Reporting Mary Blake
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BOSTON (CBS) – Musical tributes, poems and special editions of newspapers and magazines are all dedicated to Fenway Park’s centennial year.
Past players have been recalling their years at the park.
Luis Tiant spoke with WBZ’s Jonny Miller during Red Sox spring training.
“I love Boston. Boston, for me, is my second country. The people of Boston have been great to me,” said Tiant.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Mary Blake has more in Part 3 of her series, Fenway Hits 100:
Right handed relief pitcher Bob Stanley was on the mound for Boston from 1977 to 1989.
“I grew up a Red Sox fan, and got to play there. It was just an honor,” said Stanley.
Right fielder Dwight Evans wore a Red Sox uniform from 1972 to 1990.
“Just knowing the nooks and crannies and, that right field wall for me–people don’t know, but I’m 6 foot 3, and right under my armpit is how high that wall is, so when I would try to go up and catch a ball I would hit that wall, and it hurt,” recalled Evans.
Listen: “Fenway Hits 100″ Series
Current second baseman Dustin Pedroia also notes the quirkiness of the park.
” There are a lot of angles at the park, and it’s cool to try the triangle out there in right center, and the monster, in right field, how the pole is so short. It’s just a special, special place,” said Pedroia.
Lists of Fenway “Greats” always include the Splendid Splinter, Ted Williams.
“Ted was the Sinatra of baseball,” said Richard Johnson, curator of the Sports Museum of Boston.
Pedro Martinez also makes Johnson’s “Fenway Heroes” list.
“I’d say he was our Koufax, only Koufax didn’t have to pitch against players using steroids. Pedro Martinez is the best pitcher I’ve ever seen, anywhere,” said Johnson.
Off the field, there are team owners Tom and Jean Yawkey. Johnson calls them the ultimate fans of the game.
“The park we see now is Tom Yawkey’s park,” said Johnson.
Behind the scenes heroes at Fenway include Director of Grounds David Mellor, who works year-round on Fenway’s ‘Field of Dreams.
“We stress attention to detail. Whether it’s our traditional checkerboard pattern, or something festive like the Sox logo, the weather plays a part and we change our patterns every seven to ten days to change the wear pattern on the grass,” said Mellor.
He adds, “Everyday I walk out on the field, I get goosebumps.”
Whether you visit, work or play at Fenway, everyone comes to appreciate its eccentricities and longevity. Brett Bayer, visiting from L.A, recently took one of the Fenway’s year -round hourly tours.
“It’s a piece of baseball history and is just an incredible, beautiful space,” said Bayer.
Fenway’s centennial celebration ceremonies are scheduled April 20th, 100 years to the day that Fenway officially declared “play ball!”
Mary Blake’s “Fenway Hits 100″ series will be airing all week on WBZ NewsRadio 1030.