This Day in Baseball History: April 20th, 1912

Will they ever tear it down or just seriously remodel it? And, is it just me or does the left field line look a little weird?

On April 20, 1912:

The Boston Red Sox open Fenway Park with a 7-6 victory over the New York Highlanders.

The Boston Pilgrims were an original member of the American League, and for the first decade of their existence, they played their games at the Huntington Avenue Grounds. In 1904, the team was sold, and three years later, the team’s nickname was changed to the Red Sox. But that wasn’t the only thing to change. The new owners didn’t like leasing the stadium, so they decided to build their own stadium, which could hold a larger audience. Even then, the stadium was not (is not) all that big, and during big games such as the 1915 World Series, they played their games in Braves Field.

Fenway Park is named such for possibly two reasons. One, the park is located in an area of Boston called Fenway, but there’s a much more self-promoting reason. The new owners, the Taylor’s, owned Fenway Realty Company, and the name could bring in an unprecedented about of public recognition in much the same way that businesses have vied for naming rights for current stadiums. After getting everything squared away, there was only one thing left to do — play baseball.

But the gods had other ideas. On April 9, 1912, the Red Sox played the first game in Fenway Park against Harvard University in a final exhibition game before the season started the next day. Well, rain decided to fall in bunches, and the scheduled games on April 10th and 11th were rained out. Finally, the sun shone enough on the 12th to get things started. In an 11-inning game, the Red Sox pulled out the opener 7-6 over the New York Highlanders, who would later become the Yankees. I think they were okay waiting if it meant beating the Yankees.

Trivia Time
Who is the only major-leaguer to hit for the cycle on Opening Day, which also occurred on April 20th?

April 14th’s Answer –> Steve Stone became Harry Caray’s partner in 1983 and would be so for the next 15 years.

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2 Responses to “This Day in Baseball History: April 20th, 1912”

  1. Kelric Says:

    “Will they ever tear it down or just seriously remodel it?”

    The Henry ownership group has been remodeling it since they purchased the team earlier in the decade. This year is the last season they plan on doing upgrades and they now expect to get another fifty years out of Fenway Park. There isn’t really another piece of land in Boston that is well suited for a stadium (even the current location isn’t).

  2. tHeMARksMiTh Says:

    Just because it can last that long doesn’t mean it will, but that’s a fair point. But even then, I know they’ve been remodeling, but aren’t there still concerns over seating capacity? It’s a great ballpark, but I just wonder if they’ll be able to resist the temptation to build a bigger, newer ballpark with all the amenities.

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