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updated: 5/20/2011 2:24 AM

Comparing cathedrals: Fenway vs. Wrigley

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  • Fenway Park, the home of the Boston Red Sox, will host the Cubs this weekend. The teams haven't met since the 1918 World Series

      Fenway Park, the home of the Boston Red Sox, will host the Cubs this weekend. The teams haven't met since the 1918 World Series
    Associated Press/2009

  • Wrigley Field opened in 1914, just two years after Fenway Park. The Cubs, however, didn't start playing there until 1916.

       Wrigley Field opened in 1914, just two years after Fenway Park. The Cubs, however, didn't start playing there until 1916.
    Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer, 2004

 

By Bruce Miles

bmiles@dailyherald.com

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When the Cubs take on the Boston Red Sox this weekend, it will be their first visit to Fenway Park since the 1918 World Series. Fenway opened in 1912 and will celebrate 100 years in baseball next season. Wrigley opened in 1914, and the Cubs took up residence in 1916. Here are some facts, figures and fun surrounding these two baseball cathedrals:

Fenway Park

Year opened: 1912 Estimated cost: $650,000

Field dimensions today

Left-field line: 310 feet

Left-center field: 379

Center field: 390

Deep center field: 420

Deep right field: 380

Right-field line: 302

Signature features

• Green Monster: 37-foot high left-field wall

• Pesky Pole: Right-field foul pole named for Johnny Pesky. Left-handed pull hitters can curl home runs around the pole, but watch out, the right-field wall juts out quickly.

Cool quirk

The initials of former owners Thomas A. Yawkey and Jean R. Yawkey are represented in Morse Code on the American League scoreboard on the Green Monster.

Outside landmarks

CITGO sign overlooking the Green Monster

Best player of park's quirks

Left fielder Carl Yastrzemski could play the caroms off the Green Monster like no other, decoying runners and limiting the bases they took.

Best way to get there

Take the "T" to Kenmore

Memorable games

• Game 6 of the 1975 World Series. Carlton Fisk homers off the left-field foul pole to beat the Reds, ending perhaps the best baseball game ever played.

• Ted Williams's final at-bat. The Splendid Splinter goes out with a homer, but doesn't tip his cap.

• The "Bucky Dent game." Yankees shortstop pops a homer over the Green Monster in 1978 to beat the Red Sox and break a tie in the American League East on an extra day of the season.

• Red Sox clinch the 1967 pennant, achieving the "Impossible Dream."

The one who got way

Babe Ruth

Wrigley Field

Year opened: 1914 for the Chicago Whales of the Federal League

Estimated cost: $250,000

Field dimensions today

Left-field line: 355 feet

Power alleys: 368

Center field: 400

Right field 353

Signature features

• Ivy-covered outfield walls

• Hand-operated scoreboard above center-field bleachers

Cool quirk

The Cubs fly a "W" or "L" flag after each home game to convey whether the team won or lost. This allows el riders to get the result as they ride by.

Outside landmark

Rooftops on surrounding buildings, where fans can watch the games

Best player of park's

Pitcher Ferguson Jenkins kept the ball down and didn't let the wind bother him as he carved out most of his Hall of Fame career with the Cubs.

Best way to get there

Take the el to Addison Street

Memorable games

• Ernie Banks' 500th home run. "Hey-hey," Ernie hits No. 500 in May 1970

• The "Sandberg Game." Ryne Sandberg hits 2 homers off Cardinals relief ace Bruce Sutter, and a star is born.

• The "homer in the gloamin.'" Gabby Hartnett hits one as darkness descends, setting the stage for the Cubs to win the 1938 pennant.

• The "Bartman Game." Enough said.

The one that got away

Lou Brock

• Follow Bruce Miles this weekend as he reports from Fenway Park via Twitter @BruceMiles2112 and join the conversation with Cubs fans at our Chicago's Inside Pitch blog at dailyherald.com.

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