Happy Birthday, Fenway!

First, hat tip to angels134 for reminding me of this.

The first game in Fenway Park was on Apr 20, 1912, so it’s officially 108 today.  It was supposed to open earlier, but the first two scheduled games were rained out.  The game on Apr 20 was a 7-6 Red Sox victory over the NY Highlanders (later Yankees).

The park, as a whole, would be familiar to today’s fans except for one thing:  the “Big Green Monster” was different.  The wall was there alright, but it wasn’t green—it was covered in ads.  In front of the wall was a 10 ft artificial hill too, which became known as Duffy’s Cliff in honor of Duffy Lewis, Red Sox outfielder 1910-1917.  The hill was considered in play, but it was also standing-room-only area for spectators.  Talk about your fan-Interference!  The hill was removed after the 1933 season.  I’ve seen one source say 1934 is when The Monster was painted green, and another that it was 1947; whatever, just glad there’s no more Duffy’s Cliff.

The Boston Red Sox won the World Series in 1912, over the NY Giants.  It went to 8 games—an earlier game ended in a tie due to darkness.  There are reports that a number of Red Sox (including Smokey Joe Wood) lost money betting on game 6 and recouped it by throwing game 7.  My how things changed in just eight years—from no real controversy to one that is still infamous over a century later.

Fenway’s first game was also just 6 days after the sinking of the Titanic

 

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