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Wally The Green Monster is a benevolent, plush creature who has lived inside of Fenway's famed left field wall since its construction completion in 1947. Although Wally is a huge Red Sox fan, he's somewhat shy, so he didn't tell anyone he was living there until the anniversary of the Monster in 1997. Now Wally is beloved by Red Sox fans of all ages.

That's the sugar-coated story of Wally The Green Monster, as the Red Sox PR department spins it. Wally's storied ascent from hated green thing to beloved mascot is a bit more complicated.

Red Sox fans notoriously cling to tradition. Fenway Park doesn't have fireworks displays or dot races, and they don't play Cotton Eye Joe or Who Let The Dogs Out over the P.A. system. When other parks began offering concessions like sushi, Rocky Mountain Oysters, and salmon sandwiches, the Red Sox added chicken strips and hamburgers. Sox fans don't want cheerleaders (good idea, Anaheim), and they didn't want a mascot.

Nevertheless, they got one.

The existence of Wally The Green Monster was promoted just as above... he had lived inside the Green Monster for a long time, but had just made his existence known. He was a friendly monster, one who liked to meet and greet kids. Wally made his debut on April 13th, 1997, at Kids' Opening Day at Fenway Park. Unfortunately, the P.R. department woefully underestimated the average Sox fan's hatred of gimmicky, goofy mascots. The story behind Wally was stupid enough, and when a furry green monster in a Red Sox uniform with a big red nose and goofy smile showed up at the park, it was bad news from the start.

As Wally wound up to throw the first pitch in a comical, drawn-out, Bugs-Bunny-style delivery, one fan shouted, quite audibly to the television audience, "Throw the fucking pitch, you green piece of shit!!" Wally received a similar verbal assault as he toured the stands that day, and given the number of obscenities tossed his way, it was generally agreed that Kids' Opening Day had been a rousing failure. Two games later the Sox silently announced that Wally would no longer be allowed in the stands or on the field... his role was diminished to hiding in the concourse and greeting young fans as they entered the park.

Wally's fortunes started to turn around with the help of legendary broadcaster and local folk hero Jerry Remy. When teamed up with fellow announcer Sean McDonough, the pair would often drift away from announcing baseball to talk about, amongst other things, the Mach 3 razor, restaurants in the area that served bad food and had a rude wait staff, and the current plot lines of Remy's favorite soaps. But during every game they had an obligation to inform the fans about upcoming promotions. One of these was "Wally The Bean Bag Buddy Day", in which all fans aged 15 and under received a special bean bag Wally doll.

The promotion was very late in the year, and Sean and Jerry became tired of actively promoting it, so they began to openly mock the special promotion, saying things like, "And here's the one promotion you don't want to miss!" or "And here's the one that Jerry is really looking forward to." There were frequent debates about whether or not Jerry would be given a bean bag buddy, given that he was over the age of 15. Remy explained that he was friends with Wally, and Wally would "hook him up." Jerry soon got hold of the bean bag buddy, and perched it in the broadcast booth.

Eventually, the joke that Jerry and Wally were friends became THE joke about town. When the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots came out from behind a giant flag fixed to Green Monster for Opening Day, it was Wally who came up with the idea. When Kristian Alfonso from Days Of Our Lives visited the booth, Jerry petitioned her on behalf of Wally to give him a cameo on the daytime soap. When the team was on the road, Wally somehow managed to get involved in some kind of trouble in whatever town the Sox were in that night. Wally eventually got a chair to sit in, and some female companionship (Wally won't give out her name... it's suspected to be Wallina, other something that rhymes with Wally, e.g. Holly or Molly).

By the 2002 season, Wally was ubiquitous in Boston. Stuffed Wallys appeared in rear windows. Folks brought signs to the ballpark reading "RemDawg For President. Wally for V.P." Kids dressed as Wally for Halloween. Websites sprang up with pictures of Wally in remote locations such as the Colosseum in Rome and the Golden Gate Bridge. The Wally obsession grew as Ben Affleck professed his love for Wally, and Wally professed his love for J-Lo... Remy staved off a potential scandal by explaining that Wally had never actually met J-Lo... he had only sent her E-greeting cards. Wally has also been involved in the filming of the Lord Of The Rings, the California governor recall, and the Romney campaign, but narrowly avoided catching SARS in Toronto or being drawn into the conflict in the Middle East.

When Wally isn't touring the world chasing Hollywood starlets and foiling the plans of arch-villians, he's very active in the community. Wally tours local schools and hospitals, and is a regular at the Jimmy Fund Clinic. Wally still suffers from anger projected onto him by angry Sox fans, but on the whole, he's now considered an irreplacable member of the Olde Towne Team.

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