The 1990 Boston Red Sox (Credit: Boston Red Sox)
Propelled by Roger Clemens' outstanding season, the 1990 Red Sox stayed in the hunt throughout the year and clinched the American League East on the final day of the regular season, thanks to a diving catch by Tom Brunansky. But just as they had been in 1988, the Red Sox were swept by a superior Oakland team in the playoffs. During the summer, Fenway Park also hosted its first Baseball Beanpot, which featured the same four local colleges that battle for the Hockey Beanpot.
The Red Sox received a new weight room for their clubhouse in 1991 and were in the hunt for most of the 1991 season. However, after climbing to within half a game of first place on September 21, the team lost 11 of their final 14 contests and finished seven games back. The disappointing ending cost Joe Morgan his job as manager and ushered in a dispiriting stretch for the Red Sox in the early 1990s.
When Jean Yawkey passed away in early 1992, the Red Sox were left without a Yawkey figurehead for the first time in nearly seven decades. During the summer, the third annual Baseball Beanpot was played at Fenway Park and after the Red Sox lost 89 games during their season, they saw Wade Boggs depart at year's end.
In 1993, the Red Sox began offering organized tours of Fenway Park, opening up "America's Most Beloved Ballpark" and making it one of Boston's most popular tourist destinations. The ballpark also welcomed back the Baseball Beanpot for the fourth consecutive year while the Red Sox had another subpar season.
In a strike-shortened season, the Red Sox and the rest of baseball missed out on postseason play. Boston never seriously contended during the truncated season and Fenway Park sat quiet after the players went on strike in early August.
While the previous few seasons had seen little go right, everything seemed to click for the Red Sox in 1995. Mo Vaughn had an MVP season and new addition Tim Wakefield led the rotation. The team's run of luck ended in the playoffs however, as the juggernaut Cleveland Indians quickly dispatched the Red Sox in the ALDS.
As it's so often happened in Fenway Park and Red Sox history, the surprise success of 1995 was followed by a disappointing encore campaign by the team. Manager Kevin Kennedy lost his job after an 85-77 season and Roger Clemens left via free agency at year's end. The University of Massachusetts won the 1996 Baseball Beanpot at Fenway Park in their first year playing in the tournament.
On April 22, UMass pitcher Scott Barnsby threw a no-hitter against Northeastern in their semi-final matchup in the Basebll Beanpot. It was the first no-hitter at Fenway Park since Dave Morehead's in 1965. Before the 1997 season, three giant Coke bottles were added to one of the left-field light towers above the Green Monster and during the season, the Fenway crowd was introduced to rookie sensation Nomar Garciaparra.
Acquired over the previous offseason, right-hander Pedro Martinez electrified the Fenway Park crowd like few others before him. With Martinez dominating every fifth day, the Red Sox earned a Wild Card berth but were bounced once again by the Indians in the ALDS.
Fenway Park hosted its third MLB All-Star Game in 1999, a midsummer classic highlighted by Ted Williams' final appearance at the park and Pedro Martinez's throttling of the National League All-Star lineup. In anticipation for the game, the team installed temporary press boxes on the first and third-base sides of Fenway Park's roof, which were converted into suites after the game. The Red Sox capped this special Fenway Park season by reaching the playoffs and beating the Indians in an exciting ALDS, before losing to the Yankees in the American League Championship Series.