Red Sox Lead Majors In Attendance In 1971 But Finish Third In AL East

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.

There was no shortage of fans. There was a shortage of late season wins, though.

The 1971 Red Sox drew more fans than any team in the league and led the division from April to June but tapered off in the late summer months and finished third in the AL East at 85-77.

Sonny Siebert paced the team's hot start, opening the season 9-0 on the mound. Siebert possessed the rare skills of pitching prowess and power at the plate. He knocked six homers on the season, including two over the Green Monster in a Sept. 2 game. He is the last AL pitcher to homer twice in one game.

Carl Yastrzemski had an off year, but Reggie Smith (30 homers), Rico Petrocelli (28 homers) and Geoge Scott (24 homers) did well at the dish.

The team hit for plenty of power, cranking more long balls than all but one team, but struggled to reach base consistently and hit .252.

A young core of Bill Lee, Roger Moret, Carlton Fisk, Cecil Cooper, Ben Oglivie, Rick Miller and Juan Beniquez spent time between the minors and Boston awaiting their full-time shot at the bigs.

Fenway Park underwent renovations which added a batting cage below the center field bleachers, which was in use until 2007.

The park also played host to the last Junior Goodwill Dinner, which began in 1952 after being started by Red Sox legend Joe Cronin.

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

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