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Green Monster South

The Green Monster at Fenway South

[Stan Grossfeld/Boston Globe]

JetBlue Park at Fenway South (yes, really, that is its official name) opened last month in Fort Myers, Florida. It is the new spring training site for the Boston Red Sox. The great conceit underlying its design is that any proper Red Sox home must have a wall in left field. The Fenway South wall, as Stan Grossfeld explained in the Boston Globe last week, ” isn’t identical to the Old Wall. It’s higher, has seats inside, and there is no way to manually change the numbers from inside the scoreboard.” The scoreboard is manual, just like the one in the Fens. The problem is that it

sticks out only 6 inches from the existing wall, so manually dropping in the numbers from behind it is impossible.

The door that was part of the original scoreboard leads nowhere. The Sox had to put in another door, 50 feet closer to the left-field foul line. That leads on one side to the tiny 8-foot-by-8-foot scoreboard operator’s room. There you’ll find Kevin Walsh, 23, a perky Red Sox intern chosen from more than 650 applicants for this plum assignment.

But Walsh has some unique issues. Changing the scoreboard at JetBlue Park means dashing onto the field carrying numbered panels that weigh 2 pounds and measure 12 by 16 inches, and lugging a 6-foot ladder. And the view from the tiny window makes it impossible to see the entire field.

You can see photos here. Not all are interesting, but there are a couple of Kevin with his ladder, and a good one of Jim Rice.

I can’t think of a feature of Safeco Field that would be worth replicating down in Peoria. The retractable roof? Of course, the Mariners share the field with the Padres, who would want to incorporate a distinctive Petco Park feature. Maybe it’s best to leave this gimmick to the Red Sox.

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Categories: Architecture, Baseball
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