, famous to my generation as the lovely June Cleaver in “Leave it to Beaver.” You may also remember her for her magnificent cameo as the jive lady in “Airplane.”

Turns out the dear lady was filming “The New Leave it to Beaver,” a reboot of the original series, in nearby Orlando. On this day she’d be throwing out a ceremonial first pitch. I mention it here because sportswriters are trained to quickly cleanse their minds of spring training events once the regular season starts, this because very little of what happens means anything. And yet I have two vivid, never-to-be-forgotten memories of March 5, 1989: Meeting Barbara Billingsley, with whom I exchanged light banter, and then watching Bo Jackson hit a 515-foot home run. The Barbara Billingsley part isn’t exactly what the baseball poets have in mind when they ladle out that old line about how each time you go to a game you might see something you’ve never seen before, but too bad: I had never seen Mrs. Cleaver at a baseball game before, and I’ve never forgotten it.

Here’s what I remember most about Jackson’s home run: It seemed, at first, like a pop fly. My eyes, having never seen a ball hit that far, were sending a message to my brain that this was no biggie, just a sky-scraping pop-up. But the ball kept climbing, and then it just kept going, and going, and going, until it sailed over the scoreboard.

Jackson, speaking with reporters after the game, said, “I hit one longer than that in high school.” According to my game story in the Courant, Bo said the Can threw him a fastball. The Can couldn’t abide by that, calling the pitch “a piece of (expletive) slider.” Royals first base coach Bob Schaefer said, “Somebody asked me what he hit, and I said, ‘Probably a Top-Flite.’”

It’s worth noting it was Boyd’s first appearance since the previous August, as he was recovering from a shoulder injury. He threw 49 pitches, 30 of them in the second inning. He was taken out after Bo’s homer, having allowed seven runs on eight hits and two walks over 1 1/3 innings.

Boyd never really got healthy in 1989, making just 10 starts. Jackson, whose football and baseball pursuits would be cruelly derailed by a devastating hip injury, had his finest baseball season in 1989, hitting 32 homers and driving in 105 runs. Later that year, in his only All-Star appearance, he led off the bottom of the first inning with a home run off Giants right-hander Rick Reuschel.


But nothing Jackson hit that year approached what he did against Oil Can Boyd at Baseball City Stadium. Don’t take my word for it. Johnny Pesky, still working for the Red Sox as a coach during spring training in 1989 after just turning 70, made the trip to Baseball City Stadium and saw Jackson’s home run.

I sought him out after the game.

“That thing might have gone 580 feet,” Pesky said.

On June 9, 1946, the day Ted Williams dented Fred Boucher’s hat, Pesky was watching from the first-base dugout. Batting second in the lineup for the Red Sox, he had grounded out to second just before Williams stepped in to face Fred Hutchinson.

In just two snapshots of baseball history — from Fenway Park in 1946 and from Baseball City Stadium in 1989 — Johnny Pesky witnessed two home runs that traveled a combined 1,017 feet, each of them worthy of a red seat.

(Photo by Jonathan Wiggs: The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Fenway's 'red seat' just one of many legendary homer sites in ballparks across America (2024)


Fenway's 'red seat' just one of many legendary homer sites in ballparks across America? ›

According to the Red Sox, Williams hit a 502-foot home run that game, one of the longest home runs at Fenway Park in history. The ball allegedly bounced off the head of an attendee that was sitting on the bench that would become seat 21, section 42, row 37, thus marking the spot Williams hit his famous home run.

What is the significance of the red seat at Fenway Park? ›

It's where Ted Williams hit a ball that went a reported 502 feet back on June 9, 1946, and ever since it was painted red in 1984, it has served as a target for left-handed hitters trying their best to measure up to one of the greatest pure hitters who ever played. No one, however, has done it in all the years since.

Why is Fenway Park so famous? ›

Recent News. Fenway Park, baseball park in Boston that is home to the Red Sox, the city's American League (AL) team. Opened in 1912, it is the oldest stadium in Major League Baseball and one of its most famous. In 1911 Red Sox owner John I.

Is seating limited to 39000 at Fenway Park Home of the Boston Red Sox? ›

At Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, seating is limited to about 38,000. Hence, the number of tickets issued is fixed at that figure. Seeing a golden opportunity to raise revenue, the City of Boston levies a per ticket tax of $5 to be paid by the ticket buyer.

Who has the red seat at Fenway? ›

In 1984, Teddy Ballgame's hat-denting homer was granted landmark status at Fenway Park when the Red Sox applied a coat of bright red paint to Seat 21 in Section 42, Row 37. That Fenway didn't actually have bleacher seats in 1946, just long wooden benches, is beside the point.

What is the significance of Boston Red Sox? ›

Recent News. Boston Red Sox, American professional baseball team based in Boston. One of the most-storied franchises in American sports, the Red Sox have won nine World Series titles and 14 American League (AL) pennants.

What is the monster in Fenway Park? ›

The Green Monster is a popular nickname for the 37-foot-2-inch-high (11.33 m) left field wall at Fenway Park, home to the Boston Red Sox of Major League Baseball. The wall is 310 feet (94 m) from home plate and is a popular target for right-handed hitters.

What is the smallest MLB stadium? ›

Tropicana Field is the smallest MLB stadium by seating capacity when obstructed-view rows in the uppermost sections are covered with tarps as they are for most Rays games. Tampa Bay Rays Ltd. M-E Engineers, Inc. Tropicana Field opened in 1990 and was originally known as the Florida Suncoast Dome.

Will the Red Sox ever leave Fenway? ›

Two decades later, though, Major League Baseball's oldest ballpark has been granted new and seemingly indefinite life. It has been rejuvenated throughout the most successful era in Red Sox history, and the franchise is no longer thinking of playing anywhere else.

Does Fenway always sell out? ›

Capacity and sellout streak

Fenway's lowest attendance was recorded on October 1, 1964, when a game against the Cleveland Indians drew only 306 paid spectators. On May 15, 2003, the Red Sox game against the Texas Rangers sold out, beginning a sellout streak that lasted until 2013.

Can I bring a vape into Fenway Park? ›

Use of tobacco products and smoking of any kind (including cigarettes, cigars, marijuana, and e-cigarettes or "vaping") is prohibited in all areas of Fenway Park, including Jersey Street. Proper dress is required.

Why is it called Fenway? ›

The new ballpark was constructed for the 1912 season and was named by then Red Sox owner John I. Taylor. He said, "It's in the Fenway section of Boston, isn't it? Then call it Fenway Park." It was also Taylor who changed the club's name from Americans to Red Sox prior to the 1908 season.

Where do Red Sox players live? ›

Red Sox players have had similar taste in real estate, though players have tended to buy a little closer into Boston, with Newton and Brookline popular as well as Wellesley and Weston.

How much is the red seat at Fenway Park? ›

Fenway's famed red "bleacher" seat now retails for $23-$45 per game. A vivid reminder of the greatness Ted Williams bestowed upon the Red Sox franchise is the single red seat that stands out amongst its green counterparts in the right field stands.

How far is the red seat from home plate at Fenway? ›

Of course, that “Ted Williams seat” is the lone red seat located in the right field bleachers at Fenway Park. The Red Sox icon supposedly hit a home run to that seat on June 9, 1946. The seat is 502 feet away from home plate, located 37 rows up in seat 21 and behind the visiting team's bullpen.

What color are the seats at Fenway? ›

Fenway Park is famous for historical features such as Fenway's red seat and the Green Monster. The red seat, a bleacher chair painted red in a crowd of green bleachers, marks Ted Williams' famous homerun in 1946.

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