The 1950 Boston Red Sox (Credit: Boston Red Sox)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.