Editor?s note: Fenway Park opened on April 20, 1912. NESN.com will be celebrating Fenway?s 100-year anniversary with unique content from now until April 20, 2012.
The Red Sox entered the 1981 season without Carlton Fisk and Fred Lynn. Offseason contract issues led to Fisk signing with the White Sox while Lynn was dealt to the California Angels.
Manager Ralph "The Major" Houk, former skipper for the Yankees, was brought in to lead Boston. Houk and Boston ended up finishing fifth in the American League in 1981.
The 1981 season, however, was a unique one.
A midseason strike halted play from June 11 to Aug. 10. The season was split into two halves with the Sox finishing fifth in the first half and second in the second half. Boston came within one game of first place on Sept. 25.
The longest game in Fenway Park history was played in 1981 as well. Boston and Seattle played a 20-inning game that was suspended after 19 innings. Seattle scored the next day in the top of the 20th and went on to win.
New acquisitons Carney Lansford and Mark Clear made immediate impacts and led Boston in two categories. Lansford won the AL batting title, hitting .336, while Clear led the team in wins.
Fenway began phase one of a two-phase renovation project to add the first luxury suites to the ballpark in 1981. The project added 21 suites along the right field roof.
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