As lore has it, Ted Williams has hit the farthest recorded home run in Fenway Park history. On June 9th, 1946, Williams launched a Fred Hutchinson fastball 502 ft. into the right field bleachers; Section 42, Row 37, Seat 21, to be exact. The spot in which it landed is memorialized by a single red seat amongst a sea of green.
Joseph A. Boucher, an engineer from Albany, New York, had the distinct honor of “catching” Williams’ monster smash. I put that in quotations because he didn’t actually catch it at all. Instead, due to a bright sun shining over the (then lower) Fenway roof behind home plate and directly into Boucher’s eyes, he was clocked right on the top of his head by the baseball. The worst part of it all? He didn’t even get to keep the ball.
(The front page of the June 10th, 1946 edition of the Boston Globe, complete with a headline about Williams’ home run. Photo credit: Boston Globe)
“…it bounced a dozen rows higher, but after it hit my head I was no longer interested,” Boucher told the Boston Globe after the game. Nonetheless, his name has lived on within the history of that home run.
Many other sluggers have attempted to reach that historic 502 ft. mark at Fenway. David Ortiz once hit the “#1” sign on the right field grandstand facade. Yaz reportedly hit a 478 ft. shot over the bullpens during his historic 1967 campaign. And the closest to ever come to it was Manny Ramirez, who hit a bomb off of the lighting rig atop the Green Monster that was measured at 501 ft., one short of the record, but alas, Teddy Ballgame’s record stands to this day.
Williams would go on to hit 38 total home runs that year, his first back in the league after 3 years removed for military service in World War II, but none will ever be remembered like his famous “red seat” one.