Section 42, row 37, seat 21. 37 rows up from the bullpen, an estimated 502 feet from home plate, is the distance Ted Williams was said to have hit a ball. The Red Sox have added to the allure of Fenway by marking the spot with a single red seat among a sea of green ones. Many have just accepted the fact that because Williams is one of the greatest hitters ever, this distance is without a doubt legitimate. David Ortiz is not one of those people.
Ortiz just recently passed Williams on the all-time home run list, but the red seat in right field seems to be mocking him with every home game.
"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 Mo. That Red Seat is unhuman."
Ortiz has prided his career, and especially the last couple of years on breaking records, and climbing up the record books into history. However, the elusive 502 foot home run seems to be an insurmountable feat for the Red Sox slugger.
“How come there’s no video of it? I’ve seen videos of him everywhere. 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?”
After witnessing the immense distance of the seat first hand, and listening to Ortiz, I'm beginning to think he is right. The distance is listed as a 502 foot homerun, but has recently been said to be more like 527 feet. Ortiz said occasionally he takes an aluminum bat and gives it a shot, and is still 20 rows short of the seat.
Williams wasn't a small guy; listed at 6'3", 205 pounds. However, the longest homerun hit at this year's Homerun Derby was 495 feet, hit by Giancarlo Stanton who is 6'6", 240 pounds. I understand that Williams is one of the best hitters ever, but it's hard to believe he is able to out-muscle the likes of Stanton, Ortiz, Bonds etc.
This is another question to which we will most likely never have an answer. Skepticism aside, the red seat is just one aspect of many that makes Fenway...Fenway. The fact that Ortiz is being so vocal about the situation proves it is bugging him, and hopefully we can watch him at least come close before he hangs up the cleats forever.
By Matt Watts