Have you ever looked at the red seat located in the right field bleachers at Fenway Park and thought, “How the heck could someone hit a baseball that far?” If so, you’re not alone.
The red seat — in Section 42, Row 37, Seat 21 — is stationed 502 feet from home plate and marks the longest home run in Fenway history, struck by Boston Red Sox legend Ted Williams on June 9, 1946. The problem is the feat seems so unbelievable that some, including Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, can’t help but question the story’s validity.
“You see how strong ballplayers are today” Ortiz said Monday, according to the Boston Herald. “And I’m not saying Mr. Ted Williams wasn’t. But you see how far guys are hitting balls today. And none of them can do it?
“That red seat? I’ve been hitting bombs for years and I haven’t come close. No disrespect. Mr. Ted Williams was a great hitter. But as far as being strong, I don’t know if he was stronger than me and (former Red Sox first baseman) Mo (Vaughn) … That red seat is unhuman.”
It’s pretty crazy to think Williams’ tape-measure blast hasn’t been topped, especially when the record books essentially were rewritten during the height of the Steroid Era. No one even came close to reaching Williams’ red seat during the 1999 Major League Baseball Home Run Derby, which Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. won.
“I go with an aluminum bat and I’m not even close to it,” Ortiz told the Herald. “When players come to Fenway, they say, ‘What is that red seat all about?’ I tell them, ‘They say Mr. Ted Williams hit a ball out there.’ And they’re like, ‘Yeah right.’ Players. Power hitters. Guys who hit bombs. They say there’s no way. You can barely see it from second base.”
Adding to the mystique of Williams’ legendary homer is there’s no video evidence to support the notion that it actually happened. Instead, we’re left to rely on witness testimony and newspaper records. And for a skeptic like Big Papi, that just isn’t enough despite his immense respect for Teddy Ballgame.
“How come there’s no video of it? I’ve seen videos of him everywhere,” Ortiz asked, according to the Herald. “It was in a major league baseball game where he hit it. You’re going to tell me there’s not one video of it? Not one?
“I’ve seen videos of Ty Cobb. He played way before that. I don’t understand. I’m not saying it didn’t happen. … But what if I told you, ‘OK, this white bat is black but used to be green.’ Are you going to believe it? Or are you going to want a picture. Bottom line, you’ve got to show me something. It’s a long way. It’s like if I tell you I walked from here to Miami. You’re going to be like, ‘OK, but want to see it.’ ”
The Red Sox are planning several changes for Fenway in 2017, like the replacement of the famous Pesky’s Pole located in right field. But the red seat figures to remain in place and probably will until someone hits a ball further … if that’s possible.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
Powered by WordPress.com VIP