1912 Map of Fenway Neighborhood Showing The Unfinished Park (Credit: Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library)
Fenway Park Timeline
Fenway Park's inaugural year was exceptional on many levels. After extensive construction in the early months of 1912, Fenway Park hosted its first game on April 9, an exhibition between the Red Sox and Harvard College. Eleven days later, the Red Sox played their first official game at Fenway Park against the New York Highlanders. The club went on to win 105 regular season games, the American League Pennant and a thrilling World Series. During the season, while the Red Sox were on the road, a few amateur baseball games were held at the park and the construction of left-field and right-field bleachers was completed in time for the World Series. In late 1912, Fenway Park hosted the National High School Football Championship Game, concluding an eventful first year in the park's history.
1912 Boston Red Sox
Record: 105-47, 1st in American League
Manager: J. Garland (Jake) Stahl
Postseason: Won World Series
The Red Sox opened the 1912 season with new ownership and a new ballpark. General Charles H. Taylor and his son John I. Taylor had sold controlling interest in the team to James McAleer in September 1911, but the Taylor family stayed on as overseers of construction on the club's new ballpark. After a feverish winter of work, Fenway Park, the new home of the Boston Red Sox, was ready for an April 9 exhibition against Harvard College, a 2-0 contest the Sox won amidst snow flurries. Opening Day of the regular season was scheduled for April 18, 1912 and not only did that day get rained out, but both Patriots Day games on the following day did as well - and the newspaper headlines focused mainly on the sinking of the steamship Titanic, which had sunk on April 15.
When the Sox finally took the field for the first official game on April 20, 1912, some 27,000 fans saw the Red Sox prevail in a 7-6, extra-innings victory over the New York Highlanders (renamed the Yankees in 1913). Boston Mayor John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald, a prominent member of the Royal Rooters fan club and grandfather of future President John F. Kennedy, threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
One of James McAleer's first moves had been to entice back first baseman Jake Stahl, who had not played in 1911, making him the manager and giving him a small ownership share. Under Stahl's leadership, the Red Sox secured a hold on first place by June 15 that they never surrendered.
The 1912 Red Sox pitching staff was led by 22-year-old Smoky Joe Wood, who went 34-5 (including 35 complete games) with a 1.91 ERA. Wood's start on September 6, 1912 against Walter Johnson was considered the game of the year, with Wood prevailing 1-0 for his record-tying 16th consecutive victory before a packed Fenway Park. Wood was joined on the staff by two other 20-game winners, Buck O'Brien and Hugh Bedient, as well as the steady Charley Hall and Ray Collins.
With a .383 batting average, 90 RBIs, and a league-leading 10 home runs and 53 doubles, center fielder Tris Speaker was the 1912 American League winner of the Chalmers Award (the equivalent of the Most Valuable Player, presented by the eponymous motor car company). Speaker played a spectacular center field and had three lengthy hitting streaks during the 1912 season.
The Red Sox finished the season with a 105-47 record, which is still the best winning percentage in team history. The team also compiled the largest run differential in franchise history, scoring 799 runs while only allowing 544. Boston in particular dominated New York, with the Sox winning 19 of the season series' 21 contests, and finishing 55 games ahead of the Highlanders, the largest gap ever between the two teams.
The Red Sox went on to face the robust New York Giants in the 1912 World Series. Boston jumped out to a 3-1 series lead, but dropped the next two to force a winner-take-all finale at Fenway. The Sox trailed 2-1 in the final game heading into the bottom of the 10th inning, but Giants center fielder Fred Snodgrass' dropped fly ball gave the Sox life and set the stage for Larry Gardner's game-winning sacrifice fly, clinching Boston's first World Series title in Fenway Park.
Fenway's First Home Run
When Fenway Park first opened, the most prominent feature that greeted fans was the exceptionally tall left-field wall. At a time when home runs were few and far between, almost no one believed that a hitter could ever send a ball above and beyond the towering structure.
Yet on April 26, 1912, an unlikely figure etched his name in Fenway Park lore with an historic shot to left field. Boston backup first baseman Hugh Bradley, a Central Massachusetts native with only one previous round-tripper in his big league career, hit Fenway Park's first home run against the Philadelphia Athletics during the team's fifth home game in their new park.
The shot was Bradley's lone home run of the season, and the final one of his career. After the 1912 season, Bradley went on to play two seasons in the Federal League before bouncing around the minor leagues for several years and then retiring. But Bradley's home run on April 26, 1912 lives on in baseball history as the first of many home runs hit at Fenway Park.
The 1912 World Series
The 1912 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and New York Giants began at the Polo Grounds, with 300 of Boston's Royal Rooters taking the train to Gotham for Game One. The Boston contingent included a 30-piece brass band and most of the group wore bright red sweaters with matching hatbands and carried pennants proclaiming "Red Sox World's Champs." Boston Mayor and prominent Royal Rooter John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald led the group in the singing of "Tessie," a song that the Rooters used in Boston's first World Series played against Pittsburgh in 1903. The cheering worked and Boston won Game One, 4-3.
On Wednesday, October 9, 1912, Fenway Park hosted Game Two, the first World Series game at the new park. The contest ended in a 6-6 tie when the game was called after 11 innings due to darkness. At the time, it was only the second World Series game to end in a tie, the first being Game One of the 1907 Series.
On October 10, 1912, before Game Three at Fenway Park, Tris Speaker was given a Chalmers Roadster for winning the season's MVP award and he took the car for a spin before the game. After Boston dropped Game Three to the Giants, the series alternated between the two cities. The Red Sox won the next two games, giving them a 3-1 series lead, but, facing elimination, the Giants won Game Six at home to force a return to Boston.
Up three games to two (not counting the tie), the Royal Rooters marched into Fenway Park on October 15 hoping to witness the clinching victory at home. Led by their band, the Rooters marched to Fenway only to find that their accustomed seats had been sold to others. The game was held up while police restrained the Rooters, who were stirred into a near riot. The Giants beat the Red Sox 11-4 in Game Seven, setting up a series-deciding, winner-take-all finale the next day.
Capping what is considered by many to be the greatest World Series ever played, Game Eight was held at Fenway Park but, due to a boycott staged by the still-furious Rooters, it was witnessed by only 17,000 fans. The pitching was superb, pitting the Giants' already legendary Christy Mathewson (whose 23-12 record in 1912 represented his 10th consecutive 20-plus win season) against 22-year-old rookie Hugh Bedient, who was 20-9 with a 2.92 ERA in 1912. Both pitchers were outstanding but the Giants led 1-0 when the Red Sox came to bat in the bottom of the seventh. With two outs and two on, pinch-hitter extraordinaire Olaf Henriksen stepped in for Bedient and doubled in the game-tying run.
Smoky Joe Wood took over for Bedient and shut the Giants down in the eighth and ninth. But the Red Sox failed to generate any offense, and the game entered extra innings. With one out in the top of the 10th, New York's Red Murray hit a double and then scored on teammate Fred Merkle's single. Now leading 2-1, Mathewson started the bottom of the 10th by inducing pinch-hitter Clyde Engle to lift a routine fly ball to center field, but New York's Fred Snodgrass dropped the ball, and Engle wound up on second base.
The play went down in baseball lore as the "$30,000 muff," as that amount was the difference between the collective winners' and losers' shares. Harry Hooper promptly smacked a ball to Snodgrass, who made a truly great catch - but Engle tagged up and took third. After Steve Yerkes walked, Tris Speaker hit a foul pop-up but it fell between Merkle and Meyers. Given new life, Speaker singled, tying the score, and Yerkes took third. Mathewson intentionally walked Duffy Lewis to put a force at every base, but Larry Gardner hit a long sacrifice fly to deep right field and Yerkes ran home to give the Red Sox the World Series victory.
The Giants had out-hit the Red Sox (.270 to .220) and outscored the Red Sox by six runs. Their pitching was much better overall (an earned run average of 1.59 to Boston's 2.92) but timing was everything, as it often is, and the Red Sox came out on top. After the series, thousands upon thousands of delirious Red Sox fans lined the celebration route from Fenway Park to Faneuil Hall, where Mayor Fitzgerald welcomed the 1912 World Champions.
Just three months after the start of construction in late September 1911, the new home of the Boston Red Sox was quickly taking shape. Former Owner John I. Taylor had sold controlling interest in the club to James McAleer shortly before construction commenced but Taylor remained heavily involved as the overseer of construction. Under Taylor's leadership, building efforts proceeded at a breakneck pace: the foundations for the facility were already in place by the start of the New Year and the roof had also been framed.
The asymmetrical piece of land that the Taylors had bought in early 1911, combined with the family's wish to utilize the entire parcel, resulted in a ballpark with unique field dimensions. Because all games in the early twentieth century were played during the day, the orientation of the sun to the playing field was a crucial factor. To keep the solar glare out of batters' eyes in the late afternoon hours, home plate was placed in the southwest area of the plot, with the third base line pointing northward.
The new ballpark was ready to hold baseball crowds by the start of the 1912 regular season, but certain areas remained incomplete and the initial plan to build a second deck was abandoned due to the hastened timetable for construction. When it opened, the single-decked grandstand seating areas, both around the infield and down the right-field line, were made of steel and concrete. There were wooden bleacher sections in center field, but other areas didn't have any seating. There were no seats down the left-field line, while the right-field bleachers had also not been built (in fact, there was a large parking lot beyond right field that was used throughout the 1912 season).
The new ballpark had a towering left-field fence and a steep incline in front of the wall that took on the nickname, "Duffy's Cliff," in honor of Red Sox Hall of Famer Duffy Lewis, the starting left fielder for the 1912 team who adeptly handled this tricky part of the field's layout.
When explaining his reason for choosing the new park's name, Taylor casually and rhetorically asked, "because [the park's] in the Fenway, isn't it?" The fact that the appellation provided free publicity for the Taylor family's Fenway Realty Company didn't hurt either.
Fenway Park hosted its first game on April 9, 1912, an exhibition the Red Sox won 2-0 over Harvard University. The park's first official, regular season game was played on April 20, 1912, a contest between the Red Sox and New York Highlanders that drew a crowd of 27,000 fans. On May 17, the formal dedication of Fenway Park took place.
The Red Sox celebrated their first season in the park by winning 105 games, still their highest total in club history, and earned a World Series berth against the National League Champion New York Giants. In preparation for the series, Fenway Park underwent further renovations in September to accommodate the larger crowds expected for the match-up and by the start of Fenway Park's first World Series, the left field and right field bleachers had been built, along with temporary seating in front of the left-field wall and in the outfield.
September 1912 Construction
With baseball fervor peaking as the 1912 regular season came to a close, capacity crowds were expected for the World Series tilt between the Red Sox and the Giants. Boston hadn't been to the Series since 1903, and anticipation for the club's battle with John McGraw's mighty New York club resounded throughout the city.
While the Red Sox were on an early to mid-September road trip through the Midwest, over 10,000 seats were added to handle the expected crowds. In left and right field, bleacher sections were completed and held approximately 4,500 fans each. In addition, temporary seating, which accommodated over 1,000 spectators during the 1912 World Series, was added on Duffy's Cliff in front of the left-field wall and additional seats were built in front of the grandstand beyond each dugout. For the first time, Fenway Park was fully enclosed.
When the team returned home from its road trip on September 23, the sheer number of fans greeting the players confirmed the wisdom of the construction efforts. An estimated 220,000 people lined a route that the team traveled from South Station to the Boston Common, where Mayor Fitzgerald presented each player with a key to the city.
In Fenway Park's inaugural year, the ballpark also hosted amateur baseball games featuring local teams. The first such game ended in a tie when a team from the Christian Science Monitor newspaper played the Somerville Independents for 12 innings on July 27. A week later, the two teams played a do-over of the tie game with the Monitor team emerging victorious. On August 8, the Monitor squad played at Fenway Park again, this time against the Boston Transcript in a newspaper league game, and two days later, the Winthrop Knights of Columbus defeated the Lynn Elks club in seven innings. These four games in the middle of Fenway's first summer were the first of many amateur baseball games in Fenway Park's history.
1912 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park
July 27 -- Christian Science Monitor 8, Somerville Independents 8 (12 Innings) (Tie)
August 3 -- Christian Science Monitor 4, Somerville Independents 1
August 8 -- Christian Science Monitor 2, Boston Transcript 1
August 10 -- Winthrop Knights of Columbus 3, Lynn Elks 1 (7 Innings)
The 1912 World Series wasn't the only championship decided at Fenway Park in its inaugural year. On November 30, 1912, Oak Park High School of Illinois faced off against local Everett High School in the National High School Football Championship Game. Boston Latin High School and Boston English High School also played a late-November football game in 1912 and the Boston Lodge of Elks held a field day in August that included an appearance by famous athlete Jim Thorpe.
1912 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park
August 10 -- Boston Lodge of Elks Field Day
November 28 -- Boston Latin 7, Boston English 6 (Football)
November 30 -- Oak Park High School (IL) 32, Everett High School (MA) 12 (Football)
Oak Park High School (IL) Defeats Everett High School (MA)
On November 30, 1912, Oak Park High School (IL), led by future Hall of Fame coach Robert Zuppke, defeated Everett High School by a score of 32-14 in the National High School Football Championship Game. A crowd of over 10,000 filled the bleachers and was described in the following excerpt from the game account from the Boston Evening Record:
"The Oak Park squad came onto the field amid a momentary hush and then the Everett cohorts gave a lusty yell for the westerners that seemed to put added life into the practice, and they charged up and down the gridiron with speed, their husky backs keeping well together in interference.
The Everett players watched their antagonists with a great deal of attention, each man giving his opponent for the afternoon a sizing up.
When the Everett boys went out for their practice the entire crowd rose and gave a cheer that would have done credit to the Harvard cheering section." (Boston Evening Record, December 1, 1912)
Just prior to the game, fans spilled from the bleachers onto the field and had to be restrained by mounted police summoned by Boston Mayor John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald.
Despite the heroics of Everett's captain Charlie Brickley, Coach Cleo O'Donnell's Everett team couldn't match the razzle and dazzle style employed by Oak Park. At times the Illinois team made as many as six laterals before charging forward in an attack that wowed fans and sportswriters alike.
Oak Park's victory represented their third title in the first three years of the competition and was also Zuppke's last game at Oak Park prior to taking over the football program at the University of Illinois. At Illinois, Zuppke led his squad to four national titles.
In their second season at Fenway Park, the defending World Champion Red Sox fell to fourth place in the American League. The National League's Boston Braves also played a pair of doubleheaders at Fenway Park in 1913, choosing the venue because it was larger than their home park, the South End Grounds. In the spring, Fenway Architect James McLaughlin opened the Fenway Garage behind Fenway Park's right-field and center-field bleachers, which helped accommodate the crowds for Red Sox games and high school baseball and football.
Record: 79-71, 4th in American League
Manager: J. Garland (Jake) Stahl (39-41), William F. Carrigan (40-30)
The Red Sox started their year at Fenway Park with exhibition victories over Harvard and Holy Cross in early April before embarking on their title defense. Heading into the season, Red Sox President James McAleer proclaimed that he was so pleased with his club that he didn't plan to make any trades or sign any new players.
However, not all were happy with the team. The Royal Rooters were still upset that their accustomed seats had been sold before Game Seven of the 1912 World Series and when the Red Sox selected June 25, 1913 for the official raising of the 1912 World Championship banner, only 6,500 fans turned out.
By the end of June, the Red Sox were already in fifth place, 13 games behind the Philadelphia Athletics. With a dispirited team, McAleer soured on manager Jake Stahl, firing the skipper on July 14 and replacing him with Bill Carrigan. But there was plenty of blame to go around and in August, a number of Boston writers decried the practice by which incendiary newspaper columns were printed under the bylines of various ballplayers.
Ray Collins led a pitching staff that was left short-handed when Smoky Joe Wood broke his thumb before the season began. Collins sported a 19-8 record, including three 1-0 duels with Washington's Walter Johnson, two of which Collins won. Tris Speaker continued to hit well with a .363 batting average and a franchise-record 22 triples, but the lineup as a whole scored 168 fewer runs than they did the previous season.
The Red Sox finished 1913 above .500 with a record of 79-71, which put them in fourth place in the American League and 15 ½ games behind the eventual World Champion Philadelphia Athletics. As a small consolation, the Red Sox finished 22 ½ games ahead of their AL rival from New York, who officially changed their name from the Highlanders to the Yankees that year. In November 1913, the Red Sox changed ownership for the second time in just over two years as McAleer sold his half of the team to Canadian-born Joseph Lannin.
Ray Collins vs. Walter Johnson
A native of Colchester, VT, Ray Collins led the 1913 Boston pitching staff, winning 19 games. That season, Collins faced Washington's Hall of Famer Walter Johnson in three epic matchups. Collins bested the "Big Train" 1-0 in Washington's Griffith Stadium on May 30 and again beat Johnson by the same score on August 28 at Fenway Park. Those two victories were sandwiched by a 1-0 loss to Johnson's Senators at Fenway Park on July 3, when Boston notched 15 hits in a 15 inning thriller but failed to score a run behind Collins. Boston's hit total on July 3, 1913 still stands tied as a Major League record for the most hits by a team in a single game without scoring a run. Collins would collect 20 victories in 1914 for the Red Sox, before retiring in 1915 with a lifetime 84-62 record and 2.51 ERA.
Red Sox Ownership History
1901-02 -- Charles W. Somers of Ohio was one of the founders and financiers of the new American League who also owned the Cleveland team and made his fortune in the lumber and coal business.
1903-04 -- Henry J. Killilea was a Milwaukee lawyer and expert on baseball law who played an important role in the negotiations that ended the National League-American League war in early 1903.
1904-11 -- John I. Taylor was an avid sportsman whose father, General Charles H. Taylor, was the owner, publisher and editor of The Boston Globe. John changed the team's nickname to "Red Sox" in 1907 and oversaw the land acquisition and construction of Fenway Park.
1912-13 -- James R. McAleer was a National League outfielder during the 1890s who came out of retirement to help form the new American League's St. Louis franchise in 1901 as a player-manager. In December 1911 he bought 50 percent of the Red Sox from Taylor and was named club president.
1914-16 -- Joseph J. Lannin was a Canadian-born hotel and real estate tycoon who made his fortune in New York and Boston. He was a zealous baseball fan with a minority share in the National League's Boston Braves before he purchased McAleer's 50 percent controlling interest in the Red Sox in early 1914.
1917-23 -- Harry H. Frazee was a long-time baseball fan who was born in Peoria, Illinois and became successful in real estate management, stock brokerage and Broadway theater. He purchased the Red Sox in late 1916 from Lannin in a deal that included Fenway Park.
1923-33 -- J.A. Robert Quinn was a career baseball executive who was business manager of the St. Louis Browns prior to putting together a syndicate that purchased the Red Sox from Frazee on August 1, 1923. He was appointed team president and presiding owner.
1933 -- Thomas A. Yawkey was a New York entrepreneur who bought the team on February 25, 1933, four days after his 30th birthday, and placed the club in a trust.
July 9, 1976 -- Tom Yawkey died leaving his widow, Jean, as the primary beneficiary.
1978 -- The Yawkey Estate sold the team to a partnership including Jean R. Yawkey, Edward G. (Buddy) LeRoux, Jr. and Haywood C. Sullivan. The sale was approved by the American League on May 23, 1978.
1981 -- Jean R. Yawkey moved to Boston, established the Jean R. Yawkey Trust, and transferred team ownership interests to it. She appointed John L. Harrington as Co-Trustee.
1987 -- The Jean R. Yawkey Trust bought out Edward G. (Buddy) LeRoux, Jr., giving the trust two out of three General Partner votes.
1992 -- Jean R. Yawkey died in February and the Jean R. Yawkey Trust continued with John Harrington as Trustee with sole authority over Red Sox matters.
1993 -- The Jean R. Yawkey Trust bought out Haywood C. Sullivan's one General Partnership unit, giving it all three General Partnership units of the Red Sox, along with the three Red Sox limited partnership units previously acquired (53.49%).
2002 -- The Jean R. Yawkey Trust sold the club to a group led by John Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino on December 20, 2001. The sale was approved by Major League Baseball on January 16, 2002 and closed on February 27, 2002.
In 1913, the Fenway Garage, built by Fenway Park architect James McLaughlin, opened on a plot of land between Ipswich and Lansdowne Streets. When it opened, the garage could house 500 automobiles and used a system of ramps, instead of car elevators, to increase its usability. The garage was also heated and cars could refuel and get washed on the premises. In the 1960s, the building became a laundry facility and owes its name to this use but in the late 1980s, the Laundry Building reclaimed its function as a garage. Today, in addition to providing parking, Fenway Park's concessionaire Aramark uses a portion of the building to store and prepare food for the ballpark's crowds.
The first regular season National League games at Fenway Park took place on April 13, 1913 when the Boston Braves hosted the New York Giants for a doubleheader, since Fenway offered greater seating capacity than the home of the Braves, the South End Grounds. Though the Braves lost both games that day, they returned to Fenway on May 30, 1913 for a Memorial Day doubleheader against Brooklyn and won their first regular season game at Fenway Park in the second game.
On May 6, 1913, Fenway Park hosted its first high school baseball game when local High School of Commerce defeated Columbia Park Boys High of San Francisco, 24-0. The next day, Noble & Greenough beat the Volkmann School 1-0 in a very exciting private school game. After the Red Sox season ended, Obrion, Russell & Co. (an insurance company) played Old Colony Trust Company (a banking company).
1913 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park
April 19: New York Giants 7, Boston Braves 2
April 19: New York Giants 10, Boston Braves 3
May 6: High School of Commerce 24, Columbia Park Boys High of San Francisco 0
May 7: Noble & Greenough 1, Volkmann School 0
May 30: Brooklyn Dodgers 2, Boston Braves 1
May 30: Boston Braves 7, Brooklyn Dodgers 6
October 11: Obrion, Russell & Co. 9, Old Colony Trust Company 5
Fenway Park hosted a trio of high school football games in 1913, with each matchup featuring local schools. Boston Latin and Boston English each played twice at the park, including a November 27 tilt between the two rivals.
1913 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park
November 18: Mechanic Arts High School 6, Boston Latin 3 (Football)
November 19: High School of Commerce 3, Boston English 3 (Football)
November 27: Boston English 21, Boston Latin 0 (Football)
The 1914 World Series (Credit: Edmund E. Bonds Collection)
Under Construction During The 1914 World Series (Credit: Edmund E Bonds Collection)
The Red Sox and Braves shared Fenway Park in 1914, with the "Miracle Braves" playing the latter part of their regular season at the ballpark before winning the World Series at Fenway Park in October. The ballpark also hosted plenty of amateur football and baseball, along with lacrosse, a field day attended by former President Theodore Roosevelt and a unique elephant show. Having purchased land on Brookline Avenue between Jersey Street and Lansdowne Street in 1913, New Hampshire Governor John Smith began to turn the property into a commercial building in 1914. Today, the structure, which was renamed the Jeano Building, is an important part of Fenway Park.
Record: 91-62, 2nd in American League
Manager: William F. Carrigan
In his first full season on the job, Bill Carrigan led the 1914 Red Sox to 91 wins, sloughing off the disappointment of the previous season to achieve a second-place finish (8 Â½ games behind the Philadelphia Athletics).
A third major league, the Federal League, launched in time for the 1914 season and drove up salaries. Red Sox owner Joseph Lannin (who bought out the remaining holdings of the Taylor family on May 14 and thus became sole owner) invested heavily in player salaries and the Red Sox had the highest payroll in baseball.
The Red Sox drew well and no park in the league sold more seats than Fenway. The Red Sox offense wasnâ€™t nearly as good as it was in 1913 but their pitching dramatically improved, with a team ERA of 2.36. Hubert â€œDutchâ€ Leonard, 22, went 19-5 and his miniscule earned run average of 0.96 remains the lowest in the history of the modern-era in Major League Baseball. Teammate Rube Fosterâ€™s 1.70 ERA was second in the league and at one point he threw 42 consecutive scoreless innings.
Tris Speaker came through with another strong season, leading the team in several offensive categories and starring on defense, with two of his patented unassisted double plays in 1914. Weighing less than 140 pounds, shortstop Everett Scott debuted on Opening Day. Despite his small stature, Scott went on to establish himself as the â€œIron Manâ€ of baseball, holding the record for most consecutive games played until Lou Gehrig broke his record in 1933.
With the Boston Braves winning the 1914 World Series at Fenway Park, and both Boston clubs leading their respective leagues in attendance, Boston truly was the hub of baseball in 1914.
Having bought a vacant lot at 70 Brookline Avenue (between modern-day Gates A and E) in January 1913, New Hampshire Governor John Smith began turning the space into a functional commercial area in 1914. Over time, various auto companies and media outlets have called this area home, including the New England Sports Network, which launched in 1984. Known today as the Jeano Building, this space currently houses many of the Red Sox offices and owes its name to longtime Red Sox Owner Tom Yawkey, whose Jeano Company (named after his wife, Jean) bought the 70 Brookline Avenue plot in 1955. Together, the Jeano Building, the Fenway plot the Taylor family bought in early 1911 and the Fenway Garage structure completed in 1913 comprise the three-part facility we know today as Fenway Park.
For the second time in three years, Fenway Park hosted the World Series. However, in 1914, it was the Braves and not the Red Sox who represented Boston. On August 3, 1914, Red Sox President Joseph Lannin sent a telegram to Braves President James Gaffney offering the use of Fenway Park (free of charge) in place of the smaller South End Grounds where the Braves played their home games. A month later, on September 3, Gaffney wired Lannin that the Braves would play their remaining home games at the American League park.
Though the Braves had used Fenway Park before, they officially called the ballpark home for the rest of the 1914 regular season, starting with a Labor Day doubleheader against the New York Giants on September 7. Two days later, in the second game of another doubleheader at Fenway Park, the Braves' George Davis pitched the first no-hitter in the ballpark's history, a 7-0 win over Philadelphia. The "Miracle Braves" went on to win the National League pennant and swept the 1914 World Series, winning Games Three and Four at Fenway Park.
In addition to the Braves, a few high school and college baseball teams were able to play at Fenway Park in 1914 and on August 17, a five-inning, rain-shortened game was played as part of a Progressive Party field day that was attended by former President Theodore Roosevelt.
1914 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park
April 11: Tufts 6, Dartmouth 4
June 12: English High School 16, High School of Commerce 3
June 15: Boston College High 2, Rindge Technical School 1
June 15: Holy Cross 8, Boston College 0
June 17: Harvard 7, Yale 3
June 20: Yale 13, Harvard 8
August 1: Boston Braves 4, St. Louis Cardinals 3 (10 Innings)
August 8: Boston Braves 4, Cincinnati Reds 3 (10 Innings)
August 17: Progressive Party Field Day: Beverly Progressives 5, Irish Athletic Association Club 0 (5 Innings)
September 7: Boston Braves 5, New York Giants 4
September 7: New York Giants 10, Boston Braves 1
September 8: Boston Braves 8, New York Giants 3
September 9: Philadelphia Phillies 10, Boston Braves 3
September 9: Boston Braves 7, Philadelphia Phillies 0
September 10: Boston Braves 3, Philadelphia Phillies 0
September 10: Boston Braves 7, Philadelphia Phillies 2
September 11: Boston Braves 6, Philadelphia Phillies 5
September 12: Brooklyn Robins 4, Boston Braves 3
September 14: Boston Braves 4, Brooklyn Robins 3
September 15: Boston Braves 7, Brooklyn Robins 5
September 16: Boston Braves 6, St. Louis Cardinals 3
September 17: Boston Braves 5, St. Louis Cardinals 1
September 18: Boston Braves 1, St. Louis Cardinals 1 (Tie)
September 19: Boston Braves 9, Pittsburgh Pirates 3
September 21: Boston Braves 6, Pittsburgh Pirates 5
September 22: Boston Braves 8, Pittsburgh Pirates 2
September 23: Boston Braves 3, Cincinnati Reds 2
September 23: Cincinnati Reds 3, Boston Braves 0
September 24: Boston Braves 5, Cincinnati Reds 0
September 24: Boston Braves 2, Cincinnati Reds 2 (Tie)
September 25: Boston Braves 2, Cincinnati Reds 0
September 25: Boston Braves 4, Cincinnati Reds 3
September 26: Boston Braves 6, Chicago Cubs 2
September 26: Boston Braves 12, Chicago Cubs 2
September 28: Boston Braves 7, Chicago Cubs 6
September 29: Boston Braves 3, Chicago Cubs 2
October 12: Boston Braves 5, Philadelphia Athletics 4 (World Series Game 3) (12 Innings)
October 13: Boston Braves 3, Philadelphia Athletics 1 (World Series Game 4)
September 7, 1914
Braves Split Labor Day Doubleheader With Giants
Newspaper accounts estimated the crowd for the September 7 morning/afternoon doubleheader between the surging Boston Braves and John McGraw's New York Giants to be anywhere from 73,000 to 80,000 fans. The crowds began gathering on Lansdowne Street at 7:30 AM for the morning game, which was scheduled for 10 AM. Ticket scalpers made easy money hawking $1.00 grandstand tickets for $5.00 and $0.75 general admission tickets for $2.50. Once the stands were filled, the overflow crowd was allowed to spill onto the outfield and many more perched themselves at the base of Duffy's Cliff.
The throng's cheers could be heard on Beacon Hill and Boston Common as they roared at the pre-game antics of Braves shortstop and Springfield native Rabbit Maranville who entertained the capacity crowd by taking throws while sitting on the second base bag and throwing strikes home while remaining seated.
The Braves captured the first game in dramatic fashion, as Johnny Evers stroked a two-run double off Christy Mathewson to secure a 5-4 decision. The second game was a 10-1 Giants rout marred by the near riot precipitated by New York outfielder Fred Snodgrass, who thumbed his nose to both the Braves and the crowd after being hit by a Lefty Tyler pitch. The crowd reacted by pelting Snodgrass with a barrage of garbage. Amidst the chaos Boston Mayor James M. Curley, demanding that Snodgrass be ejected from the game, scampered onto the field and called for a police escort for the Giants' outfielder. Despite the disappointing loss in the second game, the Braves had done nothing less than capture both the heart and imagination of Boston in one dramatic day at Fenway Park.
October 12-13, 1914
The 1914 World Series At Fenway Park
After taking the first two games of the 1914 World Series from the heavily-favored Athletics in Philadelphia, the "Miracle Braves" returned to Fenway Park and took Game Three in a 12-inning thriller. Looking to close out the A's in Game Four, Braves captain Johnny Evers stroked a two-run single in the bottom of the fifth to break a 1-1 tie. Before a crowd that was slightly smaller than the Labor Day throng from a month earlier, the Braves held onto their 3-1 lead, sweeping Philadelphia in one of the greatest upsets in World Series history.
One of the largest crowds in Fenway Park's history came to the ballpark on June 6, 1914. However, they did not come to see the Red Sox. That morning, fifty thousand children and their parents filled the park to welcome three elephants that the children had purchased for the Franklin Park Zoo with money they had raised in increments mostly of pennies and small change. A little more than two months later, on August 17, 1914, former President Theodore Roosevelt visited Fenway Park to headline a Progressive Party field day, which included various events and competitions. Fenway Park also hosted several college and high school football games in 1914, as well as lacrosse early in the summer.
1914 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park
June 1: Boston 7, University of Toronto 2 (Lacrosse)
June 6: Pennies for Elephants Day
August 17: Progressive Party Field Day featuring an appearance by Theodore Roosevelt
October 30: High School of Commerce 7, Boston Latin 0 (Football)
October 31: Boston College 28, Norwich 6 (Football)
November 4: Boston English 10, Mechanic Arts 0 (Football)
November 6: High School of Commerce 34, Dorchester High 12 (Football)
November 12: High School of Commerce 17, Mechanic Arts 0 (Football)
November 13: Volkmann School 13, Noble & Greenough 7 (Football)
November 18: Boston Latin 7, Mechanic Arts 7 (Football)
November 19: Boston English 19, High School of Commerce 0 (Football)
November 22: Dartmouth 40, Syracuse 0 (Football)
November 26: Boston Latin 3, Boston English 3 (Football)
November 26: Boston College 14, Catholic University 0 (Football)
November 28: Ham Fish's College All-Stars 13, Carlisle Indian School 6 (Football)
December 9: Somerville High 7, DePaul (IL) Academy 0 (Football)
June 6, 1914
Pennies For Elephants
It remains one of the biggest single crowds in Fenway Parkâ€™s near century and it endures as one of the most heartwarming events in Boston history.
Newspaper accounts had the Fenway Park gates closing at 9:30 AM to prevent over-crowding on the morning of Saturday June 6, 1914, as an overflow crowd of 50,000 children and their parents filled Fenway Park to welcome the elephant trio of Mollie, Waddy and Tony to Boston. The trio had been purchased for $6,700 with money raised (mostly in increments of pennies, nickels and dimes) by over 75,000 local schoolchildren.
TThe crowd was treated to a show that included Captain Bemo and his troupe of clowns, the acrobatic duo of Daly and Reno courtesy of Keithâ€™s vaudeville theater, the English High School Drum and Bugle Corps, Snyderâ€™s Serenaders, a hornpipe dance by 200 Boston schoolchildren and speeches by Boston Mayor James Michael Curley and Massachusetts Governor David Walsh. Walsh would later write of the event:
â€œThe feature of the day at Fenway Park which impressed me most was the mighty enjoyment of the kiddies. It was an inspiring sight to look on that sea of child faces and to witness their expressions of pleasure when the three elephants purchased by them were led on the field.
It was the largest crowd that I ever saw assembled in one place in my life. It was a truly remarkable occasion and it gave me great satisfaction to be able to participate in it, acting for the children of New England in presenting Mollie, Waddy, and Tony to the city of Boston. I wish to especially compliment the police for the orderly and kind manner in which they handled the great crowd of children.â€ (Boston Post, June 7, 1914)
October 31, 1914
Boston College 28, Norwich 6
In a game originally slated to be played in Montpelier, Vermont, the Norwich University football team played Boston College's squad on Halloween, in what was to be the first of the Eagles' many home games at Fenway Park.
The correspondent's report from the Boston Post described the action as follows:
"The best football team that has represented Norwich University this season went down to defeat yesterday afternoon at the hands of the Boston College football team to the tune of 28 to 6. The game was played at Fenway Park, and was one of the finest exhibitions of the new style of open play that has been seen in Boston this year. The Norwich team was greatly strengthened by the half back of Bishop who has been kept out of the lineup until today because of his condition." (Boston Post, November 1, 1914)
The Red Sox and Braves both called Fenway Park home for most of 1915 until the Braves moved into their new ballpark, Braves Field, in August. When the Red Sox reached the World Series in October, the team temporarily left Fenway Park for the bigger Braves Field and won their third World Series Championship. However, Fenway Park didn't lie dormant during the fall as several college and high school football games were held there.
Record: 101-50, 1st in American League
Manager: William F. Carrigan
Postseason: Won World Series
The Red Sox won another pennant in 1915, beating out Ty Cobb and the Detroit Tigers by 2 ½ games. It was the fourth time that Boston had won the flag in the first 15 years of the American League's existence.
The 1915 team was led by great pitching. The Red Sox had the top four, and five of the top six, American League hurlers in winning percentage. Smokey Joe Wood led the way with a .750 winning percentage (15-5 with a 1.49 ERA) followed by Ernie Shore and Rube Foster, who both finished at .704 with identical 19-8 records. Babe Ruth was fourth in the league at .692 (18-8), while Dutch Leonard's .682 (15-7) was good for sixth in the American League. No Red Sox pitcher lost more than eight games, while the team ERA was 2.39, a stunning mark even given the deflated standards of the Deadball Era.
For the sixth straight year, Tris Speaker led the team in hitting (.322 with 69 RBIs), but fell outside the MVP voting for the first time since 1910. In only 92 at-bats, pitcher Babe Ruth was the team leader in home runs with four and Duffy Lewis drove in a team-high 76 runs. Ruth's first home run at Fenway Park was a three-run homer hit off New York's Ray Caldwell on June 25. No one else on the Red Sox hit more than two home runs in 1915.
The Sox took first place in early July, sweeping three consecutive Fenway Park doubleheaders from Washington on July 5, 6, and 7 - shutting out the visiting Senators in three of the six games and holding them to six runs total. On August 7, the Fenway faithful saw Smokey Joe Wood throw the fifth one-hitter of his career, beating the Indians, 2-0. Three days later, Fenway Park witnessed its first triple play, a 7-3-2 gem initiated by St. Louis Browns left-fielder Burt Shotton.
The Red Sox were the heavy favorite going into the 1915 World Series, the second consecutive matchup between a team from Boston and a team from Philadelphia. The previous year, the Boston Braves defeated the Philadelphia Athletics at Fenway Park. In 1915, the Red Sox used the brand-new, larger capacity Braves Field to host the World Series against the Phillies. Though the Red Sox dropped the first game, they used their dominant pitching to win the next four, clinching their second championship in four years.
October 8-13, 1915
The 1915 World Series
The 1915 World Series was a five-game series between the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies. With the support of their teammates' dazzling defense, three Red Sox pitchers combined to toss five complete games in the series.
Game One was played in sloppy conditions, as the Baker Bowl grounds crew put oil on the field and then burned it in the hopes of drying up the field before the game.
Philadelphia had Grover Cleveland Alexander, who ultimately collected 373 career victories, primed to pitch in at least three games. Boston countered with 24-year old Ernie Shore. The young Boston hurler out-pitched Alexander but Philadelphia started a rally in the bottom of the eighth inning, after Red Sox shortstop Everett Scott forgot to cover second base on a remarkable play by his second baseman Jack Barry. The play allowed the Phillies to score two go-ahead runs and secure a 3-1 victory in the series opener.
Boston's Rube Foster was the star of Game Two, pitching a three-hitter and collecting the go-ahead RBI in the ninth inning on his third hit of the game. Foster's efforts earned the Red Sox a 2-1, series-tying victory.
Game Three took place at Braves Field in Boston, borrowed by the Red Sox because it could accommodate more fans than Fenway Park. Alexander took the mound again for the Phillies, while Boston player/manager Bill Carrigan passed over rookie sensation Babe Ruth and veteran Smokey Joe Wood, and chose left-hander Dutch Leonard to take the ball instead. Leonard pitched well and for the second straight game, the score was tied at one going into the final inning. In the bottom of the ninth, Duffy Lewis drove in Harry Hooper with two outs to give Boston a walk-off win and a 2-1 series lead.
Game Four was played on Columbus Day and over 10,000 fans were turned away. The festive day featured three brass bands and real Scottish bag pipers. For the third game in a row, Boston won by the score of 2-1 thanks in large part to Ernie Shore's second complete game of the series and Duffy Lewis' runs-scoring double.
The series returned to Philadelphia for Game Five, which featured four home runs and a complete game by Rube Foster. Boston trailed by two runs in the eighth inning but Duffy Lewis came through again and tied the game with a two-run homer. In the top of the ninth inning, Harry Hooper hit a go-ahead home run and in the bottom half of the inning, Rube Foster retired the side to give the Red Sox a series-clinching, 5-4 victory and their second World Championship in four years.
After winning the World Series at Fenway Park in 1914, the Boston Braves continued to use the home of the Red Sox in 1915, while their new ballpark, Braves Field, was being built. After playing a pair of April exhibition games against New England colleges, the Braves played at Fenway Park until the end of July. Braves Field opened on August 18, 1915, though the Braves' final home game at Fenway Park came three weeks earlier thanks to a lengthy road trip that lasted from July 27 through August 16. During the 1915 season, the Braves went 32-19 at Fenway Park with one tie game, bringing their cumulative regular season record at Fenway Park (including four games in 1913 and the latter part of the 1914 season) to 56-26-3.
1915 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park
April 10: Boston College High School 19, Cambridge Latin 2
April 12: Boston Braves 7, Harvard College 3
April 13: Boston Braves 6, Brown University 0
April 14: Philadelphia Phillies 3, Boston Braves 0
April 15: Philadelphia Phillies 7, Boston Braves 1
April 17: Boston Braves 5, Brooklyn Robins 1
April 19: Boston Braves 7, Brooklyn Robins 2
April 19: Boston Braves 6, Brooklyn Robins 4
April 20: Boston Braves 4, Brooklyn Robins 3
April 21: Brooklyn Robins 8, Boston Braves 4
May 6: New York Giants 3, Boston Braves 1
May 7: Boston Braves 11, New York Giants 7
May 8: Boston Braves 4, New York Giants 3
May 10: Boston Braves 14, New York Giants 9
May 11: St. Louis Cardinals 5, Boston Braves 1
May 13: Boston Braves 6, St. Louis Cardinals 2
May 14: St. Louis Cardinals 5, Boston Braves 4
May 15: Pittsburgh Pirates 10, Boston Braves 6
May 18: Boston Braves 3, Pittsburgh Pirates 2
May 19: Pittsburgh Pirates 7, Boston Braves 0
May 20: Boston Braves 4, Cincinnati Reds 2
May 21: Chicago Cubs 3, Boston Braves 2
May 22: Chicago Cubs 5, Boston Braves 4
May 24: Chicago Cubs 9, Boston Braves 1
May 25: Boston Braves 3, Cincinnati Reds 1
May 27: Cincinnati Reds 6, Boston Braves 0
May 28: Boston Braves 5, Philadelphia Phillies 2
May 28: Boston Braves 5, Philadelphia Phillies 4
May 29: Boston Braves 9, Philadelphia Phillies 4
May 31: Boston Braves 2, Philadelphia Phillies 1
May 31: Philadelphia Phillies 5, Boston Braves 2
June 1: Boston Braves 7, New York Giants 0
June 2: Boston Braves 5, New York Giants 5 (Tie)
June 3: New York Giants 10, Boston Braves 3
June 22: Boston Braves 3, Brooklyn Robins 2
June 23: Boston Braves 3, Brooklyn Robins 2
June 24: Boston Braves 6, Brooklyn Robins 0
July 9: Boston Braves 4, St. Louis Cardinals 3
July 10: St. Louis Cardinals 7, Boston Braves 1
July 10: Boston Braves 3, St. Louis Cardinals 1
July 12: St. Louis Cardinals 2, Boston Braves 1
July 12: St. Louis Cardinals 4, Boston Braves 3
July 13: Pittsburgh Pirates 3, Boston Braves 1
July 13: Boston Braves 7, Pittsburgh Pirates 6
July 15: Boston Braves 3, Pittsburgh Pirates 2
July 16: Boston Braves 6, Pittsburgh Pirates 5
July 17: Boston Braves 3, Cincinnati Reds 2
July 17: Boston Braves 3, Cincinnati Reds 2
July 19: Boston Braves 4, Cincinnati Reds 1
July 20: Boston Braves 6, Cincinnati Reds 2
July 21: Cincinnati Reds 2, Boston Braves 1
July 22: Boston Braves 4, Chicago Cubs 3
July 23: Boston Braves 2, Chicago Cubs 1
July 24: Boston Braves 1, Chicago Cubs 0
July 26: Boston Braves 1, Chicago Cubs 0
On May 23, 1915, Fenway Park witnessed a military mass in memory of the American soldiers and sailors who died in the Spanish-American War. The event was presented by the United Spanish War Veterans and attracted 15,000 patrons, including Massachusetts Governor David I. Walsh and Boston Mayor James Michael Curley.
The following month, a unique doubleheader took place at Fenway Park. On June 5, after the Red Sox beat the Chicago White Sox, the Boston Lacrosse Club and the New York A.A. program played a game on Fenway's turf. The hometown lacrosse team emerged with a 9-2 victory. Later in the year, Fenway Park welcomed several amateur football games again, including a memorable Ivy League contest between Dartmouth and the University of Pennsylvania.
1915 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park
May 23: Spanish-American War Memorial Mass
June 5: Boston Lacrosse Club 9, New York A.A. 2 (Lacrosse)
November 1: Boston Latin 9, High School of Commerce 7 (Football)
November 3: Boston English 20, Mechanic Arts 7 (Football)
November 5: Boston College High 19, St. John's Prep 0 (Football)
November 6: Dartmouth 7, University of Pennsylvania 3 (Football)
November 11: High School of Commerce 10, Mechanic Arts 3 (Football)
November 17: Boston Latin 21, Mechanic Arts 3 (Football)
November 18: Boston English 10, High School of Commerce 6 (Football)
November 25: Boston Latin 14, Boston English 13 (Football)
November 27: Everett High 6, Waltham High 0 (Football)
June 5, 1915
Fenway Park Hosts Red Sox and Boston Lacrosse Club Doubleheader
Red Sox owner Joseph Lannin achieved his American dream when the former bellhop emigrated from Quebec and made his fortune in the States. Apart from leading the Red Sox, Lannin maintained strong ties to his childhood sport of lacrosse and on June 5, 1915, Fenway Park hosted an unprecedented baseball/lacrosse doubleheader.
In the opening game, Rube Foster pitched a four-hitter against the Chicago White Sox, leading the Red Sox to a 4-2 victory before a crowd of 10,000 fans.
Roughly half the crowd remained for the ensuing contest between the Boston Lacrosse Club and the New York Lacrosse A.A. The game started just 15 minutes after the Red Sox recorded the final out and was played on a field laid out in roughly the same fashion as the 2010 Winter Classic rink (between the two dugouts on the crest between the infield and outfield). The Boston team prevailed by a score of 9-2 in a game marked by aggressive play and superb passing.
November 6, 1915
Dartmouth 7, University of Pennsylvania 3
On the day after the British had taken Baghdad in the spreading conflict that was the First World War, the Boston Globe front page headline reported "Dartmouth Snatches Game Out of The Fire." A crowd of 12,000 was sent home cheering due to a last-minute Dartmouth touchdown pass and following the game hundreds of Dartmouth students raced onto the field where they did a snake dance around the grass led by the college band. Not only did they sing "Fight for Dartmouth," a song written expressly for this game, but they also marched from the ballpark to the Colonial Theater where they took in an evening performance of "Watch Your Step."
The 1916 Boston Red Sox (Credit: International Film Service, New York, NY)
Boston College vs. Holy Cross at Fenway Park on December 2, 1916 (Credit: John J. Burns Library, Boston College)
The Red Sox had another pennant-winning season at Fenway Park in 1916 but just like the previous year, they played (and won) the World Series at Braves Field. In September, the Odd Fellows held their first religious service at Fenway Park and amateur high school and college athletics led to another busy fall at the ballpark.
Record: 91-63, 1st in American League
Manager: William F. Carrigan
Postseason: Won World Series
The 1916 Red Sox won 10 fewer games than they had the previous year but their 91-63 record was strong enough to top the Chicago White Sox by two games and win the American League pennant for the second straight year.
With the demise of the Federal League, owners cut player salaries and the Red Sox lost the services of Tris Speaker, who rejected a contract offer that set his salary at 1913 levels (about half what he'd been paid in 1914 and 1915). Unable to reach an agreement, the Red Sox sold Speaker's contract to Cleveland, where he hit .354 over the next 11 seasons.
Despite their financial caution with regards to Speaker, the Red Sox actually lowered 1916 ticket prices in the wake of the previous year's championship. The Sox also introduced "Ladies Day at Fenway Park," admitting women to grandstand seats for 50 cents instead of 75 cents, with owner Joseph Lannin promising "special turnstiles for the womenâ€¦and a special reception room" for female patrons.
In addition to Speaker, the team also lost Smoky Joe Wood, who could no longer throw a baseball effectively but would resurface as an Indians outfielder in 1918. Clarence "Tillie" Walker was Speaker's replacement in center field, hitting a modest .266 but slugging the only home run of the season hit by a Boston player at Fenway Park on June 20.
A number of unusual happenings occurred in 1916: the Red Sox split a pair of exhibitions at the start of the season against local schools (beating Boston College but losing to Harvard), while Babe Ruth was pulled from a game on May 20 even though he was throwing a no-hitter. Ruth left with the bases loaded but Carl Mays came to the rescue and secured a 3-1 win over the Browns.
On June 21, 1916, George "Rube" Foster threw the first no-hitter by a Red Sox pitcher at Fenway Park. Two months later, on August 30, Dutch Leonard became the second Red Sox pitcher to throw a no-hitter at the park. Player/manager Bill Carrigan caught both gems.
Babe Ruth developed into a star pitcher in 1916, going 23-12 with a league-leading 1.75 ERA. On August 15 at Fenway Park, Ruth pitched 13 innings to secure a 1-0 win over Washington's Walter Johnson. Ruth went on to set a Major League Baseball single-season record with nine shutouts in 1916.
The pennant race went down to the wire, and was only decided on October 1. The Red Sox would play their second consecutive World Series at Braves Field, defeating the Brooklyn Robins in five games to clinch the only back-to-back titles in club history.
The months following the World Series were not without activity, either. Three days after the World Series, some members of the Red Sox took part in an exhibition game in New Haven. In response, Baseball's National Commission voted to deny the whole team the traditional World Series emblems given to the champions. Two weeks later, on November 1, Joseph Lannin sold the Red Sox to a group from New York led by Harry Frazee.
October 7-12, 1916
The 1916 World Series
The 1916 World Series began at Braves Field in Boston, with Ernie Shore of the Red Sox facing Rube Marquard of the Brooklyn Robins. Thanks to four Brooklyn errors, Boston took a 6-1 lead into the ninth inning. In the top of the ninth, the Robins scored four times to cut the lead to a single run but Boston shortstop Everett Scott made a marvelous play on a hard-hit Jake Daubert grounder to preserve the Game One victory.
In Game Two, Babe Ruth made his first World Series appearance on the mound. Ruth, who led the Red Sox with 23 regular season victories, surrendered a first-inning inside-the-park home run but settled down and pitched 13 scoreless innings. In the 14th inning, Red Sox pinch-hitter Del Gainer finally ended the game with a run-scoring single. Immediately following the game, baseball writers called Game Two the greatest World Series game ever played and Boston now led the series two games to none.
Game Three was the first World Series game ever played in Brooklyn. Side-armer Carl Mays started for Boston and left after giving up four runs in six innings. The Red Sox narrowed the Brooklyn lead to 4-3 on a Larry Gardner home run in the seventh but Robins' reliever Jack Pfeiffer came on to retire the final eight Boston hitters and preserve the win.
Boston's Dutch Leonard started Game Four and promptly gave up two runs in the first but he settled down on his way to a 6-2 Red Sox victory. The team's offense battered Brooklyn ace Marquard and pushed the Robins to the brink of elimination.
The series headed back to Boston in time for Columbus Day. In Game Five, Boston's office scored four early runs to build a 4-1 lead. With his team needing just one more victory to clinch the series, Red Sox starter Ernie Shore pitched a complete game, surrendering just three hits and one unearned run. For the second straight year, the Red Sox were World Champions.
The 1916 World Series was not an offensive showcase for the Red Sox, as Larry Gardner paced the Boston offense with two home runs, six RBIs and a batting average of just .176. Boston won with their pitching and though Babe Ruth went 0-5 at the plate, his outstanding performance on the mound in Game Two is the only time a pitcher has thrown 14 innings in a World Series game.
Fenway Park hosted three amateur baseball games in 1916, including a Massachusetts Police baseball league playoff game between the Boston Police and the Newton Police.
1916 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park
May 26: Noble & Greenough 16, Volkmann School 2
September 2: Pere Marquette Council, Knights of Columbus of South Boston 3, Salvador Council of New York 2
September 21: Boston Police 10, Newton Police 6
On September 4, 1916, the Galway Men's Association held a field day at Fenway Park with competitions that included hurling and two football matches. Six days later, 15,000 Odd Fellows gathered at the ballpark for a religious and patriotic service. The group proceeded down Tremont Street, Boylston Street and Commonwealth Avenue, before marching into Fenway Park for a rousing rally before an enthusiastic crowd. Amateur football games filled the Fenway docket during late October, November and early December, including a memorable victory by Boston College over their rival Holy Cross.
1916 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park
September 4: Galway Men's Association Field Day
September 10: Odd Fellows Religious Service
October 20: High School of Commerce 21, Lowell High 19 (Football)
October 27: Boston College High 52, South Boston High 0 (Football)
October 30: High School of Commerce 13, Brockton High 0 (Football)
November 1: Boston English 25, Mechanic Arts 0 (Football)
November 15: Boston Latin 3, Mechanic Arts 0 (Football)
November 16: Boston English 27, Brockton High 0 (Football)
November 17: High School of Commerce 27, Dorchester High 0 (Football)
November 18: Rindge Tech 17, Boston College High 0 (Football)
November 23: Boston English 20, High School of Commerce 7 (Football)
November 25: Syracuse 20, Tufts 13 (Football)
November 30: Boston English 13, Boston Latin 0 (Football)
December 2: Boston College 17, Holy Cross 14 (Football)
December 9: Somerville High 7, DePaul Academy (IL) 0 (Football)
September 10, 1916
Thousands Cheer Odd Fellows On Their Three Mile March To Fenway Park
On a weekend during which the Red Sox battled the Washington Senators at Griffith Park in their quest for back-to-back pennants, Fenway Park answered to a higher calling.
Under sunny skies and balmy conditions, thousands of Bostonians cheered 15,000 Odd Fellows representing 200 lodges of Massachusetts as they marched down Boylston and Tremont streets before heading down Commonwealth Avenue towards Fenway Park to hold their annual "Church Day of the Triple Link League of the I.O.O.F."
Among the highlights of their ballpark ceremony was a flag parade featuring 75 flag bearers who marched and countermarched across the Fenway diamond before standing at attention as the crowd thundered forth "The Star Spangled Banner."
In the principal address delivered from a platform located directly over the pitcher's mound, Past Grand Master Joseph Belcher remarked:
"In the olden days, our forefathers in their deep religious feeling, worshipped only in a building of God, deeming it somewhat irreligious to worship in the open air. But who among us cannot feel the inspiration of worshipping our lord and master under the blue canopy of heaven? Surely there can be no one in this present day and generation, who, because of inherited prejudice can fail to catch the splendor of this hour." (Boston Post, September 11, 1916)
After several more speakers, the ceremony closed with the crowd singing "America" to the accompaniment of 10 bands.
December 2, 1916
Boston College 17, Holy Cross 14
On a Saturday that Bostonians celebrated Thanksgiving, the fans of Boston College were justified in feeling Christmas may have come early.
Of the memorable game, Boston Globe sportswriter Lawrence J. Sweeney wrote:
"For 17 long years, Boston College had awaited the day when her football team should triumph over its time-honored rival from Worcester and yesterday at Fenway Park, as the shadows of eventide crept over the gridiron, her fondest hopes were realized." (Boston Sunday Globe, December 3, 1916)
A crowd of 8,000 that included Mayor James M. Curley and Cardinal William O'Connell attended the historic game.
In the first year of Harry Frazee's ownership of the club, the Red Sox missed out on the World Series for the first time since 1914. With World War I engulfing Europe, Fenway Park hosted a public drill and march by the Shepard Norwell Women's Military Company and war memorial mass over the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
Record: 90-62, 2nd in American League
Manager: John J. Barry
Coming off back-to-back titles, the 1917 Red Sox won 90 games (just one less victory than the previous season) but finished in second place, a full nine games behind the White Sox.
Harry Frazee purchased the team in late 1916, with the sale reportedly contingent on Bill Carrigan's return as manager. However, Frazee's visit to Carrigan in Maine just before the New Year proved fruitless and on January 4, Frazee accepted the situation and named Jack Barry as the new player/manager.
With World War I underway, ballplayers were told that those who enlisted in the military would have their positions held open for them. Frazee nonetheless cut some salaries even below the depressed 1916 levels. Players from both teams frequently marched on the field before games in military drills.
The Red Sox leader on offense was Duffy Lewis, who hit .302. Babe Ruth and Carl Mays led the pitching staff with 24 and 22 wins, respectively. The team started 12-4 and sat in first place as late as July 31.
Though the Red Sox didn't reach the postseason, there were a number of memorable occurrences during the 1917 season. In early June, Fenway announcer Red Armstrong gave way to Stonewall Jackson, who would hold the position for many years. On June 16, a near-riot occurred due to a combination of rain and the suspected involvement of gamblers who were displeased that Chicago was beating the Red Sox. Somehow, 500 spectators ended up on the field and wouldn't leave but the game eventually resumed.
One week later, Babe Ruth and Ernie Shore combined for one of the most bizarre no-hitters in history. Ruth was ejected after he walked the first batter and vociferously objected to the call but Shore came in and retired every one of the batters he faced. Later in the season, plainclothes policemen arrested five gamblers in Fenway's right-field bleachers during an August game, as part of a crackdown ordered by American League President Ban Johnson.
At the end of the season, the Red Sox and Senators played a benefit game with proceeds going to the 101st Regiment Fund. Two days after the final game of the World Series, five members of the Red Sox were called to duty by the United States Navy, including Jack Barry and Duffy Lewis.
In the midst of the 1917 Red Sox season, four other baseball games were played at Fenway Park, including the third Fenway match-up between Noble & Greenough and the Volkmann School.
1917 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park
May 25: Volkmann School, Noble & Greenough 4
June 20: Mechanic Arts High 8, High School of Commerce 3
August 3: St. John's A. C. of Cambridge 6, Boston Tigers 5
August 13: Boston Printers 8, New York Printers 2
A pair of non-athletic events highlighted Fenway Park's earliest months of 1917. On March 19, the Shepard Norwell Women's Military Company, a 125-member group that served as a first aid organization auxiliary to the hospital corps, held their first public drill and marched around the park with Springfield rifles. Later in the month, another Spanish-American War mass was held at the park (there had also been a service held in 1915). In the Fall, Boston College played a pair of football games at Fenway Park, and six high school football games also took place there.
1917 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park
March 19: Shepard Norwell Women's Military Company First Public Drill
March 27: Spanish-American War Memorial Mass*
October 12: Boston College 20, Tufts 0 (Football)
October 26: High School of Commerce 26, Brockton High 7 (Football)
October 31: Boston English 34, Mechanic Arts 0 (Football)
November 8: Boston English 21, Boston College High 6 (Football)
November 10: Boston College 34, Holy Cross 6 (Football)
November 13: High School of Commerce, 37, Arlington High 0 (Football)
November 16: Boston Latin 34, Mechanic Arts 0 (Football)
November 29: Boston English 13, Boston Latin 6 (Football)
*Started in the 1910s, a late May memorial service coinciding with the Memorial Day weekend was often held at Fenway Park through the mid-20th Century.
The final year of the First World War affected the events at Fenway Park in a number of ways. With many players abroad fighting, the Red Sox won the American League Pennant during a shortened season and won their fourth World Series Championship of the decade. The ballpark hosted a crowd of 30,000 for a war memorial mass in late May.
Record: 75-51, 1st in American League
Manager: Edward G. Barrow
Postseason: Won World Series
For the third time in four years, the Red Sox won the World Series, though this was one of the more unusual seasons in baseball history. Hanging over the season from beginning to premature end was the threat that baseball would shut down due to World War I. Many players signed up to work in industries deemed essential to the war effort, pre-empting them against the draft. Indicative of the ongoing turnover, the Red Sox had nine different players at third base during the course of a season, which ran only 126 games before ending early on September 2.
Ed Barrow was hired as manager of the team and the season began with appeals to the crowd to buy Liberty Bonds to support the war. Babe Ruth drove in two runs on Opening Day and beat Philadelphia, 7-1. The Sox started 6-0 and found themselves in first place almost all season long.
On June 20, star pitcher Dutch Leonard, who had pitched a no-hitter just a few weeks earlier, had his classification in the military draft change. Leonard quit the team to take a job at the Fore River Shipyard in Quincy, Massachusetts. Eight days later, Babe Ruth hit his 10th home run of the year, becoming the only player to hit at least 10 homers and win at least 10 games as a pitcher in the same season.
In 1918, Ruth also began playing in the field more regularly when he wasn't pitching. His 11 home runs led the American League (his teammates accumulated just four home runs) but his eccentricities provoked concern from team officials. In early July, Ruth went AWOL from the team, with word getting out that he'd signed to pitch for the Chester (Pennsylvania) Shipbuilding Company team. He came back three days later but his erratic behavior was less than pleasing to both Barrow and Harry Frazee.
The 1918 Red Sox had outstanding pitching led by Carl Mays, who went 21-13 (including victories in both games of an August 30 doubleheader against the visiting Athletics). Sad Sam Jones had the best winning percentage on the team, going 16-5 with a 2.25 ERA, while Ruth finished 13-7 with a 2.22 ERA.
The Red Sox went on to defeat the National League Champion Chicago Cubs in a World Series marred by disputes over gate receipts and the threat of a player strike. Boston prevailed in six games to claim their fourth championship of the decade but the achievement was met with tempered fan enthusiasm. Compounding these issues was the fact that, for the second series in a row, Boston's players were penalized because some participated in post-World Series play.
At the end of the calendar year, owners of every team rushed to renew contracts with their players. The war had ended on November 11, 1918, but the players had been released from their contracts when the season ended early. As it happens, the situation was resolved without any major problems.
September 5-11, 1918
The 1918 World Series
The 1918 regular season was forced to end early because of World War I and the "Work or Fight" order, so the 1918 World Series between the Red Sox and Cubs commenced on September 5, 1918. The first three games were played in Chicago and Babe Ruth shut out the Cubs 1-0 in Game One. The Cubs took Game Two but Carl Mays pitched the Red Sox to a 2-1 victory in Game Three, giving the Red Sox a 2-1 series lead as they returned home to Fenway Park.
A possible strike concerning the allocation of gate receipts jeopardized Game Four but the disagreement was resolved and the teams took the field. Once they did, Babe Ruth built off his Game One momentum and held the Cubs without a run through seven innings. With his performance Ruth ran his streak of consecutive scoreless World Series innings to 29 ?, a record that lasted until Whitey Ford surpassed it in 1961. Though Chicago scored twice off Ruth in the top of the eighth inning, the Red Sox came back with the go-ahead and eventual game-winning run in the bottom half of the frame, and Boston held one to take a 3-1 lead in the series.
The Cubs won Game Five at Fenway Park but the Red Sox rode a strong starting pitching performance by Mays to a championship-clinching, 2-1 victory in Game Six. With many fans still upset about the dispute before Game Four, the crowd for the finale at Fenway Park was a mere 15,238.
Chicago's pitching in the series could hardly have been better, as their staff earned run average was a miniscule 1.04 (Boston's was 1.70). The Red Sox scoring nine runs the entire series but those tallies were enough to seal Boston's fifth World Series Championship in 15 years, and their third in the first seven years of Fenway Park's history.
In May 1918, as the First World War was nearing its conclusion, the European theatre of conflict still brought news of massive casualty numbers and widespread destruction. Amidst this sorrow, Fenway Park held a memorial mass in tribute to fallen members of the United States Army and Navy on May 26, 1918. Led by Archbishop of Boston Cardinal O'Connell, the mass drew more than 30,000 attendees, including several prominent politicians and businessmen who paid their respects to the fallen soldiers and sailors. On a less somber note, high school football returned to Fenway Park in November and December of 1918, after the Red Sox had won the World Series in September.
1918 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park
May 26: World War I Memorial Mass*
November 5: High School of Commerce 33, Revere High School 0 (Football)
November 7: Dorchester High 7, Boston English 6 (Football)
November 8: Boston College High School 7, Boston Latin 7 (Football)
November 14: Boston Latin 0, Dorchester High 0 (Football)
November 15: Boston College High School 21, Boston English 0 (Football)
November 28: Boston Latin 28, Boston English 0 (Football)
December 7: High School of Commerce 3, Medford High 0 (Football)
*Started in the 1910s, a late May memorial service coinciding with the Memorial Day weekend was often held at Fenway Park through the mid-20th Century.
May 26, 1918
Fenway Park Holds World War I Military Mass
Over 30,000 attended a solemn war memorial mass at Fenway Park on May 26, 1918. Scores of Bostonians, including large delegations from local businesses such as Jordan Marsh, Filenes, R.H. White, Lee Higginson Company, Heitzer-Cabot Company and American Express, marched to the park with "the vigor and spirit of soldiers," according to one eyewitness.
The head of the Boston Archdiocese, Cardinal William O'Connell presided over the mass, which was also attended by Governor Samuel McCall, Mayor Andrew James Peters, and many other politicians and public officials.
A large group of recently-drafted men joined with Coast Guard sailors, radio and aviation cadets, and parish society members as the crowd sang "Keep The Home Fires Burning," "Onward Christian Soldiers," and "Over There."
Rally For Irish Independence At Fenway Park In 1919 (Credit: Leslie Jones Collection/Boston Public Library)
Though the Red Sox finished with a losing record for the first time in the decade, 1919 was a busy year at Fenway Park. Perhaps the most memorable non-baseball event at the park was a rally in June, during which future Irish President Eamon De Valera delivered a speech to a capacity Fenway Park crowd.
Record: 66-71, 6th in American League
Manager: Edward G. Barrow
For the first time since 1908, the Red Sox finished below .500, going 66-71 en route to a distant sixth place finish.
Boston's top two pitchers were Herb Pennock (16-8, 2.71 ERA) and Allen Russell (10-4, 2.52 ERA). On May 20, Pennock pitched to the minimum 27 batters, despite giving up three singles. Babe Ruth won nine games but primarily played the outfield and was a star in the batter's box. In 1919, Ruth set a Major League Baseball single-season record with 29 home runs, four of which were grand slams.
The season started nicely with back-to-back shutouts, but it didn't take long to deteriorate and dissension soon permeated the clubhouse. On July 13, Carl Mays bolted the team mid-game, angry at the sloppy fieldwork behind him. Frazee traded Mays to the Yankees soon thereafter, triggering a lengthy controversy with American League President Ban Johnson.
During the September 1919 Boston Police Strike, there was a report that a gang of gunmen had travelled from New York planning to rob Fenway Park. With the local police unavailable, the state militia and volunteer policemen lined the streets outside the park before the team's September 11 doubleheader. Three days later, there was serious discussion about the Red Sox playing all their remaining "home" games at Brooklyn's Ebbets Field until the police strike was resolved.
September 20, 1919 was Babe Ruth Day at Fenway Park, and he hit his 27th home run of the season in what turned out to be his last game in Boston as a player for the Red Sox. In a sign of the rift between Ruth and the club, Ruth complained that Harry Frazee had made the star's wife pay for her own ticket. On the day after Christmas, Frazee sold Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees, borrowing $350,000 as part of the deal and putting up Fenway Park as collateral.
On August 23, 1919, Boston played New York at Fenway Park but it wasn't the Red Sox, Braves, Yankees, Dodgers, or Giants who took the field. Instead, the Boston Navy Yard edged the New York Navy Yard, 6-4.
1919 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park
August 23: Boston Navy Yard 6, New York Navy Yard 4
Fenway Park hosted a diverse roster of non-baseball events in 1919. In late June, future Irish President Eamon De Valera delivered a rousing speech in support of Irish independence. The Odd Fellows returned to Fenway Park on September 7 for a mass and ceremony trumpeting America's solidarity with England. In addition, several football games were played at the ballpark in 1919, with a particularly busy day on November 27. That day, two football games were played and a 10-mile race was held. The race started at Fenway Park and ended back at the ballpark during halftime of the St. Alphonsus vs. Pere Marquette football game.
1916 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park
May 25: Spanish-American War Memorial Service*
June 29: Eamon De Valera Speech
September 7: Odd Fellows Religious Service
September 26: High School of Commerce 39, Revere High 0 (Football)
October 10: Boston English 20, Dorchester High 10 (Football)
October 12: Boston College High 9, Boston Latin 3 (Football)
October 30: Dorchester High 47, Mechanic Arts 0 (Football)
November 3: Boston Latin 7, High School of Commerce 0 (Football)
November 7: Boston College High 24, Dorchester High 7 (Football)
November 8: Rutgers 13, Boston College 7 (Football)
November 11: Boston College High 10, Boston English 0 (Football)
November 12: High School of Commerce 32, Brockton High 0 (Football)
November 14: Boston Latin 7, Dorchester High 0 (Football)
November 15: Boston College 9, Holy Cross 7 (Football)
November 18: Boston English 14, High School of Commerce 0 (Football)
November 27: 10-mile New England Championship Run by the St. Alphonsus Association and the Dorchester Club starting and ending at Fenway Park.
November 27: St. Alphonsus 0, Pere Marquette Council, K of C 0 (Football)
November 27: Boston Latin 0, Boston English 0 (Football)
December 1: Boston College High 54, Mechanic Arts 0 (Football)
*Started in the 1910s, a late May memorial service coinciding with the Memorial Day weekend was often held at Fenway Park through the mid-20th Century.
June 29, 1919
Irish President Edward (Eamon) De Valera Speaks at Fenway Park
Thousands were turned away on a sunny Sunday afternoon as the cause of Irish freedom was celebrated at a mammoth Fenway Park ceremony highlighted by a rousing speech by US Senator David I. Walsh and future Irish President Eamon De Valera.
While introducing De Valera, Walsh remarked, "In form, face, intellect and the cause he represents, De Valera reminds me of Abraham Lincoln, the Great Emancipator, and as that great man took the shackles off the black man, the Lincoln of Ireland will take the shackles of tyranny and oppression from Ireland." (Boston Post, June 29, 1919)
De Valera's first words in Gaelic were drowned out by ear splitting applause and once he spoke in English the crowd continued to participate shouting the response "Lies, Lies" to De Valera's speculation that many in Ireland thought America had forsaken the cause of Irish freedom.
Among the resolutions unanimously resolved at the gathering by Walsh and endorsed by De Valera were:
That we return thanks to the United States Senate for their American patriotic and sympathetic actions in instructing the American delegates at Paris to bring the case of Ireland, through its representatives to the peace conference, that her case be heard.
That we declare ourselves unreservedly in favor of the independence of Ireland and demand that our government recognize the Irish Republic.
That we register our opposition to any purported League of Nations which does not protect all American rights and ideals and which binds us to guarantee the territorial integrity of the British and Japanese empires.