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‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎Fenway Park Timeline

1930_1939

1940-1949

1940

Ted Williams had already established himself as a premier player by 1940 but the lefty received some extra help when bullpens were installed in front of Fenway Park's bleachers. The addition moved the right-field fence in some 20 feet, fitting the slugger's swing perfectly, and the area soon took on the name "Williamsburg." Adjusting to the smaller field, Boston College's football team played their home games at Fenway Park in 1940 on their way to an undefeated season and a victory in the Sugar Bowl.

Record: 82-72, 4th in American League
Manager: Joseph E. Cronin
Attendance: 716,234

In 1940, attendance at Fenway Park soared to 716,234, the first time in franchise history that the Red Sox drew more than 700,000 fans. However, while attendance leapt by nearly 150,000, the team took a step back, winning seven fewer games than the year before and finishing fourth in the league, eight games behind the pennant-winning Tigers.

The 1940 Red Sox could still hit and had four players who drove in 100 or more runs (Jimmie Foxx, Ted Williams, Joe Cronin, and Bobby Doerr). In addition, a new center fielder named Dom DiMaggio began his tremendous career in 1940 and batted over .300 while scoring 81 runs. Another addition in Fenway Park's outfield in 1940 was the newly constructed bullpens, which were built in front of the bleachers. Though Williams hit fewer home runs in 1940 than in his terrific rookie season the year before, the new field dimensions, which brought in the right-field fence some 20 feet, fit his swing so well that the bullpens soon took on the name, "Williamsburg."

In 1940, Foxx led the club in home runs with 36, though his batting average dipped below .300 to .297. The team also found power in Cronin, Williams, Doerr and Jim Tabor, who each hit over 20 home runs.

Unsurprisingly, given their offensive production, it was the pitching that let the team down. Jack Wilson and Joe Heving led the team with 12 wins each but only started 23 games combined. The problem wasn't that any of the regular pitchers were particularly awful but rather that no one truly excelled. The team ERA in 1940 was 4.89 and when Ted Williams threw two innings of relief in the first game of a double-header on August 24, 1940, he left with an ERA of 4.50. Williams gave up three hits and allowed just one run to the Detroit Tigers in his only big-league pitching appearance.

Ted Williams broke into the league in 1939 and after his mammoth rookie season, Owner Tom Yawkey began renovations to Fenway Park that would move in the right-field wall some 20 feet, shortening the home run distance for the young slugger. As part of the most significant construction project at the ballpark since 1934, the renovations featured a new bullpen area in front of the bleachers to accommodate the home and visiting teams. A wonderful sight to left-handed hitters, the new bullpens shortened the distance down the right field-line from 325 to just 302 feet and to the right-field power alley from 402 to 380 feet. Though Williams actually hit fewer home runs in 1940 than during his rookie season the year before, the reconfiguration of the park accommodated the star's left-handed swing so well in the following years that the new bullpens took on the name "Williamsburg."

With the relocation of the bullpens from the foul territory, the right-field seating, which was re-built in 1934, was replaced with an extension of the grandstand with individual seats. In addition, in the location formerly used as the Red Sox bullpen just short of the right-field foul pole, the box seating area that lined the infield was extended. A similar extension was completed in front of the left-field grandstand seats, where the bullpen for the visiting team had been.

In 1940, Fenway Park hosted interscholastic high school baseball again and held its annual Boston Park Department Baseball Field Day.

1940 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park

June 15Belmont High 6, Turners Falls High 4

August 17Boston Park Department Baseball Field Day

On their way to an undefeated, Sugar Bowl-winning season, Boston College won all six of the games they played at Fenway Park in 1940. The American Professional Football League's Boston Bears went 2-2 at the ballpark and the Washington Redskins returned to Fenway Park for second game in as many years against a team of college stars.

1940 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park

May 19War Memorial Service*

September 10Washington Redskins 35, Eastern All-Star Collegians 12 (Football)

October 2Columbus Bullies 17, Boston Bears 0 (Football)

October 6Boston Bears 29, Cincinnati Bengals 7 (Football)

October 12Boston College 33, Temple 20 (Football)

October 19Boston College 60, Idaho 0 (Football)

October 20Boston Bears 20, Buffalo Indians 0 (Football)

October 27Milwaukee Chiefs 14, Boston Bears 0 (Football)

November 9Boston College 21, Boston University 0 (Football)

November 16Boston College 19, Georgetown 18 (Football)

November 23Boston College 33, Auburn 7 (Football)

November 30Boston College 7, Holy Cross 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 16, 1940
Boston College Defeats Georgetown In Epic Contest
at Fenway Park

The stakes couldn't have been higher, with a $75,000 bowl bid on the line and a shot at a national championship looming for the two best football teams in the East.

Sportswriting legend Grantland Rice was part of the 40,000-plus crowd that jammed Fenway Park and stood for the entire game. In a memorable column, Rice called it the greatest college football game he'd ever witnessed.

The hype leading up to the game was monumental as both squads came to Fenway Park undefeated. Georgetown had an unbeaten string of 23 games on the line and Boston College hadn't been beaten since a New Year's Day 6-3 loss to Clemson in the Cotton Bowl.

BC trailed early by a 10-0 margin but roared back thanks to the masterful passing of Charlie O'Rourke, who connected on 14 passes for 209 yards. O'Rourke preserved the victory by taking a two-point safety in his own end zone as the final seconds ticked off the clock. The victory made Boston College a national force in collegiate football, while establishing Head Coach Frank Leahy as a leader worthy of comparison with his mentor Knute Rockne.

1941

Having already delivered an outstanding first couple of seasons at the big league level, Ted Williams' 1941 season was even better. This .406 average in 1941 was the last time a major league player has hit over .400 for a season and when Williams passed away in 2002, the Red Sox renamed Fenway Park's 600 Club to the .406 Club in honor of the slugger and his historic 1941 season.

Record: 84-70, 2nd in American League
Manager: Joseph E. Cronin
Attendance: 718,497

Ted Williams' performance in 1941 guaranteed that the hitter's name would forever be remembered in New England and throughout baseball. In spring training, Williams suffered a slight fracture of his ankle while sliding into second base but he played on it all year long. It was said that the injury actually improved his batting because he favored the ankle, perhaps subconsciously, and held back a fraction of a second giving him a little longer to see each pitch.

On July 8, Williams came to the plate in his second All-Star Game with the American League down by one run, 5-4, with two men on base but with two outs in the ninth inning. He clouted a dramatic game-winning home run, and galloped and leapt around the bases at Detroit's Briggs Stadium. He always said it was his greatest thrill in baseball.

Throughout the 1941 season, Williams flirted with a .400 average but on September 28, he entered the final day just beneath the mark at .3996. Some insisted that his average would be rounded up to .400 and advised Williams to sit out but the Splendid Splinter knew that .3996 wasn't quite .400. That day, in a doubleheader at Philadelphia, Williams went 6-for-8 to lift his average all the way to .406. Since then, no one in Major League Baseball has ever hit above .400 for the season. Williams' 1941 on-base percentage of .553 was the best single-season mark ever achieved until Barry Bonds surpassed it in 2002.

On July 25, 1941, another Red Sox player reached a milestone when Lefty Grove won his 300th game. Grove also carried a streak of consecutive victories at Fenway Park from the 1940 season into 1941, reaching 21 consecutive home wins early in the 1941 campaign.

Williams drove in 120 runs and scored 135, while Jimmie Foxx (105 RBIs) and Dom DiMaggio (117 runs) were offensive standouts as well. The team ERA improved by almost three-quarters of a run (4.19), as Dick Newsome won 19 games and Charlie Wagner went 12-8 with a 3.05 ERA. The Red Sox climbed back to second place (84-70) but finished 17 games behind the Yankees.

On June 27, 1941, Fenway Park hosted two amateur baseball games including one between Massachusetts State Officials and Boston City Officials. Boston Mayor Maurice Tobin pitched for Boston while Massachusetts Governor Leverett Saltonstall played first base for the winning team that represented the Commonwealth.

1941 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park

June 11Norwood High 11, Chelmsford High 7

June 11Braintree High 2, Brockton High 1

June 12Somerville High 13, Reading High 3

June 12Haverhill High 12, Wakefield High 4

June 27Boston Park League All-Stars 2, Army Base 0

June 27Massachusetts State Officials 6, Boston City Officials 3

The Chicago Bears came to Fenway Park in September 1941 to play in the annual College All-Star game to benefit the local American Legion. A month later, Boston College, coming off their undefeated 1940 season, returned to Fenway Park.

1941 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park

May 25War Memorial Service*

September 11Chicago Bears 26, College All-Stars 3

October 11Clemson 26, Boston College 13 (Football)

October 18Boston College 26, Manhattan 13 (Football)

October 25Boston College 14, Georgetown 6 (Football)

November 1Boston College 31, Temple 0 (Football)

November 8Boston College 26, Wake Forest 6 (Football)

November 15University of Tennessee 14, Boston College 7 (Football)

November 22Boston College 19, Boston University 7 (Football)

November 29Boston College 14, Holy Cross 13 (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 24, 1941
Boston College's Ted Williams Helps Eagles Defeat Holy Cross

On the day that former Boston College coach Frank Leahy was named "Coach of the Year" by the New York World-Telegram for his revitalization of Notre Dame, 40,000 filled every corner of Fenway Park to watch his former team play Holy Cross. Despite being outclassed by Holy Cross for much of the afternoon, heavily-favored Boston College managed to tie the game on a last-minute, 22-yard touchdown run by fullback Ted Williams, who earned cheers from the Fenway crowd usually reserved for his Red Sox namesake, who had an historic 1941 baseball season. Frank Maznicki, who had blocked a crucial kick a little while earlier, then added the game winning point-after, sending the Eagles to a 14-13 victory.

1942

The United States entered World War II at the end of 1941 but President Roosevelt wanted baseball to continue in order to keep up national morale. In addition to the Red Sox, who finished the season with a 53-24 home record, several other baseball games were played at the ballpark in 1942 as well, including a Negro League contest in early September. Later in the month, the Chicago Bears came to Fenway Park to play a team of Army All-Stars in a charity football game to benefit the war effort.

Record: 93-59, 2nd in American League
Manager: Joseph E. Cronin
Attendance: 730,340

Just 10 weeks after Ted Williams completed his historic .406 season, the United States plunged into war after the attack on Pearl Harbor and soon athletes were pressured to enlist. After some debate about cancelling baseball for the duration of the war, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued a "green light" for baseball to continue as a way to maintain the country's morale.

Ted Williams was exempted from service as the sole supporter of his mother but many condemned him for not joining. Throughout spring training, however, servicemen at exhibition ballgames loudly cheered the left fielder. Both Williams and rookie shortstop Johnny Pesky enlisted in a U.S. Naval flight training program, attending classes in Boston at night while playing baseball during the day.

Williams' average "dropped" to a league-leading .356. His 36 homers and 137 RBIs also led the American League, clinching the Triple Crown. It was the first of two Triple Crowns which Williams won but he finished second in MVP voting. The Yankees' Joe Gordon won the award, despite not leading the league in anything but striking out and grounding into double plays. Pesky collected an AL-best 205 hits and placed third in the MVP voting in his first season.

Tex Hughson went 22-6 with a 2.59 ERA and Charlie Wagner won 14 games. For the second straight year, the Red Sox cut their team ERA by three-quarters of a run (from 4.19 in 1941 to 3.44 in 1942). The 1942 Red Sox won 93 games, their highest total since 1915, but finished second to the Yankees again, nine games behind.

In 1942, a press box for football games, and other events, was built on the right-field roof near the 50-yard line. Given "temporary" status to remain until 1952, the wooden structure was used until 1948, when the press level was renovated before the 1949 Red Sox season.

After hosting a high school baseball game in June, Fenway Park held three unique non-Red Sox baseball games in early September 1942. First, before the Red Sox game on September 5, two military teams, one from Fort Devens in Massachusetts and one from Fort Terry in New York, played at Fenway Park for the championship of the First Service Command. Three days later, on September 8, the first Negro League exhibition game was played at Fenway Park with the Philadelphia Stars defeating the Baltimore Elite Giants. Rounding out an interesting week of baseball, the Boston Park League held the final game of their seven-game championship series at Fenway Park on September 10. In the Park League finals, the Dick Casey Club of Dorchester defeated the Navy Yard A.A. of Charlestown behind the pitching of Pete Cerrone, a Red Sox equipment man who often threw batting practice at Fenway Park and boasted over 400 career wins in his semi-pro baseball career.

1942 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park

June 20Turners Falls 5, Arlington High 4

September 5Fort Devens 6, Fort Terry 2 (First Service Command Championship)

September 8Philadelphia Stars 8, Baltimore Elite Giants 7 (Negro National League)

September 10Dick Casey Club Defeats Navy Yard A.A. (Boston Park League)

Boston College's football team won its first eight games at Fenway Park in 1942, and entered a November 28 showdown against Holy Cross with the first overall ranking in the country. Under blizzard conditions, the Crusaders crushed the Eagles in a 55-12 upset, ending Boston College's hopes for a national title. The game did include a significant silver lining however, as BC had planned a celebration at the Coconut Grove nightclub after the game but cancelled their plans following the defeat. A fire at the Coconut Grove that evening killed 492 patrons and injured hundreds more in the second-worst single building fire in American history.

1942 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park

May 17War Memorial Service*

September 20Chicago Bears vs. Army All-Stars Charity Game (Football)

October 3Boston College 33, West Virginia 0 (Football)

October 10Boston College 14, Clemson 7 (Football)

October 17Boston College 7, North Carolina Preflight Cloudbusters 6 (Football)

October 24Boston College 27, Wake Forest 0 (Football)

October 31Boston College 47, Georgetown 0 (Football)

November 7Boston College 28, Temple 0 (Football)

November 14Boston College 56, Fordham 6 (Football)

November 21Boston College 37, Boston University 0 (Football)

November 28Holy Cross 55, Boston College 12 (Football)

November 29Charlestown Town Team 7, South Boston Chippewas (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.

September 20, 1942
37,000 Watch Bears Edge Army, 14-7

On a day where front page headlines told of Allied bombing raids on Munich and tin can scrap drives on the home front, the mighty Chicago Bears overcame both a muddy field and a team of Eastern Army All-Stars before a capacity crowd at Fenway Park. It was the Bears' second straight appearance in the annual American Legion charity game in Boston, which had previously pitted an NFL team against a group of college all-stars but, with the United States having entered World War II, the 1942 game took on a military theme.

The Bears were led by former New England collegiate stars Charlie O'Rourke (Boston College), Frank Maznicki (Boston College), Ray McLean (St. Anselm) Gary Farmighetti (Boston University), and Bill Osmanski (Holy Cross). However, the biggest cheer of the day went to Norm Standlee of the Army All-Stars when he made the Stars' only touchdown in the third quarter.

The day was also highlighted by several hours of military drills and band music prior to the 2 PM kickoff. At half-time, the crowd was introduced to Lieutenant Lyudmila Pavlichenko, a Russian Army sniper credited with personally killing 309 Nazis to date.

1943

The 1943 Red Sox lost several players to military service in World War II and the team's record dropped well below the .500 mark. Among the departed players was the team's star, Ted Williams, though he did appear at the ballpark in 1943 as a member of Babe Ruth's Service All-Stars. During the season, a succession of four Negro League games were played at Fenway Park and a week-long circus took place at the park in late August.

Record: 68-84, 7th in American League
Manager: Joseph E. Cronin
Attendance: 358,275

With World War II underway, teams made a number of adjustments due to the war effort. One such change was that instead of taking trains south, the Red Sox held their spring training at Tufts College in Medford, MA. Following their stint at Tufts, the team started their season at Fenway Park with a pair of mid-April exhibition games against local colleges: a 17-2 defeat of Boston College, and a 21-0 victory over Harvard (the Red Sox also beat the Boston Coast Guard 14-8 in a June 16 exhibition).

After the 1942 season, the Red Sox lost several players to military service - Williams, Pesky and Wagner among them. The departure of so many leading players was widespread throughout baseball and opened opportunities for others. Leading the 1943 Red Sox in batting average was 34-year-old outfielder Pete Fox, who hit .288. Jim Tabor, who would enter the military following the 1944 season, led the 1943 team with 85 RBIs.

One of the more outstanding individual accomplishments of the season was the pinch-hitting of Joe Cronin. As Player/Manager, he sent himself in to pinch-hit 42 times and hit safely in 18 of them and collected 25 RBIs. During a June 17 doubleheader, he pinch-hit and drilled a three-run homer in the first game, then did so again in the second.

Despite the weakened offense throughout the league, and a stellar ERA of 2.64, Tex Hughson went 12-15. Along with Hughson, only Oscar Judd and Dick Newsome won more than seven games. The Red Sox may have been affected by absences more than any other and they won only 68 games. They dropped to seventh place in the league, the lowest they had finished since 1933.

In 1943, Fenway Park held a series of four games between the Fore River Shipyard All-Stars of Quincy, MA and a succession of Negro League teams: the New York Black Yankees, Cuban All-Stars, Kansas City Monarchs, and Birmingham Black Barons. As part of the July 12 Mayor's Field Day at Fenway Park, Babe Ruth's team of Service All-Stars defeated the Boston Braves by a 9-8 margin. Ruth's team of All-Stars included Red Sox stars Ted Williams and Dom DiMaggio, who both figured prominently in the proceedings.

1943 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park

June 18Fore River Shipyard 5, New York Black Yankees 4

July 9Fore River Shipyard 3, New York Cuban Stars 0

July 12Mayor's Charity Field Day: Boston Braves vs. Babe Ruth's All-Stars*

August 12Kansas City Monarchs 4, Fore River Shipyard 1

September 2Birmingham Black Barons 2, Fore River Shipyard 2

 

*For many years, the City of Boston regularly held a summertime Mayor's Charity Field Day. Many of these field days took place at Fenway Park, with a variety of sports, games, activities and other amusements for the crowds. In certain years, the Mayor's Charity Field Day even included an abbreviated baseball game at Fenway Park that was usually played between local teams.

July 12, 1943
Mayor's Field Day Features Service All-Stars Win Over Braves

The Fenway Park crowd cheered on Red Sox stars Ted Williams and Dom DiMaggio, who were both serving in the Navy at the time, as they took on the Boston Braves. In this game, however, the duo was playing for Babe Ruth's Service All-Stars rather than the familiar Red Sox. The Boston Daily Record's Joe Cashman wrote of the game:

"Ted the Kid parked one high in the centerfield seats, in the shadow of the flag pole 420 feet away. That settled everything. Professor Dom tripled and singled. He threw out a daring baserunner. He streaked to the center field wall and pulled down a drive. Just two of them -Teddy Williams and Dom DiMaggio - were all the Service All Stars needed to beat the Braves in a Mayor's Field Day game witnessed by some 16,000 at the fens yesterday." (Boston Daily Record, July 13, 1943)

Boston College's football team played and won three games at Fenway Park in 1943, beating their opponents by an average margin of more than 43 points. On July 28, a World War II Relief Fund Program show took place between games of a Red Sox doubleheader against the Tigers. As part of the show, bands from the Port of Embarkation Army and the Coast Guard performed. The show also included a parade and a variety of athletic contests featuring the ballplayers. Later in the summer, Fenway Park hosted a week-long, three-ring circus held as a benefit for the Five Sullivan Brothers Shrine.

1943 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park

May 23War Memorial Service*

July 12Mayor's Charity Field Day**

July 28Fenway Park Relief Fund Program Show

August 23-29Three-Ring Circus Benefit

October 24Boston College 42, Camp Hingham (MA) 6 (Football)

October 31Boston College 37, Brooklyn College 6 (Football)

November 7Boston College 64, Rome Army Air Base Station (Rome, NY) 0 (Football)

November 21Holy Cross 41, Tufts College 0

 

*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.

**For many years, the City of Boston regularly held a summertime Mayor's Charity Field Day. Many of these field days took place at Fenway Park, with a variety of sports, games, activities and other amusements for the crowds. In certain years, the Mayor's Charity Field Day even included an abbreviated baseball game at Fenway Park that was usually played between local teams.

1944

In 1944, World War II continued and the Red Sox roster remained depleted due to players serving overseas. In the fall, the Boston Yanks went 1-3 at Fenway Park in their first year as members of the NFL and on November 4, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt came to Fenway Park and gave the final campaign speech of his career, just three days before being reelected for his fourth term in the White House.

Record: 77-77, 4th in American League
Manager: Joseph E. Cronin
Attendance: 506,975

With team rosters still askew due to the war, the Red Sox went 77-77 and finished in fourth place, a slot in the standings they held every day throughout September. However, as late as August 29, Boston had been in second place and were making a legitimate run at the pennant.

Bobby Doerr and 38-year-old Bob Johnson were the team's best hitters, with Doerr hitting .325 and Johnson just one point lower. However, Doerr was inducted into the Army on September 3, 1944, after he had previously been exempt with a punctured eardrum. In his absence, the Red Sox fell apart. Baseball writers recognized Doerr's importance to the team by choosing him as the club's MVP, even though he missed almost all of September.

On the mound, Tex Hughson went 18-5 with a 2.26 ERA, while 41-year old Mike Ryba notched a 12-7 record, and 34-year-old Joe Bowman won more games than he'd ever won before, going 12-8.

In a dramatic fashion, 27-year-old rookie Rex Cecil entered a major league ballpark for the first time in his life on August 13. He'd flown cross-country from San Diego (this took quite some time in 1944) and came to Fenway Park just in time to get fitted for a uniform before entering the game with the bases loaded, which was tied 6-6 in the top of the 10th inning. Cecil kept the Browns from scoring for four innings and in the bottom of the 13th, Doerr homered to win the game.

On May 8, 1944, the Cleveland Indians played an intrasquad game at Fenway Park. The Indians were scheduled to face the Red Sox on May 10 but they arrived in town a couple days early, while the Red Sox were playing an exhibition game at the Quonset Point, Rhode Island Naval Air Station. While waiting, the Indians played a pick-up game at Fenway Park.

1944 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park

May 8Cleveland Indians Intrasquad Game

May 26Homestead Grays vs. Fore River Shipyard

In 1944, the Boston Yanks were founded and joined the NFL, using Fenway Park as their home. The Yanks dropped their first three games at Fenway Park in 1944 but wrapped up their first home season with a win over Brooklyn on November 19. A far larger crowd than any seen at a Yanks' game in 1944 packed Fenway Park on October 14 and saw Notre Dame pummel Dartmouth, while Boston College's football team also played at the park that month.

The most historic event at Fenway Park in 1944 took place on November 4, when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivered his final major public address before the November 7, 1944 presidential election. Three days later, Roosevelt won re-election but he died the following April, shortly after beginning his fourth term in the White House. His speech at Fenway Park in 1944 was the last campaign speech of his political career.

1944 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park

September 26Philadelphia Eagles 28, Boston Yanks 7 (Football)

October 8New York Giants 22, Boston Yanks 10 (Football)

October 14Notre Dame 64, Dartmouth 0 (Football)

October 15Washington Redskins 21, Boston Yanks 14 (Football)

October 28Boston College 19, Syracuse 12 (Football)

November 4Franklin Delano Roosevelt Campaign Speech

November 19Boston Yanks 13, Brooklyn Tigers 6 (Football)

November 26Holy Cross 30, Boston College 14 (Football)

 

November 4, 1944
FDR Addresses Over 40,000 Supporters at Fenway Park

Before a crowd of more than 40,000 (and with several thousand more outside the ballpark), President Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave his final speech of the 1944 campaign - and what turned out to be the final campaign speech of his political career. After entertainers Frank Sinatra and Orson Welles had warmed up the crowd, Roosevelt began his oration by recalling a previous visit to Boston. From there he proceeded to take aim at "bigots" and proponents of "religious intolerance, social intolerance, and political intolerance." Emphasizing the idea of the United States as a melting pot, the incumbent President connected those overarching values to the concrete reality of a diverse American military force still fighting for freedom on the battlefields of Europe and Asia. Roosevelt never mentioned Republican opponent Thomas Dewey by name, but more generally alluded to his political opponents several times during the speech. Three days later, Roosevelt won a fourth presidential term with a resounding victory in the national election, where he picked up 432 of a possible 531 electoral votes.

1945

In 1945, the Red Sox struggled in their third consecutive losing season. Unfortunately, the Red Sox missed a chance to improve their team when they gave Jackie Robinson and two other African-American players an April 1945 tryout at Fenway Park but decided not to pursue the opportunity any further. Robinson would courageously break Major League Baseball's color barrier two years later. With World War II nearing an end, Fenway Park hosted a "Here's Your Infantry" show on Independence Day to help sell war bonds.

Record: 71-83, 7th in American League
Manager: Joseph E. Cronin
Attendance: 603,794

The final year of World War II was a difficult one for the Red Sox, who fell to seventh place again. Even before the season began there were efforts to force the Red Sox to integrate the team. Boston City Councilor Isadore Muchnick announced he would file a motion to deny the Red Sox their annual Sunday license unless they pledged not to discriminate. On April 16, 1945, Jackie Robinson, Marvin Williams and Sam Jethroe were given a tryout at Fenway Park but the Red Sox never followed up.

Three days later, Joe Cronin suffered a career-ending broken leg, though he remained Manager through 1947. One bright spot n 1945 was 23-year old rookie Dave "Boo" Ferriss, who broke onto the scene and threw 22 innings before he surrendered a run. Ferriss started 6-0 and finished the season with a 21-10 record, 2.96 ERA and five shutouts. He was the best pitcher by far on a team whose 3.80 ERA was the league's highest. Offensively, 39-year old Bob Johnson's 74 RBIs and 12 homers were tops on a roster that featured several players who played just one season for the team, which was not unusual given the war.

Another adjustment due to the war was the cancellation of the All-Star Game, which Fenway Park was scheduled to host in 1945. Due to travel restrictions, the mid-summer AL vs. NL match-up was cancelled and the leagues scheduled inter-league charity games in eight different cities to be played instead. Boston's United War Fund Game, an 8-1 Red Sox victory over the Braves on July 10, was one of the eight games scheduled, though only seven were played. The following year, after World War II was over, Fenway Park finally hosted its first All-Star Game.

In 1945, the road running along the right-field side of Fenway Park became a public street, Van Ness, and the area near the intersection of Van Ness Street and Jersey Street started to form as the a parking lot for the players.

On June 28, 1945, Archbishop Cushing held a field day at Fenway Park that included a pair of baseball games. In the first contest, the Cuban Stars defeated the Boston Colored Giants, 8-5. The second match-up pitted the top two CYO teams against each other, with Presentation CYO topping Holy Name CYO, 6-1. In early September, CYO baseball returned to Fenway Park as the CYO state title games were played there.

1945 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park

June 28Archbishop Cushing Field Day: Cuban Stars 8, Boston Colored Giants 5

June 28Archbishop Cushing Field Day: Presentation CYO (Brighton) 6, Holy Name CYO (Hyde Park) 1

September 2St. Marguerite (Lowell) 2, St. Joseph's (Needham) 1 (State CYO Title Game)

September 2Sacred Heart Malden 2, Sacred Heart of Atlantic 1 (State CYO Title Game)

On Independence Day 1945, a "Here's Your Infantry" show at Fenway Park featured actress Helen Hayes. To be admitted to the show, patrons had to purchase one war bond, while men in uniform were let in free of charge. Before an audience of 20,000, there were demonstrations of hand-to-hand combat, the firing of rifles and machine guns, as well as flame throwers and bazookas. The Boston Yanks, meanwhile, merged with the Brooklyn Tigers in 1945 because of a shortage of players caused by the war. The team kept the Boston name and went 2-2 at Fenway Park that fall.

1945 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park

June 25Tami Mauriello First-Round Knockout of Lou Nova (Boxing)

June 28Archbishop Cushing Field Day)

July 4"Here's Your Infantry" Show)

September 25Boston Yanks 28, Pittsburgh Steelers 7 (Football)

October 7Boston Yanks 28, Washington Redskins 20 (Football)

November 4Detroit Lions 10, Boston Yanks 9 (Football)

November 17Boston College 12, Scranton University 0 (Football)

November 18Green Bay Packers 28, Boston Yanks 0 (Football)

November 25Holy Cross 46, Boston College 0 (Football)

1946

With Ted Williams, Johnny Pesky, Bobby Doerr, Dom DiMaggio back together and the rest of the team's talented nucleus back together, 1946 was a banner season for the Red Sox. Leading his team to 104 wins and the American League pennant, Williams earned MVP honors and even hit two home runs in the first All-Star game played at Fenway Park. However Williams suffered a poorly-timed elbow injury in an exhibition game shortly before the start of the 1946 World Series and the club fell to the underdog St. Louis Cardinals in the Fall Classic.

Record: 104-50, 1st in American League
Manager: Joseph E. Cronin
Attendance: 1,416,944
Postseason: Played in World Series

In the first season after the end of World War II, no other team benefited more than the Red Sox did from the return of players from military service. All the Red Sox stars of the pre-war years were back in 1946, including Ted Williams, Johnny Pesky, Bobby Doerr and Dom DiMaggio. With their return, the Red Sox set a blistering pace from the start of the season, winning 21 of their first 24 games.

In a sign of the overwhelming talent on the roster, there were bold-faced efforts by other leagues to woo Red Sox players away. For instance, while the team was in Havana for a couple of exhibition games, Mexican League officials made extravagant offers to both Williams and Pesky but they both declined. It was a testament to owner Tom Yawkey and GM Eddie Collins that such incidences occurred as the 1946 club was truly a homegrown collection. In the early Yawkey years, most of the roster had been acquired from other teams but the vast majority of Boston's 1946 club was composed of players who were either products of the farm system or acquired from a minor-league club.

The 1946 Red Sox went on to win over 100 games and capture the American League pennant for the first time since 1918. Crowds flocked to Fenway Park all year long and attendance passed 1,000,000 (and almost 1.5 million) for the first time in the ballpark's history. The 1946 team was so spectacular that eight Red Sox players were named to the AL All-Star team: Doerr, Pesky and Rudy York in the infield, Williams and DiMaggio patrolling the outfield, Hal Wagner behind the plate, while Boo Ferriss and Mickey Harris were on the pitching staff. In the game on July 9, which was played at Fenway Park after being cancelled in 1945, Williams hit two homers and drove in five runs to lead the AL to a 12-0 victory over the NL.

Ferriss suffered no sophomore slump, going 25-6 with a 3.25 ERA and Tex Hughson, in his first season back after the war, posted a 2.75 ERA and 20-11 record. Williams hit .342 with 38 home runs and 123 RBIs, while Pesky again collected more than 200 hits and batted .335. York drove in 119, while Doerr had 116 RBIs of his own. Williams got on base almost exactly half the times he came up to bat with a .497 OBP, and scored a league-leading 142 runs. On June 9, Williams hit the longest home run ever hit at Fenway Park, a 502-foot shot into the bleachers off Detroit's Fred Hutchinson. In Boston's pennant-clinching win on September 13, the Splendid Splinter foiled the new "Williams shift" defensive alignment when he hit an inside-the-park home run down the left-field line. After the season, Williams was named the American League's MVP.

On October 1, as Boston waited for the NL playoff to decide the NL pennant, the Red Sox brought in a number of top AL players, including Joe DiMaggio, and staged a pair of exhibition games to stay sharp. In the first game, an errant pitch hit Williams on the right elbow and injured him badly. He persevered and played through the injury in the World Series, but he hit just .200 and even earned headlines for bunting to reach base. Though heavily-favored, the 104-win Red Sox fell to the Cardinals in a seven-game heartbreaker.

October 6-15, 1946
The 1946 World Series

Coming off a 104-win regular season, the Red Sox approached the 1946 World Series with no shortage of confidence. Led by AL Most Valuable Player Ted Williams, the Red Sox had won 61 of the 77 games they played at Fenway Park during the year, leading odds-makers to consider the team a heavy favorite in the Fall Classic.

The National League needed a best-of-three tie-breaker to decide its champion, so in the interim, the Red Sox scheduled a pair of tune-up exhibition games at Fenway Park against a team of American League All-Stars. Before a crowd of less than 2,000 patrons, Ted Williams was struck on the elbow by a pitch during one of these games. Though he played in the World Series, the injury likely persisted and hampered Williams, who only hit .200 in the postseason.

St. Louis prevailed over Brooklyn in the NL playoff and the World Series began at the Cardinals' Sportsman's Park. Game One featured two 20-game winners, Boston ace Tex Hughson and St. Louis southpaw Howie Pollet. The Red Sox trailed 2-1 in the top of the ninth inning and were down to their final out when a groundball off Tom McBride's bat took an unexpected bounce past St. Louis' Marty Marion and brought home the game-tying run. In the tenth inning, Red Sox first baseman Rudy York hit a two-out home run that put Boston ahead for good. After losing Game One, St. Louis evened things up in Game Two thanks to Harry "The Cat" Brecheen's four-hit shut-out of the Red Sox.

The series headed back to Fenway Park for Game Three and Boston turned to Dave "Boo" Ferriss, a 25-game winner during the regular season. Ferriss blanked the National League champions and a three-run home run by Rudy York drove the Red Sox to a 4-0 victory. Up two games to one, Boston's defense broke down in Game Four. The Red Sox made four errors and St. Louis won 12-3, again tying the series.

The Red Sox shook off the doldrums of the previous contest and took an early 3-1 lead in Game Five. The club padded the lead with three additional runs and survived a shaky ninth inning to win 6-3, leaving the Red Sox just one victory short of the championship. The teams returned to the Midwest for Game Six but with Boston hoping to avoid a seventh game, Harry Brecheen delivered another clutch performance in a 4-1 St. Louis victory.

A winner-take-all Game Seven beckoned and the Red Sox sent Boo Ferriss back to the mound. However, the Boston right-hander couldn't recapture his magic of Game Three and the Cardinals knocked him out in the fifth inning. Trailing 3-1, Red Sox manager Joe Cronin sent up back-to-back pinch-hitters to lead off the inning: Rip Russell singled and Catfish Metkovich doubled, before Dom DiMaggio doubled in both runners with two outs. As he motored into second base, however, DiMaggio pulled up lame and was taken out of the game with the game tied.

The game was still tied in the bottom of the eighth inning when Harry Walker stepped to the plate with two outs and his Cardinals teammate Enos Slaugher on first base. Walker hit a drive to left center that DiMaggio's replacement, Leon Culberson, chased down. However, Slaughter never stopped running and by the time Boston shortstop Johnny Pesky received the ball from Culberson on the relay, there wasn't a realistic play at the plate. St. Louis went ahead 4-3 with the run and withstood a brief Boston rally in the top of the ninth inning. Tom McBride hit a ground ball to second base for the 27th and final out, and the underdog Cardinals prevailed with the championship. Though the Red Sox won 100-plus games for the first time since 1915 (and have yet to reach the century mark since), the 1946 season ended with disappointment and a host of "what could have been" questions.

Fenway Park hosted its first All-Star Game in 1946 and "Sky-view" seats were built for the national press covering the game. Running alongside the press box on each of its sides, the area was used for premium seating when not used by the press. In addition, a four foot wide photographer's box was installed along the front edge of the left-field press box and a steel electric scoreboard was erected on the grandstand roof. Each of these renovations came in handy when the Red Sox made the World Series in the fall.

With fresh paint on the bleachers at Braves Field still drying, the Boston Braves swept the Philadelphia Phillies in an April 28 doubleheader at Fenway Park, the first regular season Braves games at the home of the Red Sox since 1915. On July 9, Fenway Park hosted its first MLB All-Star Game. The AL squad crushed their NL counterparts, as Ted Williams went 4-4 with two home runs and five RBI's. One of Williams' blasts came off NL pitcher Rip Sewell's famous, parabolic "Eephus Pitch."

1946 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park

April 28Boston Braves 6, Philadelphia Phillies 1

April 28Boston Braves 2, Philadelphia Phillies 1

June 14Eastern College All-Stars 6, Midwestern All-Stars 2

July 9MLB All-Star Game: American League 12, National League 0

August 10St. Paul 5, St. Louis 4 (32nd Annual Union Printers International Baseball Tournament)

The Boston Yanks had a difficult season in 1946 and lost four of the five games they played at Fenway Park. The average margin of their home losses was nearly 20 points and their lone Fenway win of the year came against the Los Angeles Rams on November 24.

1946 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park

October 20Washington Redskins 14, Boston Yanks 6 (Football)

October 27Pittsburgh Steelers 33, Boston Yanks 7 (Football)

November 3Chicago Cardinals 28, Boston Yanks 14 (Football)

November 24Boston Yanks 40, Los Angeles Rams 21 (Football)

December 8Philadelphia Eagles 40, Boston Yanks 14 (Football)

1947

In the first week of 1947, workers began to install seven light towers at Fenway Park that allowed the Red Sox to play night baseball at the ballpark for the first time in history. The left-field wall also underwent a dramatic change for the 1947 season when advertisements were removed from the wall and it was painted green to match the rest of the ballpark. Since then, the wall has taken on the name, the "Green Monster," and has become a defining feature of Fenway Park. On the field, the Red Sox followed their pennant-winning season of 1946 with an underwhelming third-place finish.

Record: 83-71, 3rd in American League
Manager: Joseph E. Cronin
Attendance: 1,427,315

On Opening Day 1947, the Red Sox raised their 1946 American League Pennant but the 1947 Red Sox followed their World Series run of the previous year with a disappointing third place finish. However, although they finished 14 games behind the pennant-winning Yankees, the Red Sox did draw well and improved their attendance from the year before.

During the first week of 1947, workers began to install light towers at Fenway Park and on June 13, 1947, the Red Sox beat the White Sox, 5-3, in the first night baseball game at the ballpark.

Ted Williams found himself in the spotlight all season long as he won his second Triple Crown, leading the league in batting average (.343), home runs (32) and runs batted in (114).

The pitching staff, which had been superb in 1946, suffered a rash of arm and shoulder problems. Though Joe Dobson pitched well (18-8, 2.95 ERA), Boo Ferriss was mortal (12-11, 4.04 ERA). Tex Hughson sported a 3.33 ERA but, along with Earl Johnson who was back from the war, shared the same 12-11 record as Ferriss.

Despite winning the AL Triple Crown, Williams lost out on the MVP award to Joe DiMiaggio, who had a good season but trailed the Red Sox slugger in average (by 28 points), home runs (by 12), and RBIs (by 17).

In October 1947, Joe Cronin was named General Manager of the club, formalizing the increased role he had been asked to play after Eddie Collins had become seriously ill in late 1946.

Fenway Park underwent a series of renovations throughout 1947. During the first week of January, workers began to install seven light towers that allowed for night baseball to be played at Fenway Park, which first occurred on June 13, 1947 when the Red Sox beat the White Sox, 5-3.

For the 1947 season, advertising was removed from the left-field wall and the wall was painted green to match the rest of the ballpark. It was the first time in Fenway Park's history that the wall was devoid of advertisements. Over time, the wall has taken on the nickname, the "Green Monster," and has become a defining characteristic of Fenway Park, as well as one of the most famous features of any sports venue.

On the grandstand roof, the club built a new press room behind the press box where members of the press could work and eat and in the fall, a scoreboard for football was installed above the concrete wall of the bleachers.

In 1947, Fenway Park hosted seven Eastern Massachusetts Interscholastic Baseball playoff games, including the semi-final round and championship game. Lynn Classical prevailed with a 7-6 victory over Newton High in the final on June 7. The ballpark also welcomed its first William Randolph Hearst Sandlot Tournament game in July, when an all-scholastic team calling themselves the Red Sox defeated a team dubbed the Indians, 6-5 (these squads were led by Joe Cronin and Lou Boudreau, respectively). This top amateur game, sponsored by the Boston newspaper group that comprised the Boston Record, Boston American and Boston Sunday Advertiser, would often take place at Fenway Park over the next few decades and feature several future Red Sox, including Billy Conigliaro, Tony Conigliaro, Russ Gibson, Art Graham, Bob Guindon, Skip Lockwood, Bill MacLeod, Mike Ryan and Wilbur Wood. These games often took place shortly after the conclusion of a Red Sox game and lasted six innings, with ticketed patrons able to stay and others able to file in free of charge.

1947 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park

June 4Somerville High 5, Wayland High

June 4Newton High 7, Malden Catholic 6

June 5Lynn Classical 12, Boston College High 0

June 5Belmont High 9, Norwood High 4

June 6Newton High 8, Somerville High 0

June 6Lynn Classical 7, Belmont High 5

June 7Lynn Classical 7, Newton High 6

July 29William Randolph Hearst Sandlot Tournament: "Red Sox" 6, "Indians" 5

Boston University kicked off the 1947 football season at Fenway Park with an under-the-lights victory over Mohawk College on September 27, the first football game under the ballpark's new light towers, which were installed that year. Two nights later, the Boston Yanks started their season and tied the New York Giants, 7-7. In 1947, BU went 4-1 at Fenway Park, while at the pro level, the Boston Yanks finished with a 2-3-1 record.

1947 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park

September 27Boston University 45, Mohawk College 7 (Football)

September 29Boston Yanks 7, New York Giants 7 (Football)

October 5Detroit Lions 21, Boston Yanks 7 (Football)

October 11Boston University 38, New York University 7 (Football)

October 12Pittsburgh Steelers 30, Boston Yanks 14 (Football)

October 18Purdue 62, Boston University 7 (Football)

November 1Boston University 26, Fordham 6 (Football)

November 2Chicago Bears 28, Boston Yanks 24 (Football)

November 15Boston University 33, Kings Point Merchant Marine 6 (Football)

November 22Boston University 20, Colgate 14 (Football)

November 23Boston Yanks 21, Philadelphia Eagles 14 (Football)

November 30Boston Yanks 27, Washington Redskins 24 (Football)

1948

On October 4, 1948 Fenway Park hosted the first playoff game in American League history when the Red Sox faced off against the Indians to decide the pennant. Led by new manager Joe McCarthy, the 1948 Red Sox won 96 games in the regular season but lost to Cleveland in the one-game playoff. Boston University's football team and the Boston Yanks also shared the Fenway Park field in 1948, the last year the Yanks called the ballpark their home.

Record: 96-59, 2nd in American League
Manager: Joseph V. McCarthy
Attendance: 1,558,798

The Red Sox finished the 1948 regular season tied for first place with Cleveland and the first playoff game in American League history was played at Fenway Park to decide who would advance to the World Series. Earlier in the season, the first television broadcast of a Red Sox game at Fenway Park took place on May 12.

It was Boston's first season under new manager Joe McCarthy, who had managed the Yankees to eight pennants in 16 seasons. Ted Williams helped lead the charge again with a .369 batting average and 127 RBIs. Johnny Pesky was shifted to third base and his average dropped below .300 for the first time in his career. Pesky still scored 124 run, just below Dom DiMaggio's club-leading 127. Vern Stephens, who had taken Pesky's shortstop slot, led the team with 29 home runs and 137 RBIs.

Southpaw Mel Parnell made his debut in 1948 and won 15 games with a 3.14 ERA. Joe Dobson went 16-10 with a 3.56 ERA and Jack Kramer, who'd come over with Vern Stephens in a trade with the Browns the previous winter, went 18-5.

At the end of the regular season, the Red Sox stood tied with the Indians atop the AL with 96 wins. to decide the pennant, a one -game playoff was played at Fenway Park on October 4. . Cleveland player/manager Lou Boudreau started a rookie, 19-game winner Gene Bearden, while McCarthy handed the ball to veteran Galehouse instead of the well-rested Parnell. Galehouse, who had been pounded by Cleveland in a late August game, didn't make it out of the fourth inning, while Bearden won his 20th game for the Indians. Cleveland's win eliminated the Red Sox and prevented what would have been the only cross-town World Series in Boston history. Instead, the Indians went on to defeat the Braves in six games.

Over the 1947-48 offseason, both clubhouses, which were located next to each other on the first-base side of the park, received improvements to their walls and plumbing fixtures. In addition, a steel staircase was built to a new one-room level for the umpires and on the grandstand roof, the club added restrooms for patrons in the premium "sky-view" seating on each side of the press box.

As part of the Mayor's Charity Field Day on July 13, 1948, the New England Hoboes (a novelty team) defeated the Dick Casey Club of Dorchester, 2-0.

1948 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park

June 16Brockton High 4, Lynn Classical 2

June 16Milford 13, Case 3

July 13Mayor's Charity Field Day: New England Hoboes 2, Dick Casey Club 0*

 

*For many years, the City of Boston regularly held a summertime Mayor's Charity Field Day. Many of these field days took place at Fenway Park, with a variety of sports, games, activities and other amusements for the crowds. In certain years, the Mayor's Charity Field Day even included an abbreviated baseball game at Fenway Park that was usually played between local teams.

In their final season at Fenway Park, the Boston Yanks finished with a disappointing 2-4 home record, though they went out in style with an upset of the powerful Philadelphia Eagles. Boston University's football team won its first two games at Fenway Park in 1948 but was trounced by the University of Iowa in their final game at the ballpark that fall.

1948 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park

July 13Mayor's Charity Field Day*

September 17Green Bay Packers 31, Boston Yanks 0 (Football)

September 23New York Giants 27, Boston Yanks 7 (Football)

October 17Boston Yanks 13, Pittsburgh Steelers 7 (Football)

October 22Boston University 28, New York University 7 (Football)

October 30Boston University 12, Syracuse 7 (Football)

November 7Washington Redskins 23, Boston Yanks 7 (Football)

November 20University of Iowa 34, Boston University 14 (Football)

November 21Chicago Bears 51, Boston Yanks 17 (Football)

December 5Boston Yanks 37, Philadelphia Eagles 14 (Football)

 

 

*For many years, the City of Boston regularly held a summertime Mayor's Charity Field Day. Many of these field days took place at Fenway Park, with a variety of sports, games, activities and other amusements for the crowds. In certain years, the Mayor's Charity Field Day even included an abbreviated baseball game at Fenway Park that was usually played between local teams.

 

December 5, 1948
Philadelphia Eagles Upset By Last-Place Yanks, 37-14

A crowd of 9,652 saw both the greatest and last game in the short history of the Boston Yanks, as the underdogs upset the NFL East Champion Philadelphia Eagles by a score of 37-14. Following the game, Yanks owner Ted Collins remarked, "I guess we'll move," but added, "I don't know for sure yet and I may be back again next season. It's strictly an economic situation." Collins moved the team to New York the next year, where they played as the New York Bulldogs. Later, the franchise shifted to Dallas, where they became the Dallas Texans in 1952. Ultimately they moved to Baltimore and became known as the Colts, who now play in Indianapolis after their infamous move in 1983.

1949

The temporary wooden press boxes that were constructed on the grandstand roof in 1946 were replaced with permanent steel press ones for the 1949 Red Sox season, which ended in heartbreak for the second consecutive year. In the fall, Boston University's football team competed at the ballpark regularly and when BU played Maryland on November 12, 1949, Vin Scully, the legendary Dodgers broadcaster, made his professional debut when he provided the game's play-by-play for CBS Radio.

Record: 96-58, 2nd in American League
Manager: Joseph V. McCarthy
Attendance: 1,596,650

For the third time in four years, the 1949 season went down to the final day and again, the Red Sox fell short. On October 1, the Red Sox entered Yankee Stadium with a one game lead over New York and with only two more regular season games remaining, both against the Yankees, Boston needed only one win to clinch the pennant. However, the Red Sox lost the October 1 game by a 5-4 score and fell into a first place tie with New York. In the pennant-deciding final game of the season, Boston fell behind 5-0 but fought gamely to cut the deficit to two runs. The Red Sox even brought the tying run to the plate before the Yankees ended their hopes. In his first two seasons managing the Red Sox, Joe McCarthy's Red Sox teams had lost the pennant on the final day of both campaigns.

Despite the painful ending, the season had been an outstanding one for several Red Sox players. Mel Parnell won 25 games for Boston in 1949 and broke Babe Ruth's club record for victories by a left-handed pitcher, while Ellis Kinder went 23-6. Vern Stephens and Ted Williams tied for the AL RBI crown with 159 apiece and Williams missed out on his third Triple Crown by a single base hit; his batting average was .0002 lower than Detroit's George Kell. However, Williams did win his second MVP award in 1949, playing in every game and reaching base in all but five contests. In one late summer streak, Williams reached base in 84 consecutive games and Dom DiMaggio set a franchise record that still stands by hitting safely in 34 straight contests in 1949.

In 1949, the temporary wooden press boxes, which were installed on each side of the grandstand roof in 1946, were replaced with permanent steel boxes. The club also built a television and radio perch located at the top of the screen behind home plate. In addition, the photographer's box was enlarged and a new catwalk was built to access the expanded press facilities on the grandstand roof. Below the catwalk, the trucking entrance (present-day Gate D) was widened.

On the left-field side of the ballpark, the grandstand concourse was extended and, for the first time, Fenway Park was connected to the John B. Smith Building via a steel bridge on the building's second floor. In 1955, Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey bought the Smith Building, located at 70 Brookline Avenue, and named it the Jeano Building, after his wife Jean.

In 1949, Boston University played five football games at Fenway Park, with multi-sport athlete, and future Red Sox first baseman, Harry Agganis, making his Fenway debut. After the 1949 season, Agganis entered the Marine Corps but returned to college in 1951 and became BU's first football All-American. Though drafted in the first round of the 1952 NFL Draft, Agganis signed with the Red Sox and made his MLB debut in 1954.

On November 12, 1949, another famous figure made his debut at Fenway Park. That day, future Dodgers broadcasting legend Vin Scully provided the play-by-play call on CBS Radio for the football game between Boston University and Maryland. It was Scully's first career assignment after graduating from Fordham University; the following year, Scully began working for the Dodgers, and has ever since.

1949 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park

October 14Boston University 52, West Virginia 20 (Football)

October 22Boston University 38, New York University 0 (Football)

October 29Boston University 46, Scranton 6 (Football)

November 12University of Maryland 14, Boston University 13 (Football)

November 19St. Bonaventure 19, Boston University 0 (Football)