The seat is so famous that it even has a website dedicated to it: TheRedSeat.com. It marks the landing spot of the longest home run ever hit at Fenway Park, a 502-foot shot by Ted Williams on June 9, 1946. While all the other seats at Fenway are green, the one for seat 21 in row 37 of section 42 is red in honor of Williams' blast.
It is part of Red Sox lore. But according to David Ortiz, a Boston icon in his own right, it is also baloney.
"The red seat?" Ortiz said to Boston Globe reporter Alex Speier. "Cough -- bull -- cough."
Speier's story looked into factors of why Williams' record has stood for so long and why it might never be broken. One major factor is renovations to the ballpark have reduced the ability for wind to drive a ball further. The article cites a wind of 18-24 miles per hour on the day of Williams' homer.
Regardless of the scientific breakdowns, Ortiz refuses to swallow the story.
"I don’t think anyone has ever hit one there," he said to the Globe. "I went up there and sat there one time. That’s far, brother. Listen, do you see the No. 1 [Bobby Doerr's retired uniform number on the façade above the right field grandstand]? I hit that one time. You know how far it is to that No. 1 from the plate? Very far. And you know how far that red seat is from the No. 1? It’s 25 rows up still. That’s the farthest I’ve ever hit the ball right there, and no one else has gotten to the No. 1 ... The closest one that I have ever seen -- I remember a day game, I hit a ball in that tunnel. But still -- I crushed one and it wasn’t even close to that."
As part of its story, the Globe ran a photo showing the front page of the newspaper the day after Williams' home run. The headline reads: Ted's Longest Homer Pierces Straw Hat on Head 450 Feet Away
Upon further review, the distance was revised to 502 feet.
A physicist, Alan Nathan, interviewed in the Globe story estimated without any wind that day Williams' ball would have traveled 440 feet.
"Maybe the wind helped, but it had to be a hurricane behind it," Ortiz said.
According to research cited in the Globe article, the two longest home runs in Fenway this season belong to Mike Napoli at 450 feet and 446 feet. Ortiz is third on the list with a 444-footer.