How Did Fenway Park Get Its “Green Monster”?

Some monsters have humble beginnings. For example, there's a famous one in Boston that can trace its origins back to 1912, but it didn't grow into its frightening "Green Monster" moniker until 1947.

The towering left-field wall at Fenway Park was covered in advertisements until it was painted green in 1947.
The towering left-field wall at Fenway Park was covered in advertisements until it was painted green in 1947.

That beast, of course, is the famous left-field wall in Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox. While every fan knows that the "Green Monster" is an imposing, 37-foot (11.3-m) wall that aspiring home run hitters hate, for the first 35 years of the wall's existence, it grew from a wooden facade to an advertiser's delight, with signs imploring fans to buy all sorts of things.

The ads were removed in 1947, and the "Wall" – as it was known at the time – was painted green, just like the rest of Fenway. The "Green Monster" was born, and besides a hard plastic coating that was added in 1975, it has remained the same fearsome outfield wall ever since.

Fenway facts:

  • In 1914, 60,000 families, as well as former President Theodore Roosevelt, came to Fenway to see the city zoo's new residents, as three circus elephants took to the field.

  • Because Fenway was near a church, no Sunday games could be played there until a law was repealed in 1932.

  • There is a single red seat in Fenway's bleachers where a record-setting home run ball hit by Ted Williams landed in 1946.

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    • The towering left-field wall at Fenway Park was covered in advertisements until it was painted green in 1947.
      The towering left-field wall at Fenway Park was covered in advertisements until it was painted green in 1947.