First Match Up At Fenway: April
It's Yankees Vs. Red Sox at Fenway Park April 16, 17, 18, 19. The
historic rivals are at it again and the "Great Rivalry" -- and it is a
great rivalry despite some commentary from an NPR sage -- is at fever
Former Baseball Commissioner - A. Bartlett Giammati made the statement:
"When I was seven years old, my father took me to Fenway Park for the
first time, and as I grew up I knew that as a building it was on the
level of Mount Olympus, the Pyramid at Giza, the nation's Capitol, the
Czar's Winter Palace, and the Louvre - except, of course, that it was
better than all those inconsequential places." Contrary to some rumors
probably spread by Yankee fans, the scholarly Giammati was not around
for the start of play at Fenway which was a very long time ago.
Prior to 1912, the Red Sox played at Huntington Avenue Grounds, now part
of Northeastern University. Fittingly, the first American League team to
visit Fenway Park was New York -- at that time known as the Highlanders,
soon to become the Yankees. It was a damp and chilly New England spring
that year. The Red Sox actually played their first game at Fenway 11
days before, defeating Harvard University in an exhibition game played
in a snowstorm. Then the Red Sox and Highlanders had to sit out two
rainouts before facing off on Saturday April 20, just a few days after
the sinking of the Titanic.
The future grandfather of President John F. Kennedy, Boston Mayor John
"Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald was one of the 27,000 in attendance. He threw
out the first ball in the park that was built at a cost of $350,000 that
would come to be known as "Boston's Sistine Chapel."
The played on into extra innings. Boston prevailed finally winning,7-6,
on a Tris Speaker RBI in the bottom of the 11th inning. Red Sox
spitballer Bucky O'Brien and Sea Lion Hall defeated New York's Jumbo Jim
Opening day turned out to be a good predictor of the season's fortunes
for both Boston and New York. The Red Sox took the American League
pennant in 1912 with a 105-47 record, good for a winning percentage of
.691, and went on to beat the New York Giants in the World Series. The
Highlanders, suffering their 6th straight loss, went 50-102 (.329),
finishing in last place, a whopping 55 games behind the Red Sox.
Even after the BoSox had Fenway as a home park, they didn't always play
all their games there. From time to time, they scheduled "big games" at
Braves Field to accommodate larger crowds than their little park could
But that worry is way in the past - - now a seat at Fenway is one of the
toughest tickets in all of baseball.
# # #
You can reach
Harvey Frommer at:
About the Author:
Harvey Frommer is in his 38th year of writing books.
A noted oral historian and sports journalist, the author of 42 sports
books including the classics: "New York City Baseball,1947-1957" and
"Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball," his acclaimed REMEMBERING YANKEE
STADIUM was published in 2008 and his REMEMBERING FENWAY PARK: AN ORAL
AND NARRATIVE HISTORY OF THE HOME OF RED SOX NATION was published to
acclaim in 2011. The prolific Frommer is at work on When It Was
Just a Game, An Oral History on Super Bowel One.
His work has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times,
Washington Post, New York Daily News, Newsday, USA Today, Men's Heath,
The Sporting News, among other publications.
FROMMER SPORTSNET (syndicated) reaches a readership in the millions and
is housed on Internet search engines for extended periods of time.
on Twitter: http://twitter.com/south2nd
on Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/edit?locale=en_US
on the Web: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~frommer
Dr. Frommer is the Official Book Reviewer of Travel-Watch.
*Autographed copies of Frommer books are available .
Other Frommer sports related articles can be
Frommer along with his wife, Myrna Katz Frommer are the authors of
five critically acclaimed oral/cultural histories, professors at Dartmouth
College, and travel writers who specialize in cultural history, food, wine, and Jewish history and heritage
in the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean.
This Article is Copyright
© 1995 - 2014 by Harvey Frommer.
All rights reserved worldwide.