Beyond the Green Monster: The Unshakeable Spirit of Red Sox Fans

Few fanbases have been put to the test as much as Red Sox Nation. With over a century competing in Major League Baseball, being part of one of the most historic rivalries in professional sports against the New York Yankees and calling the oldest active American ballpark ,Fenway Park, home, baseball is part of Beantown’s fabric. Yet, despite once having one of the longest championship droughts in professional sports, Boston Red Sox fans have been reinvigorated and rewarded for their patience in the 21st century with four World Series titles.

Below, learn more on the Boston Red Sox’s fanbase, including game day traditions, team highlights and more.

What it Means to be a Boston Red Sox Super Fan

Boston Red Sox fans are fiercely determined and loyal, as evidenced by their support throughout the team’s 86-year championship drought that was known as the “Curse of the Bambino.” Originating from the club’s trade of baseball legend Babe Ruth to the rival New York Yankees in 1920, Boston remained defined by the superstition before winning the World Series in 2004 – their first since 1918. Until then, “Reverse the Curse” had become a common rallying cry.  It’s no surprise that in 2020, Forbes dubbed Red Sox fans as the “most loyal fanbase” in Major League Baseball.

Red Sox Nation also utilizes their fanbase to help the local Boston community. Along with many of the other programs under the team’s Red Sox Foundation, Red Sox fans and players alike have fueled The Jimmy Fund, a nonprofit benefiting the Boston-based Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Boston Red Sox Fans on Game Day

BoSox fans can experience one of the most historically-rich professional sports experiences when attending games at Fenway Park. From the row of retired numbers to its unique layout to the classic ballpark concessions, Fenway Park is steeped in tradition. Opening in 1912, Fenway has not only gained esteem from baseball fans outside of Red Sox Nation, but it was also added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2012.

Fenway’s most distinguished feature, the Green Monster, is the massive left field wall, the highest of its kind in MLB, that is dreaded by rival hitters and celebrated by locals. Other landmarks to observe inside the stadium include “The Triangle,” a quirky convergence of walls in right center field and the foul poles, named Pesky’s Pole on the low right field wall and Fisk Pole on the Green Monster in left field. If you find yourself sitting near the former, leave your mark on Fenway Park by adding your signature to the foul line pole. Also don’t forget to grab a Fenway Frank before you get to your seat.

Games at Fenway Park are typically some of the most attended in Major League Baseball. Despite the venue’s relatively low capacity at 37,755 seats, the Boston Red Sox regularly rank near the top of the league in average season attendance. Red Sox Nation also helped set the record across North American professional sports for most consecutive home game sell-outs at 820 games between 2003 and 2013.

But what really makes games at Fenway Park so good, so good, so good? Perhaps its most famous modern musical tradition: Neil Diamond’s 1969 singlong classic “Sweet Caroline” in the seventh-inning stretch. First introduced in 1997, the song has become a staple for Red Sox Nation. Touchingly, Diamond performed “Sweet Caroline” at Fenway Park in 2013 at the Red Sox’s first home game following the Boston Marathon terrorist attack.

Before heading to a game, guests should also get familiar with “Tessie,” a Broadway musical number from 1902’s The Silver Slipper that not only names the Red Sox, but also their previous moniker the “Royal Rooters.” Fans can sing along to the 2004 cover version by Boston punk rockers the Dropkick Murphys as well as “Dirty Water” by The Standells and “Joy to the World” by Three Dog Night after a Red Sox home win.

At select home games, the Fenway Faithful can also score limited edition merch or celebrate with special fan appreciation days. Check out the Boston Red Sox promotion schedule for a complete list of dates.

Memorable Moments in Boston Red Sox Fandom

The Boston Red Sox have helped fans score countless unforgettable memories at Fenway Park. In 1946, Hall of Fame slugger Ted “Teddy Ballgame” Williams left a permanent mark with a 502-foot home run, the ballpark’s longest, now commemorated by the “Red Seat” in Section 42, Row 37, Seat 21. Red Sox fans were also treated to one of the most memorable home runs in World Series history when Carlton Fisk hit a walk-off home run in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series against the “Big Red Machine” Cincinnati Reds and made the “fair” call motion before rounding the bases.

The team officially broke the “Curse of the Bambino” with their 2004 championship run, which included a legendary playoff matchup against the New York Yankees that featured the first playoff series victory for a team after falling down 3–0. The seven-game series featured highlights from Hall of Famer David “Big Papi” Ortiz, who prevented a Yankees sweep in Game 4 with a two-run walk-off homer in the bottom of the 12th inning. Later in Game 7, Johnny Damon secured the team’s trip to the Fall Classic with two home runs and six RBIs. The Red Sox won the World Series in a sweep against the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Red Sox won three more championships in 2007, 2013 and 2018, but in the intervening years, one of the most enduring images to local Boston fans came on April 20, 2013 when the team hosted its first home game days after the Boston Marathon terrorist attack. Kicking off with an uplifting speech by Ortiz, the Sox followed with impressive gameplay that featured an eighth-inning three-run homer by Daniel Nava. The game not only gave Red Sox Nation and the city of Boston a decisive win, but also a unifying victory.

Famous Boston Red Sox Fans

Red Sox Nation can claim notable celebrity fans such as Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Stephen King, Kenny Chesney, Jack Harlow, Mark Wahlberg, Chris Evans, Sarah Silverman, Maria Menounos, Tom Brady, Bill Burr, Amy Poehler, John Krasinski and Dennis Leary. Unfortunately for Fever Pitch fans, Jimmy Fallon, the star of the 2005 romantic comedy about a lifelong Red Sox fan, roots for the New York Yankees.

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