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‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎Fenway Park Timeline

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1950-1959

1950

The 1950 Red Sox scored runs by the truckload but despite winning 94 games, they finished third in the league. Fenway Park also hosted many amateur baseball and football games in 1950.

Record: 94-60, 3rd in American League
Manager: Joseph V. McCarthy (31-28), Stephen F. O'Neill (63-32)
Attendance: 1,344,080

After two disappointing seasons that went down to the wire, the 1950 Red Sox had one of the most potent lineups in history and scored 1,027 runs. In two early June games at Fenway Park, the Red Sox scored a record 49 times, annihilating the St. Louis Browns by scores of 20-4 and 29-4.

Utilityman Billy Goodman led the league in hitting with a .354 average, but only after Johnny Pesky (who hit .312 himself) unselfishly volunteered to ride the bench so that Goodman could collect enough at-bats to qualify. AL Rookie of the Year Walt Dropo and Vern Stephens tied for the league lead in RBIs with 144 apiece and Dom DiMaggio led the AL in stolen bases. Ultimately, the team's pitching held the club back, though no Boston hurler finished with a losing record.

Goodman played every position in both the infield and the outfield, though his opportunity to play so often came after a broken elbow that Ted Williams suffered in the 1950 All-Star Game. In 1950, Williams drove in 97 runs but played in just 89 games.

Despite the prolific production, manager Joe McCarthy suffered a stretch where his team lost 11 of 13 games. On June 23, McCarthy he resigned citing physical exhaustion. Steve O'Neill took his place and led the team back into contention, with Williams returning in mid-September. The Red Sox closed to within a game and a half of the AL lead but ultimately finished in third place, four games behind the pennant-winning Yankees.

In preparation for the 1950 College World Series, the first held in Omaha, Nebraska, the Tufts College baseball team held a night workout at Fenway Park in June 1950. The following month, the Mayor's Charity Field Day included a match-up between the New England Hoboes (a novelty team) and Philadelphia Colored All-Stars that ended in a 3-3 tie before more than 27,000 spectators. Among the players on Philadelphia's roster was the legendary Satchel Paige. The month of July also featured the return of the William Randolph Hearst Sandlot Tournament, an all-scholastic affair that had been played at Braves Field and Fallon Field the previous two years. A Hearst doubleheader on July 22 was followed by another Hearst game in August.

1950 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park

June 12Tufts College Baseball Team Workout

July 11Mayor's Charity Field Day: New England Hoboes 3, Philadelphia Colored All-Stars 3*

July 22William Randolph Hearst Sandlot Tournament: Records 12, Americans 2

July 22William Randolph Hearst Sandlot Tournament: Americans 7, Records 2

August 13St. Anthony's (Everett) 20, St. Theresa's (West Roxbury) 1 (CYO Game)

 

*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.

Boston University's football team dropped their first two games at Fenway Park in 1950 but rallied to win two of its next three at the ballpark, including a 41-13 trouncing of New York University.

1950 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park

July 11Mayor's Charity Field Day*

October 13St. Bonaventure 25, Boston University 21 (Football)

October 28Syracuse 13, Boston University 7 (Football)

November 4Boston University 16, William & Mary 14 (Football)

November 11Boston University 41, New York University 13 (Football)

November 18University of Idaho 26, Boston University 19 (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.

1951

In 1951, the Red Sox celebrated the franchise's 50th anniversary and honored members of the 1901 Boston Americans in May. The following month, future Red Sox first baseman Harry Agganis appeared at Fenway Park as a member of a Marines team from Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, where he played both football and baseball. The local star, who had also played at Fenway Park in 1949 as a member of the Boston University football team, batted cleanup and helped lead the camp's baseball team over Boston College. In the fall, Agganis returned to Boston University to play quarterback, and also returned to Fenway Park, where the Terriers played their home football games. On October 13, 1951 at Fenway Park, Agganis led BU to a 16-0 victory over his former teammates on the Camp Lejeune football squad.

Record: 87-67, 3rd in American League
Manager: Stephen F. O'Neill
Attendance: 1,312,282

The Red Sox celebrated the franchise's 50th year by honoring the 1901 Boston Americans on May 15, 1951. With several surviving members of the team in attendance (including Cy Young), Ted Williams hit his 300th career home run in a losing effort.

From May 21 through a Memorial Day doubleheader sweep of the Yankees before 35, 824 at Fenway Park, the Red Sox enjoyed a 10-game winning streak but still found themselves three games back at the end of it.

The team climbed into first place shortly after the All-Star break, part of a torrid July stretch primed by Clyde Vollmer, who hit 13 home runs during the month after slugging just 23 home runs in six prior big league seasons.

Williams led the team with 30 homers, 126 RBIs and a .318 average. Mel Parnell's 18-11 record topped the pitching staff and reliever Ellis "Old Folks" Kinder went 11-2 with a 2.55 ERA.

Though they stayed close to the Yankees through mid-September, the Red Sox ended the season losing nine in a row. On September 22, Bobby Doerr announced his retirement due to a spinal condition that had plagued him for a couple seasons. His 1,865 games played were more than any other player in team history up to that point. That same day Mel Parnell shutout of the Yankees prevented the Red Sox from losing their last 13 games of the year, and in late October, Lou Boudreau supplanted Steve O'Neill as manager.

After leaving Boston University following the Terriers' 1949 football season at Fenway Park, multi-sport star Harry Agganis returned to the ballpark in 1951 as a member of the Camp Lejeune Marines baseball team. Agganis, who was stationed at the camp, played first base and batted cleanup for the Marines in their victory over Boston College on June 4. Just a few days later, multiple rounds of the Eastern Massachusetts schoolboy tournament were held at the park.

1951 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park

June 4Camp Lejeune Marines 4, Boston College 3 (Navy Relief Society Benefit)

June 6Somerville High 11, Melrose High 4

June 6Haverhill High 3, Natick High 1

June 7Mission High 7, Hyde Park High 1

June 7Durfee High 2, Newton High 1

June 8Somerville High 2, Haverhill High 0

June 8Mission High 11, Durfee High 9

June 9Somerville High 6, Mission High 4 (Eastern Mass Schoolboy Tournament Title Game)

June 9Hudson High 6, Scituate High 0 (Eastern Mass Schoolboy Tournament "SmallSchool" Title Game)

June 25Sandlot Baseball Game

Boston University's football team started the 1951 season with six straight wins at Fenway Park, including a victory over College of the Pacific on October 19 that was called the greatest New England upset since Holy Cross' defeat of Boston College at Fenway in 1942. With a chance to finish their home season with a perfect record, the Terriers fell to Syracuse 26-19 on November 24, despite three touchdowns by star Harry Agganis.

1951 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park

October 5Boston University 39, Louisville 7 (Football)

October 13Boston University 16, Camp Lejeune Marines 0 (Football)

October 19Boston University 27, College of the Pacific 12 (Football)

November 3Boston University 52, New York University 6 (Football)

November 10Boston University 35, Oregon 6 (Football)

November 17Boston University 39, University of Wichita 6 (Football)

November 24Syracuse 26, Boston University 19 (Football)

1952

In 1952, Ted Williams was recalled to active duty and bid the Fenway Park crowd farewell on April 30, 1952. Though Williams would return to the team after serving in the Korean War, many at the ballpark that day thought it was the star's last game. Earlier in the year, Fenway Park hosted the first annual Junior Goodwill Dinner to help fight juvenile delinquency and on April 12, the ballpark hosted the first annual baseball clinic put together by the Boston Globe with Red Sox and Braves players on hand to help teach 5,000 local youngsters. In the fall, Boston College's football team returned to Fenway Park for the first time since 1945.

Record: 76-78, 6th in American League
Manager: Louis Boudreau
Attendance: 1,115,750

The 1952 Red Sox lost two of their three starting outfielders, Ted Williams and Jimmy Piersall, though for very different reasons.

With the Korean War underway, Williams was recalled to active duty. He played in five games leading up to "Ted Williams Day" at Fenway Park on April 30, when he was given a new Cadillac and bid farewell to the Fenway Park crowd (Red Sox and Tigers players also held hands while singing "Auld Land Syne" in pre-game ceremonies). In what he thought might be his final at-bat, Williams stepped to the plate in the seventh inning with a tie game and hit a two-run, game-winning home run off Detroit's Dizzy Trout.

On June 28, the Red Sox sent Piersall to their Birmingham farm club because of his behavior. Piersall entered a mental health treatment facility in July 1952 but returned to the team in 1953 and went on to have a successful career.

The club made some major moves, including the trade of two popular Red Sox players, Johnny Pesky and Walt Dropo, to Detroit in a nine-player deal that brought George Kell and Dizzy Trout to Boston.

The 1952 Red Sox were a great team at home with a record of 50-27 but were a disaster on the road at 26-51. The club's losing record was its first in several years, with the inability to score runs a particular issue. Epitomizing the shortage was Dick Gernert's team-leading RBI total of 67.

Early in the year, the Red Sox concluded one Fenway Park tradition and started another. On April 12 and 13, the team played the cross-town Boston Braves in the final two City Series exhibition games. Prior to the game on the 12th, players and coaches from both teams tutored scores of local youngsters as part of a baseball clinic co-hosted by the Boston Globe. After the session, the youth stayed for the afternoon's Red Sox-Braves exhibition. Among those participating in the clinic were Dom DiMaggio, Walt Dropo and Vern Stephens of the Red Sox, along with the Braves' Warren Spahn. The clinic became a regular springtime event known as the Red Sox-Boston Globe Baseball Clinic and lasted into the 1970s.

Red Sox-Boston Globe Baseball Clinic

In the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s, the Red Sox organization and the Boston Globe teamed up to hold a regular baseball clinic at Fenway Park for thousands of local youth ballplayers. The event was initially called a "Spring training camp" for Massachusetts youngsters who had the opportunity to receive instruction from some of the Red Sox biggest names. The full Boston coaching staff and several players often attended, with upwards of ten players taking part in certain years. Among those who provided lessons was Bill Monbouquette, a Medford, Massachusetts native who had previously attended the clinic as an audience member when he was pitching in high school.

Red Sox-Boston Globe Baseball Clinic Dates

April 12, 1952
April 25, 1953
May 1, 1954
April 16, 1955
April 26, 1958
April 22, 1959
May 7, 1960
April 18, 1961
May 5, 1962
April 27, 1963
May 2, 1964
April 21, 1965
May 21, 1966
April 29, 1967
April 20, 1968
May 17, 1969
May 16, 1970
June 17, 1972
May 25, 1974

On January 30, 1952, Fenway Park hosted its first Junior Goodwill Dinner to help fight juvenile delinquency. The dinner, which was started by Joe Cronin, became a frequent winter affair at the ballpark for several years. In the fall, behind the strong play of Harry Agganis, Boston University went 3-1-1 at Fenway Park in 1952. Their lone lone defeat came at the hands of a powerful University of Maryland team.

1952 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park

January 30Junior Goodwill Dinner*

July 7Mayor's Charity Field Day**

October 10Boston University 9, Miami University 7

October 18Boston University 33, William & Mary 28 (Football)

November 1University of Maryland 34, Boston University 7 (Football)

November 8Boston University 14, Temple 14 (Football)

November 15Boston University 14, New York University 7 (Football)

 

* For several years, Fenway Park hosted a Junior Goodwill Dinner that brought hundreds of local high school students to the ballpark. The tradition was started by Red Sox legend Joe Cronin and the event typically took place in late January.

** 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.

Once again, the 1952 Mayor's Charity Field Day featured a baseball game at Fenway Park. This time, the Georgia Chain Gang (a novelty team) and the Valleyfield Chiefs squared off. These games often lasted between three to five innings in length and the score wasn't always recorded during these informal affairs.

1952 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park

July 7Mayor's Charity Field Day: Georgia Chain Gang vs. Valleyfield Chiefs *

July 24William Randolph Hearst Sandlot Tournament: Boston Sandlotters 12, Red Sox Sandlotters 7

 

*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.

1953

Fenway Park became the only Major League Baseball venue in Boston when the Braves moved to Milwaukee before the start of the 1953 season. Opposing teams at Fenway Park also had a new home in 1953; during the offseason, the visitors clubhouse was moved to the third base side of the ballpark and connected to the visitors dugout via a tunnel. In July, Ted Williams returned from combat and played in 37 games for the Red Sox in the second half of the season. In the fall, Boston College football once again took to the Fenway Park field.

Record: 84-69, 4th in American League
Manager: Louis Boudreau
Attendance: 1,026,133

Boston became a one-team baseball town shortly before the 1953 season, when the Braves left for Milwaukee. Also departing the scene was Dom DiMaggio, who retired on May 12 after being supplanted by Tommy Umphlett.

Even without DiMaggio and Ted Williams (who had received an Air Medal after safely landing a damaged plane while on a February 1953 mission over Korea), the Red Sox set a MLB record that still stands today when they scored 17 runs in one inning, during a 23-3 victory over Detroit on June 18. In a feat of numerical coincidence, the Red Sox set 17 records during this game, after beating the Tigers 17-1 the day before.

After 39 combat missions, Williams was discharged with an ear infection and returned home in time to deliver the first pitch at the 1953 All-Star Game. He went on to collect 34 RBIs in just 37 regular-season games for the Red Sox in 1953. On July 28, Williams showed his legendary eye when he returned to the batter's box at Fenway Park for batting practice and astutely noticed that home plate was out of alignment, a fact that went unnoticed during the first half of the season.

The Red Sox finished the season with a record of 84-69 but wound up 16 games out of first. George Kell's 73 RBIs and .307 average led the offense, while 21-game winner Mel Parnell bolstered the rotation. After the season, on December 9, the Red Sox sent 18-game winner Mickey McDermott and Umphlett to Washington for Jackie Jensen.

During Fenway Park's first few decades, the home and visitors clubhouses had been situated side by side near on on the first-base side of the ballpark. Until 1953, both Red Sox and visiting players had accessed the field via a single tunnel but a post-game fight in May 1952 between two fiery personalities - Boston's Jimmy Piersall and New York's Billy Martin - forced owner Tom Yawkey to consider a new arrangement. In 1953, the visitors clubhouse was relocated to the third-base side of the field and connected to the visiting dugout, removing the possibility of on-field hostility spilling over into another tunnel fracas.

In addition, Fenway Park's first organ was installed in 1953 and organ music has been an instrumental part of the ballpark's personality ever since. John Kiley, the music director at WMEX, which had its studios in the Jeano Building, was Fenway Park's organist from 1953 until 1989.

The 1953 William Randolph Hearst game at Fenway Park was a veritable romp, as the American All-Stars team trounced the Record All-Stars, 16-5.

1953 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park

August 10William Randolph Hearst Sandlot Tournament: American All-Stars 16, Record All-Stars 5

After Fenway Park hosted its second annual Junior Goodwill Dinner in January and a memorial service in May, Boston College played several home games at Fenway Park in the fall of 1953. Though the Eagles were winless in their first three home games, they finished strong with victories over Wake Forest, the University of Detroit and Holy Cross. Their victory over their rival from Worcester brought out a crowd of 37,000, a dramatic increase from most of BC's 1953 games at Fenway Park, which typically averaged less than 10,000 spectators.

1953 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park

January 28Junior Goodwill Dinner*

May 24American Legion Memorial Mass**

September 26Boston College 14, Clemson 14 (Football)

October 11Villanova 15, Boston College 7 (Football)

October 31Richmond 14, Boston College 0 (Football)

November 7Boston College 20, Wake Forest 7 (Football)

November 15Boston College 33, University of Detroit 20 (Football)

November 28Boston College 6, Holy Cross 0 (Football)

 

* For several years, Fenway Park hosted a Junior Goodwill Dinner that brought hundreds of local high school students to the ballpark. The tradition was started by Red Sox legend Joe Cronin and the event typically took place in late January.

** 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.

1954

In 1954, Ted Williams hit .345 in his first full season after serving in the Korean War and local product Harry Agganis made his Red Sox debut, returning to Fenway Park where he had played as a member of Boston University's football team and as a member of the Camp Lejeune Marines baseball team. In July, the park hosted a boxing match featuring local fighter Tony DeMarco and a basketball game between the Harlem Globetrotters and the George Mikan United States All-Stars. In the later months of the year, Boston College's football team played several games at the park.

Record: 69-85, 4th in American League
Manager: Louis Boudreau
Attendance: 931,127

Back for a full season after returning from Korea the previous summer, Ted Williams announced that 1954 would be his final year. The year's spring training had barely commenced when Williams broke his collarbone diving for a fly ball on March 1. Despite playing with a metal pin in his shoulder, Williams went on to hit .345 and would have won the batting title if he hadn't walked 136 times (17 of these intentional). At the time, qualifying for the batting crown was based on at-bats rather than plate appearances and the left fielder fell 14 at-bats short of the requisite 400 at-bats.

Williams led the club with 29 homers, while Jackie Jensen hit 25 home runs and collected a team-leading 117 RBIs. The most promising hometown rookie in years was first baseman Harry Agganis, a multi-sport star at Boston University who had been drafted by football's Cleveland Browns. Agganis hit 11 homers and drove in 57 runs in his rookie year with the Red Sox.

Big Frank Sullivan (6' 6") went 15-12 with a 3.14 ERA but the team record was almost a reverse image of the year before at 69-85. Boston finished in fourth place, 42 games behind the juggernaut Cleveland Indians, whose 111 victories set an AL record.

On October 11, even though he still had a year left on his contract, Lou Boudreau was replaced as manager by Mike "Pinky" Higgins.

Medford's own Bill Monbouquette made his Fenway Park debut in 1954 pitching in that year's William Randolph Hearst game. Four years later, "Monbo" broke in with the Red Sox, embarking on an 11-year career in which he would win 114 games and compile a 3.68 ERA.

1954 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park

July 10William Randolph Hearst Sandlot Tournament: Boston All-Stars 5, New England All-Stars 2

Fenway Park was humming with non-baseball activities in 1954. In June, Fenway Park hosted the annual Mayor's Charity Field Day and then welcomed boxing under the lights on July 12, as local fighter Tony DeMarco knocked out George Araujo in the 10th round before a crowd of nearly 10,000 people. Later in the month, the Harlem Globetrotters dazzled the ballpark's audience with a 61-41 victory over the George Mikan United States All-Stars. In the fall, Boston College's football team went 4-1 at Fenway Park and on November 7, an unusual, Celtic-themed doubleheader also took place at the ballpark and featured a hurling match and Gaelic football exhibition.

1954 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park

January 27Junior Goodwill Dinner*

June 12Mayor's Charity Field Day**

July 12Tony DeMarco vs. George Araujo Welterweight Fight (Boxing)

July 29Harlem Globetrotters vs. George Mikan United States All-Stars (Basketball)

October 9Boston College 44, VMI 0 (Football)

October 23Boston College 42, Springfield 6 (Football)

October 31Xavier 19, Boston College 14 (Football)

November 7Cork All-Ireland Hurling Champions 37, American Hurlers 28 (Hurling)

November 7Connaught 5, Munster 5 (Gaelic Football Exhibition)

November 13Boston College 7, Boston University 6 (Football)

November 27Boston College 31, Holy Cross 13 (Football)

 

* For several years, Fenway Park hosted a Junior Goodwill Dinner that brought hundreds of local high school students to the ballpark. The tradition was started by Red Sox legend Joe Cronin and the event typically took place in late January.

** 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 29, 1954
Globetrotters Sparkle Against The George Mikan
United States All-Stars

On July 29, 1954, basketball was played at Fenway Park in front of 13, 344 people, who came out to the ballpark to watch the Harlem Globetrotters defeat the George Mikan United States All-Stars. Led by Reese "Goose" Tatum and his comedic antics, the Globetrotters prevailed in a 61-41 victory.

1955

Ted Williams missed the start of the 1955 baseball season, which was a gloomy one for the Red Sox. Boston was never really a factor in the pennant race and during the middle of the summer, first baseman and hometown hero Harry Agganis fell ill and passed away, in only his second year with the team. In August, the Harlem Globetrotter returned to Fenway Park and in the fall, Boston College took the Fenway gridiron and went undefeated in four football games.

Record: 84-70, 4th in American League
Manager: Michael F. Higgins
Attendance: 1,203,200

On March 18, sticking with his plan to retire, Ted Williams said "my mind is so filled with other things I can't think of returning to baseball right now." Williams didn't return to the Red Sox until his divorce settlement was finalized, and when he did suit up in late May, Boston was already 12 games behind the Yankees. From Ted's return onwards, the Boston actually played better than New York but they could never catch the Bombers.

The day before Williams returned, rookie first baseman Norm Zauchin hit three home runs and drove in 10 runs in a 16-0 victory over Washington at Fenway Park

Another gifted youngster, Harry Agganis, fell ill during a Midwest road-trip in early June and tragically died of complications from pneumonia on June 27 at age 26.

Persevering through this tragedy, the Red Sox pulled to within 1 1/2 games of the Yankees in August, but losses in 14 of their final 18 games left the Red Sox 12 games out at season's end.

Jackie Jensen hit 26 home runs and a collected a league-leading 116 RBIs. Along with Jensen and Zauchin (who hit 27 home runs), Williams ranked among the team's home run leaders despite his early absence. In 1955, Williams actually struck out less often than he homered (24 Ks vs. 28 HRs) and hit .356, though he did not qualify for the batting crown.

Frank Sullivan led Red Sox pitchers with an 18-13 record and Higgins was named AL Manager of the Year after the team improved by 15 wins and finished 84-70.

One particularly memorable moment in the season came before the Red Sox game on May 7, when 19 Hall of Famers - including Red Sox legends Jimmie Foxx, Lefty Grove, Harry Hooper, Duffy Lewis, Tris Speaker and Cy Young - worked out on the field as part of Hall of Fame Day at Fenway Park.

The Georgia Chain Gang returned to Fenway Park in 1955 for the Mayor's Charity Field Day and defeated a local team of Park League All-Stars, 3-2. The following month, the all-scholastic teams in the William Randolph Hearst Sandlot Tournament game played to a 7-7 draw.

1955 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park

June 28Mayor's Charity Field Day: Georgia Chain Gang 3, Park League All-Stars 2*

July 27William Randolph Hearst Sandlot Tournament: Record All-Stars 7, American All-Stars 7 (tie)

 

*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.

The Harlem Globetrotters returned to Fenway Park in 1955 and defeated the Honolulu Surf Riders. In the fall, Boston College football was unbeaten in four games at the park, en route to a 5-2-1 season record.

1955 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park

January 27Junior Goodwill Dinner*

June 28Mayor's Charity Field Day**

August 25Harlem Globetrotters 43, Honolulu Surf Riders 38 (Basketball)

October 8Boston College 28, Villanova 14 (Football)

October 15Boston College 23, Detroit 0 (Football)

October 21Boston College 13, Marquette 13 (Football)

November 26Boston College 26, Holy Cross 7 (Football)

 

* For several years, Fenway Park hosted a Junior Goodwill Dinner that brought hundreds of local high school students to the ballpark. The tradition was started by Red Sox legend Joe Cronin and the event typically took place in late January.

** 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.

1956

In 1956, the Red Sox finished in fourth place for the fourth straight season but on July 14, Mel Parnell no-hit the White Sox at Fenway Park and three days later Ted Williams hit his 400th career home run. In June, Fenway Park hosted the annual Mayor's Charity Field Day and a bout featuring local boxer Tony DeMarco and in the fall, Boston College football played at the park as well.

Record: 84-70, 4th in American League
Manager: Michael F. Higgins
Attendance: 1,137,158

The 1956 Red Sox finished with the exact same record (84-70) as they did in 1955 but the team never made a run at the pennant and finished 18 games back, again in fourth place.

The 32,563 fans that attended Opening day at Fenway Park in 1956 saw Frank Sullivan earn a complete-game, 8-1 victory over Baltimore. Sullivan finished the season with a 14-7 record and 3.42 ERA, while Tom Brewer had his finest year with a 19-9 record. Reliever Ike Delock chipped in with a 13 wins but the rest of the staff was nine games under .500.

With a .345 batting average, Ted Williams qualified for the batting crown for the first time since 1951 but he finished second to Triple Crown winner Mickey Mantle. Jackie Jensen led the team in RBIs again with 97 and both Williams and first baseman Mickey Vernon produced over 80 runs each as well.

There were some other nice individual accomplishments in 1956. On July 14, Mel Parnell no-hit the White Sox at Fenway Park following an early rain delay. The left-hander even recorded the final out of the game on a ground ball back to the mound that he ran over to first.

Three days later, Ted Williams hit his 400th career home run during a doubleheader sweep of Kansas City, though Williams spat in the direction of the press box as he crossed the plate. Two months later, on August 7, Williams flipped his bat at the fans in anger. The next day, Ted clamped his hand over his mouth after hitting a home run, and won back the Fenway crowd.

On August 17, at the team's first game back at Fenway Park after a brief six-day road trip, vendors were no longer allowed to sell beer directly to patrons in the ballpark's seats. Fans that wanted a beer had to walk to the concession counters under the stands to purchase one. Vendors wouldn't serve beer in the Fenway Park seating bowl until almost 50 years later.

In 1956, the McGuire Air Force Base took to the Fenway Park field to face the Georgia Chain Gang, a Mayor's Charity Field Day regular at the ballpark.

1956 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park

June 25Mayor's Charity Field Day: Georgia Chain Gang vs. McGuire Air Force Base*

August 7William Randolph Hearst Sandlot Tournament: American All-Stars 10, Record All-Stars 6

 

*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 1956, local favorite Tony DeMarco had another bout in Fenway Park, winning a 10-round decision over Vince Martinez. The Mayor's Charity Field Day took place once again and Boston College won three of the five football games it played at Fenway Park late in the year.

1956 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park

February 1Junior Goodwill Dinner*

June 16Tony DeMarco Defeats Vince Martinez (Boxing)

June 25Mayor's Charity Field Day**

November 2Boston College 7, Villanova 6 (Football)

November 10Quantico Marines 20, Boston College 6 (Football)

November 17Boston College 13, Boston University 0 (Football)

November 24Boston College 52, Brandeis 0 (Football)

December 1Holy Cross 7, Boston College 0 (Football)

 

* For several years, Fenway Park hosted a Junior Goodwill Dinner that brought hundreds of local high school students to the ballpark. The tradition was started by Red Sox legend Joe Cronin and the event typically took place in late January.

** 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.

1957

Fenway Park was relatively quiet in 1957 and the Red Sox finished in a distant third place. The highlight of the year was the performance of Ted Williams, who hit .388 despite being nearly 40 years old.

Fall River native and future member of the 1967 Red Sox Russ Gibson starred as one of the Most Valuable Players in the 1957 William Randolph Hearst Sandlot Tournament game at Fenway Park.

1957 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park

August 3William Randolph Hearst Sandlot Tournament: American All-Stars 7, Record All-Stars 3

1958

In Tom Yawkey's 25th year as owner of the club, the 1958 Red Sox had with the best home record in the American League but they couldn't win away from Fenway and finished just four games above .500. On June 23, television personality Ed Sullivan came to the park to host the annual Mayor's Charity Field Day, which included a baseball game featuring the novelty George Chain Gang team who had played regularly at the event during the 1950s.

Record: 79-75, 3rd in American League
Manager: Michael F. Higgins
Attendance: 1,077,047

In 1958, the Red Sox had the American League's best home record at 49-28. However, the team's 30-47 road record left them just four games above .500.

One of the season's highlights came on May 18, when the Boston Sports Lodge (a unit of the B'nai B'rith Jewish service organization) presented the 25 outstanding Red Sox players of Tom Yawkey's first 25 years of ownership. As part of the festivities, the selected players took batting practice and fielded in front of the crowd before the regularly-scheduled Red Sox game against the Orioles.

Ike Delock had the best year among Red Sox pitchers with a 14-8 record and 3.38 ERA. Jackie Jensen won the American League Most Valuable Player Award with 35 homers and 122 RBIs.

Ted Williams, who turned 40 on August 30, 1958, won his sixth and final batting title in 1958, fending off a down-to-the-wire challenge from teammate Pete Runnels, a second baseman acquired from the Senators in January.

On September 22, with the Red Sox trailing 2-0, Williams was called out on a third strike and became so angry (at himself - never once in his career did he tangle with an umpire) that he flung his bat carelessly and it sailed into the stands - to his horror striking a woman. Williams was fortunate that the woman was a very-forgiving Gladys Heffernan, Joe Cronin's housekeeper.

Another year, another Mayor's Charity Field Day and the Georgia Chain Gang team was back at Fenway Park. In August, the Record All-Stars downed the American All-Stars, 5-1, in the William Randolph Hearst Sandlot Tournament game.

1958 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park

June 23Mayor's Charity Field Day: Georgia Chain Gang vs. Unknown Opponent*

August 16William Randolph Hearst Sandlot Tournament: Record All-Stars 5, American All-Stars 1

 

*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.

On June 23, the 1958 Mayor's Charity Field Day at Fenway Park was hosted by television personality Ed Sullivan, who served as the master of ceremonies.

1958 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park

June 23Mayor's Charity Field Day*

 

* 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.

1959

The 1959 Red Sox had a losing record for the first time in five years but the club made positive strides when it integrated its roster in August by calling up infielder Pumpsie Green. That same month, Fenway Park hosted some of the biggest names in the music industry as part of the Boston Jazz Festival.

Record: 75-79 5th in American League
Manager: Michael F. Higgins (31-42), Rudy York (0-1), William F. Jurges (44-36)
Attendance: 984,102

With an increasingly lackluster and fragmented team, the Red Sox moved to Scottsdale, AZ for Spring Training. Following exhibition games in his native San Diego, Ted Williams suffered a pinched nerve in his neck while driving back to Arizona. He missed the first 25 games of the season and never really recovered, hitting .254 for the lone sub-.300 season in his career.

Joe Cronin became American League president and Bucky Harris replaced him as the general manager of the Red Sox. Pinky Higgins started 1959 as the team's manager but he was replaced during the season by Billy Jurges.

Less than three weeks after the managerial switch, the Red Sox brought up Pumpsie Green, the team's first African-American player. Green tripled in his first Fenway at-bat on August 4.

The Red Sox went 75-79 and drew less than a million fans to Fenway Park in 1959, kicking off a stretch of sub-.500 seasons.

Rookie right-hander Jerry Casale had the best record among Red Sox pitchers at 13-8, and hit a three-run homer over the left-field wall to win his first start on April 15. Jackie Jensen's 112 RBIs led the league.

Despite his poor year, Williams finished the 1950s with an MLB-best .336 batting average, the second decade in row that he'd led the game (Williams is the only player with this distinction). Sitting on 492 career home runs, and wanting to end his career on a positive note, Williams decided to return in 1960.

A regular Mayor's Charity Field Day participant throughout the 1950s, the comedic Georgia Chain Gang made their final appearance at Fenway Park in 1959.

1959 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park

June 22Mayor's Charity Field Day: Georgia Chain Gang vs. Unknown Opponent*

August 8William Randolph Hearst Sandlot Tournament: Record All-Stars 4, American All-Stars 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.

Having been elected President of the American League in January 1959, Joe Cronin made Fenway Park the temporary headquarters for the league in February of the same year. The AL offices soon moved to the sixth floor of the I.B.M. Building at 520 Boylston Street in Boston. In August, a three-day jazz festival presented by music promoter and producer George Wein took place at the park. Performers included Ray Charles, Pee Wee Russell, Dakota Staton, Dukes of Dixieland, Coleman Hawkins, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Dave Brubeck, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Duke Ellington, Dinah Washington and Oscar Peterson.

1959 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park

January 28Junior Goodwill Dinner*

FebruaryFenway Park Serves as Temporary Home for American League Headquarters

June 22Mayor's Charity Field Day**

August 21-23Boston Jazz Festival

 

*For several years, Fenway Park hosted a Junior Goodwill Dinner that brought hundreds of local high school students to the ballpark. The tradition was started by Red Sox legend Joe Cronin and the event typically took place in late January.

**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.