Charles Henry Taylor, a Civil
War veteran and owner of the "Boston Globe," had decided back in 1910
to build a new ballpark in the Fenway section of Boston bordering Brookline Avenue, Jersey Street, Van Ness
Lansdowne Street. It would cost $650,000 (approximately $14 million today), and seat 35,000
was broken September
attractive red brick façade, the first electric baseball scoreboard,
turnstiles, the most in the Majors, were all features being talked
about. Concrete stands went from behind
around to third while wooden bleachers were located in parts of left,
and centerfield. Seats lined the field allowing for excellent views of
but limiting the size of foul territory.
was 20 feet above
sea level. Barriers and walls broke off at different angles.
Centerfield was 488 feet from home
plate; right field was 314 feet away.
The 10-foot wooden fence in left field ran straight along Lansdowne Street
and was but 320 ½ feet down the line from home plate with a high wall
it. There was a ten foot embankment
making viewing of games easier for overflow gatherings. A
ten foot high slope in left field posed
challenges for outfielders who had to play the entire territory running
This was the Opening
Day Lineup for the 1912 Boston Red Sox.
The Sox, with
player-manager first baseman Jake Stahl calling the shots, nipped the
7-6, in 11 innings. Tris Speaker -- who would bat .383,
steal 52 bases and stroke eight inside-the-park home runs at Fenway -- drove in the winning
run. Spitball pitcher Bucky O’Brien got the win in relief of Charles
Hall. The first hit in the park belonged to New York's Harry Wolter.
Tommy Connolly kept the ball used in that historic game, writing
Fenway Park” and brief details of the game on it. In 2005, descendants
Connolly offered the ball at auction at New York Sothebys.
Bradley hit the first home run in Red Sox history over the wall on
in the sixth game played at Fenway Park.
“Few of the fans
who have been out to Fenway
believed it was
possible,'' the Boston Herald noted.
That would be Bradley’s only dinger in 1912.
that is how it all began.
Harvey Frommer, a professor at
Dartmouth College in the MALS program, is in his 40th year of writing
noted oral historian and sports journalist, he is the author of 42
including the classics: best-selling “New York City Baseball,
best-selling Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball,as well as his acclaimed
Remembering Yankee Stadium and best-selling Remembering Fenway Park.
praised When It Was Just a Game: Remembering the First Super Bowl was
Frommer Baseball Classic –
Remembering Yankee Stadium (Second Edition) is his newest sports
effort. A link
to purchase autographed copies of Frommer Sports Books is at: http://frommerbooks.com/
prolific author is at work on
THE ULTIMATE YANKEE BOOK (2017) http://frommerbooks.com/advance-praise.html