Since seeing its first professional game on April 20, 1912, Fenway Park has hosted generations of Red Sox fans. Thanks to the current ownership group, which has invested more than $285 million in renovations and enhancements, this living baseball museum is expected to serve as the Red Sox home for more generations.
Fenway Park turns 100 in 2012, and it looks much like it did when the Sox defeated the New York Highlanders (which became the Yankees) 7-6 in 11 innings in front of 27,000 fans on April 20, 1912.
Wrigley Field is historic, and modern-day shrines like Camden Yards in Baltimore and Petco Park in San Diego are nice, but there is no baseball experience quite like watching a game at Fenway Park.
Upon stepping into the ballpark and encountering the monumental quirks like the Green Monster and Pesky’s Pole, you can envision the Red Sox greats who have played here over the last century. Cy Young, Babe Ruth, Bobby Doerr, Jimmie Foxx, Ted Williams, Carl Yasztremski, Jim Rice, Dwight Evans, Luis Tiant…..the list is legendary.
Senior Red Sox fans recall those memorable Red Sox teams, like the 1946 ballclub that lost a heartbreaking World Series to the Cardinals and the 1967 “Impossible Dream” team that was edged by Cardinals once again in the Fall Classic. If you’re old enough, you won’t forget when Carlton Fisk waved the ball fair in the 12th inning of Game Six of the 1975 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds. And modern-day fans feel chills when they envision Dave Roberts’ steal in Game Four of the 2004 ALCS, which led to the greatest comeback in the history of any professional sport, seeing the Red Sox rally from a 3-0 series deficit to top the Yankees in seven games and go on to win their first World Series in 86 years – ironically against the Cardinals.
Fenway Park was not the first home for the Red Sox. Then called the Pilgrims, the ballclub was a charter member of the American League in 1901 and played at the Huntington Avenue Grounds, which today is located on the campus of Northeastern University.
General Charles Henry Taylor, a Civil War veteran who owned the Boston Globe, bought the Pilgrims in 1904 for his son, John I. Taylor. In 1907, he changed the team’s name to the Red Sox. Taylor grew tired of the lease agreement he had with the Huntington Avenue Grounds, so he had a new home built and named it after its location in the Fenway section of Boston.
Boston’s victory over the Highlanders was technically not the Red Sox first game at Fenway Park. That happened on April 9, 1912, when the Sox blanked Harvard University, 2-0.
Fenway Park is truly unique – from the Green Monster and Pesky’s Pole to its manually operated scoreboard and its geometrically unusual shape. A ticket to Red Sox baseball at Fenway Park is not just a pass to a game. It offers a privilege to immerse yourself in a baseball experience.
Fenway Park Links
Fenway Park tours – http://mlb.mlb.com/bos/ballpark/tour.jsp
Fenway Park history – http://www.ballparksofbaseball.com/al/FenwayPark.htm,