More on the Green Monster
Bapopik at AOL.COM
Bapopik at AOL.COM
Tue Feb 1 00:25:32 UTC 2000
Two citations from the 1960s are important.
There is a long article in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, 28 June 1965, pg. 43:
_THE GREAT WALL OF BOSTON_
_Fenway Park's left-field fence, seemingly only a few feet beyond third base, fascinates hitters and scares pitchers, and its presence hypnotizes the Boston Red Sox into perennial mediocrity.
No Green Monster. Not even a Monster.
This is from THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM: THE STORY OF THE MIRACLE BOSTON RED SOX (1968) by Bill McSweeney:
Pg. 226: They stung Santiago repeatedly, but the little Puerto Rican kept surviving trouble, even hitting a fly-ball homer to the top of the left-field monster to tie the score 1-1 in the third.
Pg. 229: Williams gambled and went with his rookie, Waslewski, saying "It's going to be quite a story, isn't it?" and back at the "green monster" Waslewski did as Williams told him--"Just go out there and throw as hard as you can as long as you can."
Not there in 1965! "Green Monster" in 1967/1968!
The term wasn't used much before that homer in 1975. The book WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH THE RED SOX? (1973) by Al Hirshberg, has a chapter titled "The Wall." It never mentions "Monster" or "Green Monster."
Of perhaps small relevance is that, until 1965, Boston had a relief pitcher named Dick Radatz, a 6'6", 230-pound specimen known as "The Monster." I could check the stories when he pitched, but I really doubt the term is there before 1965.
THE BOSTON RED SOX: MEMORIES AND MEMORABILIA (1992) by Bruce Chadwick has quotes about it on pages 66-67. Mel Parnell (Red Sox), Ralph Terry (Yankees), Dick Radatz (Red Sox), anmd Lefty Gomez (Yankees) all call it "the Wall," but a quotation from Joe DiMaggio is: "The Monster was all psychological, all in the head." WHY DOESN'T CHADWICK DATE THIS QUOTE??
Carl Yastrzemski's YAZ: BASEBALL, THE WALL, AND ME (1990) is devoid of Green Monsters.
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