Don Zimmer had survived the Bucky
Dent home run and recorded a five year tenure as
skipper. He had survived Bill Lee's calling him
a gerbil and less complimentary names. With five
games left in the season, it was time for Zim to
go. He was replaced y interim manager by Johnny
Pesky, who had last managed in 1963. Boston drew
1,956,092 and finished in fourth place, 19 games
RALPH HOUK: Mr.
Yawkey had been trying to bring me to the Sox
for a long time. Whenever I was at Fenway with
the Yankees, he would tell me, "If you ever need
a job come to our club."
I had been retired for two
years in the autumn of 1980 when Don Zimmer was
fired and Haywood Sullivan hired me. It was
great -- they offered me such a good contract,
our daughter lived in the Boston area, and I was
treated real good by ownership and the writers.
Of course, having Yaz on my side was a big help
,too. Fenway is always an exciting place
to go because of the fence, and we managed
differently because of it. We decided to pitch
inside, which a lot of people didn't do.
Houk had Yaz but not on
opening day. Suffering from back spasms,
Yastrzemski could not answer he bell. It was the
only opener he ever missed. Carlton Fisk,
long time Boston stalwart and now brand new
member of the White Sox, homered triggering a
5-3 Chicago win. The cheers that had greeted him
at the start of the game turned to jeers.
Another long-time stalwart,
Fred Lynn, came back to Fenway in 1980 wearing
an Angel uniform.
FRED LYNN: If I made a good
play, fans gave me a nice hand. So there was
that. But one game I took a home run away from
(Bill) Buckner diving into stands in the right
field corner. I came back out onto the field
after hitting my head on the seats, bleeding
from my forehead. The fans loved that. So there
was that, too.
JON MILLER: In '81, there was
a day game mid-April against Baltimore and a
BOB SULLIVAN: You could get a
box of Cracker Jacks, you could get a candy bar.
But you couldn't get any hot food. None of the
coffee machines or hot dog machines worked. And
it was really cold. There were all these hollow
sounds coming from players taking batting
Sherm Feller, the longtime PA
Man, leaned out of his window up on the rooftop
witH a megaphone and announced that there'd been
a power outage but the game would be played
anyway. You couldn't hear the lineup
announcements; you couldn't hear anything. It
was like people getting ready to play ball on a
back yard field.
On his bullhorn, Feller began
to sing the "Star-Spangled Banner," and everyone
stood. Acapella, Fenway Park sang the national
anthem along with him. There was a
complicated play in the 6th or 7th inning. A
score was put up incorrectly, and it stayed up
for an inning. Then a bat boy ran out across
left field, opened the scoreboard door. A minute
later a run came down and a zero went up.
Nowadays, they have generators
that work. Quite possibly, that was the last
professional baseball game that was played that
way. But it was magical. Sox, incidentally, won
GARY TITUS: Sherm Feller was
proud of being the Red Sox announcer and he was
a real statesman for the Red Sox, too. He'd walk
into the children's hospital with a box full of
Red Sox paraphernalia that he probably just took
from Fenway. Feller and Kiley - the 1-2 punch,
the sound of Fenway Park.