IKE DELOCK: He didn’t like
the press and there a lot were a lot them –
he wanted to ban them from the clubhouse.
The players said, “You can’t do that.” So
he eased up. But whatever he wanted he damn
urging of Williams, Red Sox players agreed
to a one hour interview lag after games
before reporters could enter the locker
room. The Sox icon would stand outside the
door wearing just a towel, counting off the
seconds. “Okay,” he'd snap. “Now all you
bastards can come in. “
MEL PARNELL: Ted was
called out on strikes and came back to the
dugout and complained that home plate was
out of line. General manager Joe Cronin
argued about it but agreed to have home
plate checked. At nine the next morning the
ground crew was out there. They checked. It
was out of line. Ted had the greatest eyes.
He was a man with strong opinions about
everything, and his own way of doing things.
The “Splendid Splinter” ordered postal
scales for the Boston clubhouse to
accurately measure the weight of his bats.
He trusted no one. While in the on-deck
circle, he would massage his bat handle with
olive oil and resin. The noise, a kind of
squeal, did not endear him to disconcerted
The eighth day of June, 1950 was a perfect
day at Fenway for those who loved offense,
hot weather and the home team. Scoring 29
runs in 90 degree heat before just 5,105
fans, the BoSox romped.
Bobby Doerr smashed three homers while
collecting 8 RBIs.
Walt Dropo homered twice, driving in 7
Ted Williams launched two homers and had
5 RBIs. A half dozen Major League offensive
records were set that day by the slugging
On the first day of July,
Whitey Ford made his major league debut at
WHITEY FORD: I was 21
years old. I wasn’t what I would be. I
lasted 4 2/3 innings giving up seven hits,
six walks, and five earned runs.
Another rookie, Boston’s
Walt Dropo, had a better day than the Yankee
southpaw. He slugged a grand slam home run.
Boston won, 13-4.
August 17th Fenway Park became the site of
the American League’s first Ladies Night
Game. More than 7‚000 women saw the home
team down the A's‚ 10-6. It was the 19th
straight loss for Philadelphia at the Fens
dating back to September 12‚ 1948.
JIMMY PIERSALL: My first
day in the big leagues was September 7,
1950. I was 20 years old. And we were
playing Washington and I was sitting on the
bench. We’re down by four runs and Steve
O’Neil who had replaced Joe McCarthy as
manager said it’s time for me to pinch-hit.
He called me “pierseraroll”— he didn’t know
what the hell my name was.
JOHNNY PESKY: A big left
handed pitcher was going against us.
Piersall was going up for his first at bat.
“Goddamn this guy’s awful wild, God damn it,
I’m afraid,” Jimmy said.
“If you’re afraid,” I told
him, “you better get a lunch pail and go
JIMMY PIERSALL: I walked
up. My hands were sweating. I swung at the
first pitch and the bat lands beyond the
third base dugout. And I’m standing there
without a bat. The on deck circle guy gives
me another bat. The count goes to 3-2, and I
hit a ball between second and third for a
With Pesky, with Williams,
with DiMaggio, with Parnell and now with
Piersall, the 1950 Red Sox were a formidable
foe at home where they posted a won and lost
record of 55-22; on the road they barely
played .500 ball.
On April 15, 1951, exactly
four years to the day that Jackie Robinson
broke baseball’s color line, almost exactly
six years to the day that he and Marvin
Williams and Sam Jethroe were passed over by
the Red Sox in the “tryout” at Fenway in
1945, “the Jet Jethroe” returned as a member
of the Boston Braves in the pre-season City
Series game – Boston Braves versus Boston
Red Sox. The speedy Jethroe showed the Sox
what they had missed in not signing him.
Going 4 for 5, homering, driving in two
runs, Jethroe dominated. But the Braves lost
the game 6-3.
A month later the
Red Sox celebrated the 50th anniversary
of their first game in Boston. On hand were
29 old-timers who had played‚ managed‚ or
umpired in the American League in that first
Hugh Duffy and
Clark Griffith. In the game that
followed Ted Williams slammed his 300th
On July 8th, Red Sox fans
rejoiced as a Yankee pitcher failed to
complete a game for the 20th straight time
at Fenway Park. Five days later Sox fans
rejoiced even more when Mickey Mantle struck
out four times in a doubleheader.
Just before the 1952
baseball season got going, the last City
Series game between the Boston Red Sox and
the Boston Braves was played at Fenway Park
on April 13th before a tiny and chilled
crowd of 3,813 who braved 40-degree
weather. Pitcher Gene Conley, a Celtic and
future member of the Sox, started for the
Braves. Faye Throneberry (the brother of
“Marvelous Marv”) homered with two outs in
the seventh. The Sox won the game, 2-1. The
Braves moved to Milwaukee the following
season and that ended the City Series with
the Boston Braves.
GENE CONLEY: That April
13th was the first time I saw Fenway
Park. “My goodness, what a small
ballpark,” I thought. Some of the minor
league parks I had played in were
REMEMBERING FENWAY PARK:
"A handsome coffee table
book that marks the centenary of the grand
old park." -Sports Illustrated
"For Red Sox fans, this
gem of a book about a jewel of a ballpark is
enough- to banish from all thoughts of Bucky
Dent and other disappointments. --George F.
"For a baseball fan, hours
of pure enjoyment. Great book, beautiful,
fantastic."--New Hampshire Public Radio,
"Harvey Frommer has
produced a book worthy of its sacred
subject. Remembering Fenway Park is
unforgettable." -Dan Shaughnessy, Boston
"A tribute to a ball park,
a celebration of a game, and a love song to
the players, coaches, and fans who've turned
a tract of grass and dirt into sacred
ground." - -James S. Hirsch, Author of
"Willie Mays: The Life, the Legend"