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‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎Fenway Park Timeline

1920_1929

1920-1929

1920

For Red Sox fans, 1920 started with the devastating news that Babe Ruth had been sold to the Yankees, ushering in the start of a miserable decade for the Red Sox on the field. Still, some good things did happen at Fenway Park in its first year without Ruth, including the park's first boxing match and concert.

Record: 72-81, 5th in American League
Manager: Edward G. Barrow
Attendance: 402,445

In the very first days of 1920, Red Sox fans heard the news: Babe Ruth had been sold to the New York Yankees. Owner Harry Frazee argued that the Red Sox would perform better without Ruth's disruptive influence.

Though many Boston newspapers agreed, Ruth stunned the baseball world by hitting .376 with 54 home runs in his first year with New York. The Yankees scored 260 more runs than they had the previous season, while Boston fans rued the slugger's absence and showered him with applause every time the Yankees visited.

Boston's winning percentage in 1920 was slightly lower than it was the year before, though they did finish one rung higher in fifth place. The team batting average and ERA improved but attendance slipped. The team won its first five home games, but by year's end Fenway Park drew an average of 1,135 fewer fans per game than it had the previous season. With a disappointing 72-81 record, Boston finished 25 ½ games behind first-place Cleveland.

Harry Hooper led the Red Sox in home runs and his seven blasts accounted for nearly a third of the team's total of 22. Newcomer Tim Hendryx led the squad with 73 RBIs and a batting average of .328, while Herb Pennock's 16 wins paced the pitching staff.

The 1920 season was the start of a disappointing decade for the Red Sox and the infamous Ruth transaction foreshadowed the sale of many Red Sox players to the Yankees in the early 1920s.

In May 1920, the Spanish War Veterans hosted a Fenway Park memorial service in tribute to their fallen comrades. Later in the summer, composer John Philip Sousa performed a concert at Fenway Park. The ballpark showcased a wild and raucous boxing show in October that ended with post-fight violence and an angry crowd. Fenway Park also opened its doors to amateur football with high school and college gridiron action during the fall months of 1920.

1920 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park

May 30: War Memorial Service*

August 8: John Philip Sousa Concert

October 9: Open Air Boxing Show

October 12: Boston Latin 18, Mechanics Arts High 0 (Football)

October 12: Dorchester High 7, Boston English 6 (Football)

November 20: Boston College 13, Marietta College 3 (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.

In May 1920, the Spanish War Veterans hosted a Fenway Park memorial service in tribute to their fallen comrades. Later in the summer, composer John Philip Sousa performed a concert at Fenway Park. The ballpark showcased a wild and raucous boxing show in October that ended with post-fight violence and an angry crowd. Fenway Park also opened its doors to amateur football with high school and college gridiron action during the fall months of 1920.

1920 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park

May 30: War Memorial Service*

August 8: John Philip Sousa Concert

October 9: Open Air Boxing Show

October 12: Boston Latin 18, Mechanics Arts High 0 (Football)

October 12: Dorchester High 7, Boston English 6 (Football)

November 20: Boston College 13, Marietta College 3 (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.

October 9, 1920
 Open Air Boxing Show at Fenway Park

The first boxing event held at Fenway Park was a wild affair held on a beautiful Saturday afternoon that left the 5,000 in attendance stunned by the ferocity of the main bout and its unexpected aftermath.

After heavyweight contender Battling McCreary won a clear 10-round decision over John Lester Johnson, McCreary went over to his opponent's corner to shake hands and was met by what the Boston Globe described as a "stiff wallop to the mouth."

This prompted another fight in which McCreary not only knocked Johnson out of the ring, but also struck Johnson on the head with a stool that McCreary had grabbed from his corner. Fan reaction was immediate and at least one tonic bottle was tossed at McCreary as he scampered to his dressing room.

In other bouts that day, Eddie Shevlin of Roxbury won a 10-round decision over Paul Doyle of New York, "Pal" Reed of Framingham stopped Johnny Alecks of Philadelphia in the eighth round, and Young Sacco of East Boston scored a surprise win over Harry "Kid" Brown of Philadelphia in 10 rounds.

October 12, 1920
 Boston Latin and Dorchester Win at Fenway Park Football Doubleheader

After Boston Latin defeated Mechanics Arts High 18-0 in the first game of the October 12 doubleheader, Dorchester High and Boston English played a thriller in the second contest. English missed the extra-point after its lone touchdown, which was scored in dramatic fashion following a blocked kick. In the fourth quarter Dorchester recovered an English fumble and quickly advanced upfield. Dorchester right halfback George Kinally then rushed for a touchdown and made the point-after kick to give his team a 7-6 victory.

1921

While Fenway Park's attendance for Red Sox games took a sharp turn downward in 1921, the park continued to open its gates for amateur football after the Red Sox season ended.

Record: 75-79, 5th in American League
Manager: Hugh Duffy
Attendance: 279,273

As the 1920 calendar year was ending, Harry Frazee pulled off his fourth trade with the Yankees in 24 months. In December 1920, the Red Sox sent pitcher Waite Hoyt (a future Hall of Famer) and three others to New York for only one player who would excel, second baseman Del Pratt. In addition, Frazee decided to let manager Ed Barrow escape to the Yankees, where he became business manager, the equivalent of the modern-day general manager.

Over the 1920-21 offseason, Frazee hired longtime Boston baseball man Hugh Duffy as field manager. In early March 1921, popular 12-year veteran right fielder Harry Hooper was traded to the White Sox for Shano Collins and Nemo Leibold. Some members of the press began to pile on Frazee, and Boston Evening American sportswriter Nick Flately called for a fan boycott of Fenway Park. By the end of the year, attendance at Fenway Park ranked last in the American League.

As the newcomer, Pratt led the team with a .324 batting average, 102 RBIs and five home runs. Judged by ERA, the two best pitchers were Sad Sam Jones and Bullet Joe Bush, who combined for 39 wins and 25 losses.

The team continued to tread water and finished in fifth place for the second consecutive year. The trades between the Red Sox and Yankees seemed to be working out in New York's favor as the Yankees won the first pennant in their history while the Red Sox finished 23 ½ games behind.

In 1921, the distances from home plate to each foul pole were first recorded as 324 feet down the left-field line and 313.5 feet down the right-field line.

The Boston vs. New York rivalry in the 1920's wouldn't be a kind one to the team from Massachusetts, though Boston's All-Interscholastic team did defeat New York's squad at Fenway Park by a 2-1 score on July 16, 1921.

1921 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park

July 16: Boston All-Interscholastic 2, New York All-Interscholastic 1

Fenway Park hosted its second Columbus Day football doubleheader in as many years on October 12, 1921, with Boston English and Boston Latin taking home victories. The next month, High School of Commerce defeated Brooklyn Commercial High School and Dartmouth's freshman team shut out Dean Academy

1921 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park

October 12: Boston English 27, Dorchester 0 (Football)

October 12: Boston Latin 6, Mechanics Arts High School 0 (Football)

November 12: High School of Commerce 27, Brooklyn Commercial High School 5 (Football)

November 18: Dartmouth Freshman Team 21, Dean Academy 0 (Football)

 

November 18, 1921
 Dartmouth Freshmen Defeat Dean Academy, 21-0

In a game that press accounts described as both disappointing and penalty-marred, Dartmouth's freshman football team showcased their talent against a strong Dean Academy squad before a Fenway Park crowd that featured many Dartmouth alumni and former players. At the time, Dartmouth was building a national collegiate powerhouse and within four seasons they would secure lasting fame by capturing the 1925 National Championship. Dartmouth's rare trips to Fenway Park served as a great recruiting vehicle as well as a rallying point for Boston alumni.

1922

The Red Sox finished in last place in 1922, beginning a stretch of 11 years in which the team finished last all but twice. However, Fenway Park continued to host crowds at a variety of events including a third straight Columbus Day football doubleheader, high school baseball, an annual war memorial service and a meeting held by the Irish Republican Army in May.

Record: 61-93, 8th in American League
Manager: Hugh Duffy
Attendance: 259,184

The Red Sox plunged to the cellar in 1922, finishing in eighth place with a 61-93 record. Hugh Duffy returned as manager and ran out a staff whose best pitcher (measured by earned run average) was 38-year-old Jack Quinn. But even Quinn couldn't break even and went 13-16. Rip Collins led the club in wins with 14 and was the only pitcher on the team with a winning record. Both Quinn and Collins had come from the Yankees in the trade for veterans Sam Jones, Everett Scott, and Joe Bush. Another trade between the two teams in late July, which many saw as a boost to New York in the pennant race, prompted Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis to institute a June 15 trading deadline.

Boston's .263 batting average was the lowest in the American League, as was the club's on-base and slugging percentage. The team's ERA wasn't quite as bad - only sixth-worst - but the defense did the staff no favors, finishing with the lowest fielding percentage in the AL. First baseman George Burns hit 12 homers, twice as many as anyone else on the team, while his .306 batting average placed him second only to outfielder Joe Harris. Burns, Harris, and reserve outfielder Elmer Smith had come to the team in a Christmas Eve 1921 trade with Cleveland, for Stuffy McInnis.

After their first 25 games, the Red Sox found themselves in third place but by Memorial Day they were in eighth and rarely saw daylight again. Though the season was a forgettable one, there was a notable benefit game between the Red Sox and a team of All-American stars played at Fenway Park on August 14. Proceeds from the game went to the family of the late Boston Braves outfielder Tommy McCarthy. Lizzie Murphy, who played in the benefit, became the first woman to appear in a baseball game at Fenway Park.

In 1922, the distance to center field was first recorded. Dead center field was measured as 488 feet from home, with the deepest part of the ballpark measured at 550 feet to just right of dead center.

Fenway Park hosted just one non-Red Sox baseball game in 1922 with English High defeating High School of Commerce, 2-1.

1922 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park

June 13English High 2, High School of Commerce 1

In May 1922, the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Spanish War Veterans organized a memorial service at Fenway Park. That same day, the ballpark added another chapter to its political history, when the Irish Republican Army held a meeting there. Countess Constance Georgine Markiewicz, an Irish revolutionary and key figure in the 1916 Easter Rising, delivered a speech to the assembled crowd as part of the event. Fenway Park also hosted a few football games in 1922, including another Columbus Day doubleheader.

1922 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park

May 28War Memorial Service*

May 28Irish Republican Army Meeting and Speech by Countess Markiewicz

October 12Boston English 0, BC High 0 (Football)

October 12Dorchester High 18, Mechanics Arts 0 (Football)

November 25Dartmouth 7, Brown 0 (Football)

November 30Pere Marquette Council, Knights of Columbus 7, Fitton A. C. of East Boston 0 (Football)

December 10USS Delaware 27, USS Relief 0 (North Atlantic Fleet Football Championship)

 

*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.

October 12, 1922
1922 Columbus Day Football Doubleheader
at Fenway Park

In what was fast becoming a Columbus Day tradition, Fenway Park played host to a high school football doubleheader in 1922. Boston English and Boston College High School ended up in a scoreless tie, while Dorchester High posted three second-half touchdowns to defeat their cross-town rival Mechanics Arts High. Both games were played in the morning as preludes to a heralded afternoon game between Boston College and Fordham at Braves Field.

1923

Though Red Sox owner Harry Frazee exited the Fenway Park stage in 1923, the losing continued under new management. Still, Fenway Park's schedule of non-Red Sox events remained full in 1923 with football and amateur baseball.

Record: 61-91, 8th in American League
Manager: Frank L. Chance
Attendance: 229,688

In 1923, the Red Sox club ownership and field management changed. Frank Chance took over as manager before the season and on July 11, 1923, a group from the Midwest purchased the team for a little over $1 million. Bob Quinn became president of the club and The Sporting News, reflecting widespread antipathy to the departing Harry Frazee, suggested, "Hub May Make Date of Red Sox Sale New Holiday."

The 1923 season began with the Red Sox in New York for the grand opening of Yankee Stadium. By season's end, the team had won 61 games, the same as in 1922, and the Red Sox finished in last place again. Almost one-third of the team's victories were won by Howard Ehmke, who threw a no-hitter on September 7 and went 20-17. Joe Harris and George Burns led the offense, with 20 homers and 158 RBIs between them, and Burns earned himself a permanent place in the annals of baseball history with his September 14 unassisted triple play, a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy season.

Four high school baseball games were played at Fenway Park in September 1923 with North Cambridge's team appearing in all four but not winning a single contest. North Cambridge tied their first two games at the ballpark but then dropped the next two to finish a winless stretch.

1923 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park

September 6: North Cambridge 4, St. Andrews 4 (Tie)

September 7: North Cambridge 5, St. Andrews 5 (Tie)

September 10: St. Andrews 5, North Cambridge 1

September 12: Fitchburg 7, North Cambridge 2

On May 27, 1923, the annual war memorial service organized by the Spanish War Veterans and other groups was held at Fenway Park. After the Red Sox season, the fourth consecutive Columbus Day high school football doubleheader was played at Fenway Park and the following month, Dartmouth and Brown staged a Fenway rematch of their game the previous year.

1923 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park

May 27: War Memorial Service*

October 12: BC High 20, Boston English 0 (Football)

October 12: Dorchester High 11, Mechanical Arts 0 (Football)

October 19: Boston Latin 7, Boston College High 0 (Football)

November 10: Dartmouth 16, Brown 14 (Football)

November 29: Pere Marquette 14, Fitton A.C. 9 (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.

1924

In Bob Quinn's first full year as owner of the Red Sox, Fenway Park attendance grew quite dramatically. However, the team only finished one spot better in the standings and the seventh place showing would be the last time they finished above place for the rest of the decade. As the club's president, Quinn continued the use of Fenway Park for amateur football, baseball, and other non-Red Sox events.

Record: 67-87, 7th in American League
Manager: Lee A. Fohl
Attendance: 448,556

There was optimism entering 1924, the first full year under new ownership, and over 25,000 fans turned out on Opening Day to see Howard Ehmke take a three-hit, 1-0 shutout against New York through eight innings. However, in the top of the ninth, a single by Babe Ruth and two errors by the newly-acquired Bill Wambsganss cost Ehmke the game.

Under new manager Lee Fohl, the Red Sox looked strong early in the year and were in first place as late as June 13, before falling off dramatically and finishing with a 67-86 record. For one of the few times in the decade, the Red Sox didn't finish last - though they couldn't have come any closer to the cellar; Boston was 25 games out of first place and Chicago was 25 ½.

Under the new ownership, Red Sox attendance nearly doubled over the final Frazee year (448,556 vs. 229,688 in 1923). There was even a suggestion floated early in June that the team put a second deck on the Fenway Park grandstand. Nonetheless, when the season was over, the Red Sox still ranked last in attendance.

Three collegiate baseball games were played at Fenway Park in June 1924, including an extra-inning contest between Harvard and Princeton. Boston College's baseball team went 1-1 at Fenway Park in 1924, trouncing Georgetown but falling to their rival Holy Cross. Later in the year, a team representing the Boston Post Office defeated their counterparts from the Hartford Post Office, 9-0.

1924 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park

June 2: Boston College 20, Georgetown 6

June 4: Harvard 5, Princeton 3 (10 innings)

June 11: Holy Cross 12, Boston College 0

September 14: Boston Post Office 9, Hartford Post Office 0

While the Red Sox continued to struggle in 1924, amateur football again filled Fenway Park's schedule in the fall months. In the annual Columbus Day football doubleheader, Boston College High downed Boston English 7-0, and Dorchester vanquished Mechanic Arts 18-0. Earlier in the year, another war memorial service took place with 7,500 people in the audience and in early June, the Boys Scouts also held a rally at the park.

1924 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park

May 25: War Memorial Service*

June 7: Boy Scouts of Boston Council Rally

October 11: Providence Steam Rollers 7, Pere Marquette 0 (Football)

October 13: Boston College High 7, Boston English 0 (Football)

October 13: Dorchester High 18, Mechanic Arts 0 (Football)

November 27: Fitton A. C. 20, Pere Marquette 0 (Football)

December 6: Neponset Warriors 7, Fitton A. C. 7 (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.

1925

In 1925, soccer arrived at Fenway Park for the first time with a pair of matches in October. Several amateur baseball and football teams also played at the park during the year and provided a change of pace from the dispiriting Red Sox season.

Record: 47-105, 8th in American League
Manager: Lee A. Fohl
Attendance: 267,782

Almost nothing went right for the Red Sox in 1925, with a 2-10 April start setting the tone for the season. Lee Fohl returned as manager but the Red Sox won only 47 games, the fewest wins in team history. While losing 105 games, the team scored 639 runs but allowed 922 and committed 63 more errors than it had the year before.

Perhaps there was some solace that the Yankees had fallen all the way to seventh place, but the Red Sox were so deep in the cellar that there were still more than 20 games separating them from New York. The longest Red Sox winning streak in 1925 was three games long and attendance plunged by over 180,000 at Fenway Park.

Ike Boone had another good year and so did new third baseman Doc Prothro. First baseman Phil Todt's 75 RBIs and 11 home runs led the team while Ted Wingfield was the team's leader in wins with a 12-19 record. Howard Ehmke and rookie Red Ruffing both earned nine victories. The fact that a future Hall of Famer like Ruffing could fare so poorly (9-18) reflected both his inexperience and the team around him. There wasn't much hope to build a better team though, as Quinn and company lacked the capital to compete.

In 1925, an eclectic mix of non-Red Sox baseball games were played at Fenway Park. Rivals Holy Cross and Boston College played each other in May, while a pair of youth games took place during the summer. One of the youth games was a contest involving two girls teams, while the other was a showdown between a boys team from Chelsea and a youth team from the North End that preceded a Red Sox game. Later in the year, two championship games were decided at Fenway Park including the National Post Office Championship.

1925 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park

May 16: Holy Cross 5, Boston College 1

June 22: Bloomer Girl All-Stars 5, "Billie" Delaney's Peanut Hustlers 4

August 11: Unknowns (Chelsea, MA) 5, Eagle Juniors 4
("Boys Day" Game)

August 25: Old Colony Trust 10, R. H. White 6

August 28: R. H. White 10, Old Colony Trust 1

September 8: Everett Tigers 1, Roxbury Braves 0
(Massachusetts Intercity League Championship)

September 27: Boston Post Office 10, Waterbury (CT) Post Office 3
(National Post Office Championship)

Another year of non-baseball events at Fenway Park included the annual war memorial service in May, along with several football games during the fall. In October, Fenway Park hosted its first professional soccer matches.

1925 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park

May 24: War Memorial Service*

October 12: Boston English 6, Boston Trade School 0

October 12: Dorchester High 0, Mechanic Arts 0 (Football)

October 17: Boston Woodsies 0, Fall River Marksmen 0 (Soccer)

October 31: Boston vs. Providence (Soccer)

November 14: BU 14, Providence College 6 (Football)

November 26: Pere Marquette 9, Fitton A. C. 7 (Football)

December 12: Hartford Blues 10, St. Alphonsus 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.

November 14, 1925
 Boston University 14, Providence College 6

Before they played at Fenway Park on November 14, 1925, Providence College had rejected Boston University's request to play the game not by timed periods, but instead by a little-used regimen that would have had each team use a 40-play period system that BU had used in the previous game against Brown in Providence, RI.

Providence head coach Archie Golembeski remarked:

"While the system may produce approximately the same results as the customary timing methods so far as the elapsed time of periods and the number of plays per period are concerned, I believe it tends to devitalize the game by eliminating an element of suspense which is essential to football." (Bridgeport (CT) Telegram, November 12, 1925)

1926

A trio of fires in May 1926 destroyed the wooden bleachers down Fenway Park's left-field line. The damaged seating was a visible reminder of the club's woes until the charred section was taken down that August. However, the removal of the stands didn't change the team's fortunes as they staggered to a 107 loss season. In the fall, Fenway Park was busy with over a dozen football games, the most it had hosted in one year.

Record: 46-107, 8th in American League
Manager: Lee A. Fohl
Attendance: 285,155

Lee Fohl remained as manager of the Red Sox and so too did the team's losing ways. The Red Sox began the year at Fenway Park with a 6-1 exhibition victory over the Boston Braves on April 9. This was the first of many "City Series" games that would be played between the Red Sox and Braves franchises on a frequent basis until the Braves moved from Boston.

The Red Sox finished with just 46 wins, one fewer than in 1925, and there wasn't even one starting pitcher on the team who could manage to win more than eight games. Three other starters were tied with six wins apiece, giving the team's top four hurlers an aggregate 26 victories. Ted Wingfield won 11 games but pitched more than half his games in relief. On Opening Day alone, the Red Sox burned through six pitchers and lost to the Yankees, 12-11. Notably, it was the first Red Sox game broadcast on radio, with Gus Rooney at the WNAC microphone.

The 1926 season was so bereft of hope that a Boston newspaper headline in July 1926 read "Wait Till Next Year." The team only won 18 games after that point, ending the year by losing 28 of their final 32. The Red Sox were last in the league in the standings, last in batting average, last in slugging, last in stolen bases, last in ERA, and just missed being last in attendance (the St. Louis Browns drew 1,169 fewer patrons.) On October 22, 1926, Lee Fohl resigned after losing 299 games in his three seasons as Red Sox skipper.

The Red Sox and Braves City Series Games

In the first half of the 20th Century, the Red Sox and Braves (who were briefly renamed the Boston Bees in the late 1930s) frequently played exhibition games against each other in what was dubbed the "City Series". These games were always played in early to mid-April as a way to kick off the baseball season in Boston. Over the years, the games also saw the debut of certain Fenway Park legends, including Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr, and Joe Cronin. While the Red Sox and Braves/Bees franchise played pretty evenly at Fenway Park in the earliest years of the series, the Red Sox dominated the late 1940s and the first few years of the 1950s, going unbeaten in their last 11 Fenway Park games against their Boston counterparts, before the Braves moved to Milwaukee following the 1952 season.

City Series Games at Fenway Park

April 9, 1926: Red Sox 6, Braves 1

April 8, 1927: Red Sox 13, Braves 2

April 9, 1927: Braves 6, Red Sox 5

April 12, 1930: Braves 4, Red Sox 3 (11 Innings)

April 11, 1931: Red Sox 7, Braves 3

April 9, 1932: Braves 2, Red Sox 1

April 8, 1933: Red Sox 7, Braves 0

April 14, 1934: Red Sox 8, Braves 2 (Fenway Park's first game after its 1933-34 reconstruction)

April 14, 1935: Braves 3, Red Sox (Joe Cronin's Fenway Park debut)

April 12, 1936: Bees 8, Red Sox 4

April 18, 1937: Red Sox 10, Bees 8 (Bobby Doerr's Fenway Park debut)

April 16, 1938: Bees 6, Red Sox 2

April 16, 1939: Red Sox 1, Bees 0 (Ted Williams' Fenway Park debut)

April 14, 1940: Bees 7, Red Sox 3

April 13, 1941: Braves 10, Red Sox 3

April 12, 1942: Braves 7, Red Sox 5

April 18, 1943: Red Sox 5, Braves 3

April 19, 1943: Braves 6, Red Sox 1 (10 innings)

April 15, 1944: Red Sox 3, Braves 2

April 15, 1945: Red Sox 6, Braves 5

April 12, 1946: Red Sox 11, Braves 5

April 13, 1946: Braves 7, Red Sox 3

April 14, 1946: Red Sox 19, Braves 6

April 13, 1947: Braves 7, Red Sox 7 (16 innings) (Tie)

April 17, 1948: Red Sox 2, Braves 1

April 18, 1948: Red Sox 2, Braves 1

April 16, 1949: Red Sox 5, Braves 2

April 17, 1949: Red Sox 4, Braves 3

April 18, 1949: Red Sox 6, Braves 2

April 16, 1950: Red Sox 3, Braves 1

April 15, 1951: Red Sox 6, Braves 3

April 12, 1952: Red Sox 12, Braves 7

April 13, 1952: Red Sox 2, Braves 1

On May 7, 1926, three small fires broke out in the left-field bleachers when trash and paper ignited beneath the wood-framed stands. The flames were quickly extinguished by fans but the very next day, after the Red Sox lost to the Indians, the ballpark caught fire again in the same area. This time the flames engulfed the bleachers and the fire department had to be called to fight the blaze, which spread to the grandstand roof and onto surrounding properties. The stands were destroyed but weren't taken down until that August, and when they were, the void left a massive amount of foul territory down the left-field line. It is believed to have been the largest foul territory in the majors until the seats were replaced in 1934.

On June 13, 1926, the Boston Post Office hosted a pair of teams from Western Massachusetts in a Fenway Park doubleheader. Boston College and Holy Cross also took to the Fenway Park diamond in June with 12,000 people on hand to watch the two rivals.

1926 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park

June 13: Holyoke 3, Boston Post Office 2

June 13: Boston Post Office 15, Springfield 2

June 17: Boston College 2, Holy Cross 1

July 23: Lynn Flyers 6, White Eagles 2

August 25: Houghton & Dutton 3, R H. White 3

The fall of 1926 was a busy one at Fenway Park, with plenty of football action in October and November, including three separate football doubleheaders.

1926 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park

May 23: War Memorial Service*

September 29: Jamaica Plain High 7, Mechanic Arts 0 (Football)

September 29: Brighton High 0, South Boston High 0 (Football)

September 30: BU Terriers Scrimmage: Varsity vs. B Squad (Football)

October 13: Dorchester High 20, Mechanic Arts 0 (Football)

October 13: Boston English 27, Boston Trade School 0 (Football)

October 22: Hyde Park High 7, South Boston High 0 (Football)

October 22: Jamaica Plain 14, East Boston High 0 (Football)

October 26: Dorchester High 0, Boston Trade 0 (Football)

October 26: Charlestown High 6, Hyde Park High 6 (Football)

October 30: Boston University 10, Springfield College 3 (Football)

November 5: Boston Latin 3, Boston Trade 0 (Football)

November 12: Jamaica Plain High 12, Hyde Park High 0 (Football)

November 18: Jamaica Plain High 7, Brighton High 3 (Football)

November 22: East Boston High 0, South Boston High 0 (Football)

November 23: Mechanic Arts 10, Boston Trade 6 (Football)

November 25: Pere Marquette 9, Fitton A. C. 3 (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.

1927

Bill Carrigan, manager of the Red Sox championship teams in 1915 and 1916, returned to Fenway Park as Boston's manager in 1927. However, Carrigan's arrival did little to change the team's fortunes and they finished in last place for the third straight year. Another continuing trend was the increasing amount of football played at Fenway Park in the fall, including a rare tripleheader of three football games on November 24, 1927.

Record: 51-103, 8th in American League
Manager: William F. Carrigan
Attendance: 305,275

It was hard not to notice the success the Yankees were having, with their Murderers Row winning 110 games to finish 19 games ahead of second-place Philadelphia. A former Red Sox player named Ruth hit 60 home runs, while his teammate Lou Gehrig - who the Red Sox reportedly could have acquired for Phil Todt at one point - drove in 175 runs. Former Red Sox pitchers Waite Hoyt and Herb Pennock combined to win 41 games for the Yankees.

Bill Carrigan, who had led the team to back-to-back World Series Championships in 1915-16, returned to manage the 1927 Red Sox. In the first year of his return, Carrigan's team won five more games than the Red Sox did the previous season but finished dead last again. Todt led the team with six home runs (one-tenth of Ruth's production) while the team hit just 28 total. Ira Flagstead tallied a team-leading 69 RBIs, one of only three Boston batters who drove in more than 50.

There was one positive club statistic in 1927; despite a 2-11 start and a 15-game losing streak in late June and early July, attendance was up for the second year in a row.

Much like the previous year, Fenway Park was rife with football in 1927. In one three-day span in October, four high school football games were played, while a rare tripleheader occurred on November 24, 1927. That day, Boston English and Dorchester High were victorious in the two morning games, while Pere Marquette bested Fitton A.C. in the afternoon match-up.

1927 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park

May 29: War Memorial Service*

October 12: Dorchester High 19, Mechanic Arts 12 (Football)

October 12: Boston English 21, Boston Trade 0 (Football)

October 14: East Boston 12, High School of Commerce 0 (Football)

October 14: Brighton High 0, Hyde Park High 0 (Football)

October 25: Dorchester High 20, Boston Trade 18 (Football)

October 25: Hyde Park High 13, Charlestown High 12 (Football)

November 9: Boston Latin 19, Charlestown High 0 (Football)

November 10: Brighton High 0, East Boston High 0 (Football)

November 15: Hyde Park High 0, Dorchester High 0 (Football)

November 17: Boston English 26, High School of Commerce 0 (Football)

November 19: New York Giants 33, Pere Marquette 7 (Football)

November 22: Mechanic Arts 9, Boston Trade 7 (Football)

November 24: Boston English 20, Boston Latin 13 (Football)

November 24: Dorchester High 31, High School of Commerce 0 (Football)

November 24: Pere Marquette 6, Fitton A. C. 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.

1928

While the Red Sox endured another last-place finish, Fenway Park continued to be used for other events. In 1928, the park hosted an annual war memorial service, multiple boxing matches and a soccer game. For the first time, wooden bleachers were installed on the outfield for spectators of football, as Boston College began playing some of their games at Fenway Park that fall.

Record: 57-96, 8th in American League
Manager: William F. Carrigan
Attendance: 396,920

In 1928, the Red Sox decided to spend spring training in Florida for the first time and excitement accompanied the move to Bradenton, FL. The regular season didn't get off to the happiest start, however. On April 14, the fourth contest of the season, Boston played the shortest game in team history: a 50-minute, five-inning, scoreless tie at Fenway Park that left the few hundred fans in attendance angry.

The season in May due to Boston's first seven-game winning streak in a decade, but the team only won 57 games in 1928 and finished 43 ½ games back in eighth place. On the positive side, the Red Sox had a 19-game winner, Big Ed Morris, and attendance jumped by over 90,000 to 396,920.

On November 6, 1928, Red Sox and Boston Braves ownership won a victory when voters overwhelmingly approved a statewide referendum to permit professional baseball on Sundays in the Commonwealth. There was, however, a proviso prohibiting games within 1,000 feet of a house of worship. Braves Field didn't have one in that proximity but Fenway Park did, so the Red Sox planned to play Sunday baseball in the Braves' facility for the foreseeable future.

For the first time at Fenway Park, temporary wooden bleachers were installed for football games. The stands were placed on the outfield parallel to the right-field foul line to hold fans at several Boston College games that fall.

As the Red Sox trudged through another disappointing season, six other baseball games were played at Fenway Park in 1928. Among the notable non-Red Sox games that year was a 9-6 Holy Cross win over Boston College on June 9. American Legion teams from Worcester and Manchester, NH played to a 5-5 tie on August 9 before the game was called to permit the playing of the day's regularly-scheduled Red Sox game.

1928 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park

June 9: Holy Cross 9, Boston College 6

August 9: Worcester (MA) American Legion 5, Manchester (NH) American Legion 5 (Tie)

August 12: New York Printers 8, St. Louis Printers 2

August 12: Detroit 9, Indianapolis 2

September 22: College Avenue M. E. Church (Somerville) 3, Center Street Baptist (Jamaica Plain) 2

September 22: College Avenue M. E. Church (Somerville) 6, Center Street Baptist (Jamaica Plain) 5

While the Red Sox continued their decade of malaise, 1928 was a busy year on several other levels at Fenway Park, starting with the annual war memorial service in May. The following month, the Glasgow Rangers and Boston Wonder Workers soccer teams played to a 2-2 tie. Multiple boxing matches also took place during the summer months. Al Mello, in particular, had a tremendous year, winning all three of his Fenway Park bouts (twice against Billy Murphy with a six round knockout of Charlie Donovan in between). Boston College's football team played several games at the ballpark in 1928 and the Boston Tigers of the Canadian American Hockey League held a November 2 workout on the Fenway Park field.

1928 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park

May 20: War Memorial Service*

June 18: Glasgow Rangers 2, Boston Wonder Workers 2 (Soccer)

June 26: Boxing Event featuring Al Mello vs. Billy Murphy (Boxing)

August 31: Boxing event featuring Al Mello vs. Charlie Donovan (Boxing)

September 6-8: Massachusetts Boys Days

September 13: Boxing Event featuring Al Mello vs. Billy Murphy (Boxing)

September 29: Boston College 38, Catholic University 6 (Football)

October 12: Boston College 19, Duke 0 (Football)

November 2: Boston Tigers Hockey Team Work Out

November 12: Boston College 19, Fordham 7 (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 18, 1928
 Glasgow Rangers Tie Boston Wonder Workers at Fenway Park

On June 18, 1928, the American Soccer League champion Boston Wonder Workers hosted the Scottish soccer champion Glasgow Rangers. Though the Wonder Workers controlled the action, the teams fought to a 2-2 tie in front of 10,000 spectators in Fenway Park's stands.

June 26, 1928
 Mello Retains His Welter Title in Fast, Close Bout With Skilful Billy Murphy

The majority of the 12,000 fans that came to Fenway Park on the night of June 26, 1928 had taken the train from Lowell, where they had purchased their fight tickets at Bill Keenan's Diamond Diner. The main bout was the big attraction and featured two Lowell boxers: New England welterweight champion and darling of the Portuguese community Al Mello versus "Irish" Billy Murphy.

Other winners that day were featherweight Hy Diamond of Boston's West End, Roxbury's Jackie Donahue, Connie Holmes of the South End, Dorchester's Charlie Donovan, and Ray Cross of Milford.

November 12, 1928
 Boston College Beats Fordham 19-7, Remains Undefeated

Fenway Park was nearly packed with an Armistice Day crowd of 30,000 that welcomed back former Boston College and Dartmouth head coach Frank "The Iron Major" Cavanagh, whose Fordham squad faced an undefeated Boston College team led by his protégé, former star quarterback Joe McKenney.

At just 22 years of age, McKenney was the youngest head coach in collegiate football and his team overcame a brief second-quarter lapse, when Fordham achieved the short-lived distinction of being the only team to have led Boston College during any of the Eagles' games to date that season. Fordham's 7-6 lead was soon surmounted as Boston College scored the next 13 points and finished the game with an interception of a Fordham pass in the waning seconds.

1929

A difficult decade of Red Sox baseball at Fenway Park concluded in 1929 with another last-place finish. Symbolic of the team's decade of misfortunes, the 1929 Red Sox finally had the ability to play Sunday games in Boston, but Fenway Park's proximity to a house of worship forced the team to play its Sunday home games at Braves Field instead.

Record: 58-96, 8th in American League
Manager: William F. Carrigan
Attendance: 394,620

In Bill Carrigan's last year managing the Red Sox, the team finished last once again. Right-hander Ed Morris led the staff with a 14-14 record, while only Russ Scarritt drove in more than 70 runs. Jack Rothrock was the team's only .300 hitter, at .300 exactly, and his six home runs led a Red Sox team that hit only 28 total.

Over the offseason, both the Braves and Red Sox were given formal approval to schedule Sunday games and the clubs agreed with the City of Boston not to charge more for these contests. Due to its proximity to a church, Fenway Park couldn't host Sunday games in 1929 but the American League gave the Red Sox approval to play Sunday games in Revere, and the city of Revere presented blueprints for a 41,000 seat stadium. However, Red Sox owner Bob Quinn worked out a deal with Braves owner Emil Fuchs for the Red Sox to play on Sundays at Braves Field. There was even some talk of departing Fenway Park altogether and becoming co-tenants at Braves Field.

On April 14, 1929, the Braves shut out the Red Sox 4-0 in an exhibition, the first organized Sunday baseball game ever played in the city of Boston. Two weeks later, the Red Sox played the first regular season, professional Sunday ballgame in Boston, a 7-3 loss to Philadelphia. However, despite Sunday ball, the team drew a couple of thousand less than it had in the year before.

Boston College's baseball team returned to Fenway Park in April 1929 but lost to Pittsfield in a seven-inning game. In the later summer months a trio of local league games was played at the ballpark

1929 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park

April 9: Pittsfield Hillies hold practice session at Fenway Park

April 11: Pittsfield 7, Boston College 5 (7 innings)

August 26: St. Thomas of Jamaica Plain 11, St. Francis of Charlestown 2

August 27: South End Athletics 4, Boston Pirates 9

September 18: Roslindale 5, Quincy 0

The Boston Wonder Workers soccer team returned to Fenway Park in 1929. Several football games were also played at Fenway Park and the final football match of the year featured a pair of New England military football teams.

1929 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park

May 26: War Memorial Service*

June 20: Jake Zeramby Beats Sammy Fuller in Third Round of Featherweight Bout (Boxing)

July 9: Gus Sonnenberg Defeats Strangler Lewis (Wrestling)

August 10: Boston Wonder Workers 3, New Bedford Whalers 2 (Soccer)

August 17: Fall River 3, Boston Wonder Workers 1 (Soccer)

August 29: Larry "Big Boy" Rawson Knocks Out Bob Mills in fourth round (Boxing)

October 12: Boston College 7, Villanova 7 (Football)

October 18: Boston College High 21, Boston Latin 0 (Football)

December 7: New England Navy Team 14, New England Army Team 12 (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.

August 10, 1929
 Boston Wonder Workers Defeat New Bedford Whalers

In the opening game of what would be their last full season in the American Soccer League (the team would play four games in 1930 before going out of business), the Boston Wonder Workers defeated the New Bedford Whalers in a match that featured all of the goal scoring in the first half. Both squads represented a soccer league that sports historians view as the best yet to play in the United States. Many teams featured international stars from the United Kingdom who were lured to the states by teams that also arranged for their stars to work for companies affiliated with their owners. Fenway Park was an occasional venue for the Wonder Workers who also played at the old South End Grounds.