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Red Sox : Wally the Green Monster

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Wally the Green Monster is the official mascot of the Boston Red Sox, a Major League Baseball team located in Boston, Massachusetts. They are in the American League East Division. The Boston Red Sox won the first World Series in 1903 against the favored National League team, the Pittsburgh Pirates. In the following decade, the club won four World Series in a six-year span despite changing ownership several times.

The 1912 and 1915 clubs featured an outfield considered, which was considered to be the finest in the game: Tris Speaker, Harry Hooper and Duffy Lewis. The Red Sox were owned by Joseph Lannin from 1913 to 1916 and he signed Babe Ruth, commonly seen as the best player in baseball history. In 1919, the team's new owner, Harry Frazee, sold Ruth to the New York Yankees. The contract was a straight sale; the Red Sox got no players in return. Frazee also unloaded a number of other Hall of Fame quality players to the Yankees for other reasons. Carl Mays quit the team in mid-game and refused to return; his trade was essentially a salvage operation..

 

Wally the Green Monster

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Other Frazee era players went to New York as part of Frazee's financial strategy after he decided to leave baseball, having been driven out by Ban Johnson, including Sad Sam Jones and Waite Hoyt. These players formed the nucleus of the first championship Yankee teams of the 1920s. The home ballpark of the Boston Red Sox is the Fenway Park. It is located near, and named for, the Fenway neighborhood in the heart of Boston. It opened on April 20, 1912, the same day as the now-defunct Tiger Stadium in Detroit. This makes it the oldest ballpark still in active use in Major League Baseball.

The stadium is most famous for the "Green Monster", the imposing, 37-foot tall left field wall, only 310 feet from home plate down the left field line. From 1912 to 1933, there was a 10-foot high mound that formed an incline in front of the left field wall at Fenway park, extending from the left-field foul pole to the centerfield flag pole. As a result of the mound, a left fielder in Fenway Park had to play the entire territory running uphill.

Boston's first star left fielder, Duffy Lewis, mastered the skill so well that the area became known as Duffy's Cliff. In 1934, Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey arranged to flatten the ground in left field so that Duffy's Cliff no longer existed and became part of the lore of Fenway Park. Other notable features include "The Triangle", a region of center field where the walls form a triangle 420 feet from home plate, "Pesky's Pole" the foul pole down a shallow right field line named for Johnny Pesky a light-hitting shortstop when he once wrapped a homer around it, and the lone red seat in the right field bleachers.

 

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The seat is painted red to mark the spot where the longest measurable home run ever hit inside Fenway Park landed. Ted Williams hit the home run on June 9, 1946 off Fred Hutchinson of the Detroit Tigers. The blast was measured at 502 feet. The power alleys are 379 feet from home plate in left field and 380 feet from home plate in right. On April 13, 1997, Kids' Opening Day at Fenway Park, the Red Sox introduced their new mascot, Wally the Green Monster. According to legend, Wally, an avid Red Sox fan since Fenway Park's opening in 1912, had secretly lived inside the left-field wall since 1947. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Fenway's famed "Green Monster," Wally decided to make his official appearance in 1997 to Red Sox fans. Since his debut, Wally has made numerous visitations in the community, appearing at the Friendly Fenway Festival, Sox Talk clinics, the Red Sox Caravan, schools and other locations in addition to his role of greeting fans entering Fenway. Wally has also brought smiles to the children at the Jimmy Fund Clinic and other local hospitals, while teaching all those he meets to love baseball, the Red Sox and Fenway Park. In 1999, Wally hosted mascots from other Major League teams during the All-Star events.

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