Unusual Ballpark Features That Affect Balls in Play

Fenway Park, Boston - In center field where the left field wall meets the end of the bleachers, there is a vertical yellow stripe (see photo 1). Any ball in flight striking to the right of that stripe is a home run. Any ball in flight that strikes to the left of the stripe and bounds into the center field seats is also a home run.

There is another vertical yellow stripe at the center field end of the bullpens. This marks the spot where the bullpen wall meets the center field wall. A batted ball in flight striking to the left of this line and bounding into the bullpen is a home run (see photo 3).

Any ball that goes through scoreboard, either in flight or on the bound, is a dead ball and all runners are awarded two bases. The key aspect of this ground rule is that there is a window that is opened for a television camera. This window is between the words "ball" and "strike" on the scoreboard (see photo 2).

A fair ball striking the ladder on the left wall below the top of the wall and bounding out of the park is a dead ball. All runners are awarded two bases. This ladder can be seen in photo 1 just to the right of the "Red Sox Foundation" logo. The ladder is a remaining piece from before the Monster Seats were installed on top of the wall. At that time, there was a screen on top of the wall which would catch baseballs. After each game, a worker would climb the ladder to the top of the wall and retrieve balls from the screen.

Photos 1 and 2 courtesy of David Vincent. Photo 3 courtesy of Kurt Blumenau

Photo 1 - Fenway Park's Left Field Wall

Photo 2 - Fenway Park's scoreboard [detail showing David Vincent in the camera window]
Fenway Park scoreboard

Photo 3 - Fenway Park's center field wall and bullpen
Fenway Park center field

Page Updated: 2/4/2012

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