Green Monster, Night Games Debut at Fenway Park in 1947


Editor?s note: Fenway Park opened on April 20, 1912. will be celebrating Fenway?s 100-year anniversary with unique content from now until April 20, 2012.

While it is a fixture now, in 1947, the great legend of the Green Monster was just beginning.

At the start of the season, all of the advertisements on the left-field wall were taken down, the wall was painted green to match the rest of Fenway Park, and voilà, there's your Green Monster.

And speaking of fixtures, nowadays night games are taken for granted. They are a staple of the majors. Just ask the Chicago Cubs (who didn't catch on to the whole newfangled trend of adding lights to their ball park until 1988), and it becomes apparent that night games were not always a part of baseball.

But in 1947, Fenway Park joined the night-light club. Seven light towers were installed, allowing the Red Sox to play night games for the first time in franchise history. On June 13, they played their first game under the lights, recording a 5-3 win over the White Sox.

Not everything was bright lights and new, imposing monsters, though. After winning the pennant in 1946, the Red Sox struggled a bit, accumulating an 83-71 mark, only good enough for third place in the American League. What's worse, they finished 14 games behind the dreaded first-place New York Yankees, who went on to win the World Series.

Ted Williams, who earned his second Triple Crown in '47, also finished behind the Yankees, as he came in second in MVP voting behing Joe DiMaggio.

The Sox were not the only Boston team to make use of the new lights. Boston University's football team (sadly, now no more) beat Mohawk College on Sept. 27. The Terriers went on to finish with a 4-1 record at Fenway.

For more information on Fenway Park, visit Fenway Park 100.

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