Fenway Park’s Rich History Defined with 100 Facts to Celebrate 100-Year Anniversary


Apr 20, 2012

Fenway Park's Rich History Defined with 100 Facts to Celebrate 100-Year Anniversary With Fenway Park prepared to celebrate its 100th Anniversary on Friday when the Red Sox take on the Yankees, here are 100 interesting facts about the oldest ballpark in the United States.

1. On Opening Day in 1912, Fenway Park's original capacity was 35,000.

2. Fenway was designed by architect James McLaughlin.

3. Construction began in September 1911 on a landfill for $650,000.

4. The Red Sox won their first game at Fenway Park on April 20, 1912, defeating the New York Highlanders 7-6 in 11 innings

5. The first All-Star Game was played at Fenway Park in 1946.

6. Fenway Park also hosted the All-Star Game in 1961 and 1999.

7. Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez  took home the All-Star Game MVP in 1999 after striking out five of the six batters he faced.

8.The Red Sox held their first night game at Fenway Park on June 13, 1947, defeating the Chicago White Sox 1-0.

9. Roger Clemens has the most career victories at Fenway Park with 100.

10.The Green Monster was originally blue and featured many white advertisements.

11. It was eventually painted green in 1947.

12. In 1936, netting was added to the top of the Green Monster to protect the businesses on Lansdowne Street.

13. In 2003, the netting was taken down and replaced with seats, allowing fans to venture onto the Monster for the first time.

14. The Green Monster is the tallest wall in any MLB park at an impressive 37 feet.

15. Ted Williams was the first player to ever hit a 500-foot home run at Fenway.

16. A lone red seat sits in the right field grandstands to commemorate the home run, which is still the longest one ever recorded at Fenway Park.

17. The seats at Fenway are made out of Oak wood.

18. The right field foul pole was named after legendary Red Sox infielder Johnny Pesky.

19. Mel Parnell dubbed it "Pesky’s Pole" after Pesky apparently wrapped a home run around it to win a game for Parnell.

20. While Parnell did coin the nickname for the foul pole, it was discovered that Pesky had never hit a walk-off home run in a game that Parnell had pitched.

21. Pesky only hit six home runs at Fenway Park, none of which struck the famed foul pole.

22. Pesky's No. 6 is one of eight numbers retired by the Red Sox, all of which are displayed above the right field grandstands.

23. Those honored players include Bobby Doerr (1), Joe Cronin (4), Pesky (6), Carl Yastrzemski (8), Ted Williams (9), Jim Rice (14), Carlton Fisk (27) and Jackie Robinson (42).

24. Sox management wanted Fenway to accommodate Williams, bringing in the right field bullpens by 23 feet. The new area was named "Williamsburg."

25. The triangle in center field is the deepest part of the ballpark, standing 420 feet from home plate.

26. Fenway Park was christened with a World Series victory, as the Red Sox defeated the New York Giants in the 1912 World Series.

27. Counting the 1912 season, the Red Sox have played eight World Series at Fenway Park.

28. The Red Sox haven't celebrated a World Series victory at home since the 1918 season.

29. Fenway Park has been sold out in 718 consecutive games dating back to 2003, the longest streak in baseball history.

30. The then-Boston Patriots played at Fenway from 1963 to 1968.

31. Dartmouth College, Boston University and Boston College have also played football games at Fenway Park.

32. The Boston Bruins played in the 2010 Winter Classic at Fenway against the Philadelphia Flyers, winning the game 2-1 in overtime.

33. The Red Sox have also seen their minor league teams take the field for the "Futures at Fenway" games, which started in 2006.

34. Fenway has been seen in various Hollywood productions, including The Town and Fever Pitch.

35. Roger Clemens recorded the first-ever 20-strikeout game at Fenway Park against the Seattle Mariners on April 29, 1986.

36. Rube Foster tossed the first no-hitter at Fenway Park on June 21, 1916 against the New York Yankees.

37. The last three Red Sox no-hitters have taken place at Fenway Park, with Derek Lowe, Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester going the distance.

38. No Red Sox pitcher has officially thrown a perfect game at Fenway Park.

39. Ernie Shore technically retired 26 batters in a row in a game against the Washington Senators in 1917, but the game was registered as a no-hitter since Babe Ruth was ejected for arguing balls and strikes after issuing a walk to the first batter.

40. Kevin Millar hit the 10,000th home run at Fenway Park on Aug. 10, 2003 against the Baltimore Orioles.

41. Padding was added to the concrete base of the left and center field walls after Fred Lynn collided with the concrete wall in center field during the 1975 World Series.

42. Fenway Park hosted its first-ever Negro League game on Sept. 8, 1942, when the Philadelphia Stars defeated Baltimore Elite Giants 8-7.

43. Up until the 1950s, Fenway played host to various recreational and high school baseball games. 

44. Fenway Park was added to the National Register of Historic Places on March 7, 2012.

45. Yawkey Way's original name was Jersey Street.

46. Osborne Engineering was the architect of Fenway Park.

48. 1934 was the first season that Fenway Park featured a scoreboard.

49. The left field scoreboard features morse code spelling out the intials of Tom and Jean Yawkey.

50. Wooden bleachers were used in foul territory during the 1910s and 1920s, but burned down in 1926.

51. The wooden bleachers were replaced by metal and concrete, but also burned during the offseason in 1934. They were quickly rebuilt for opening day that season.

52. The largest crowd in Fenway history came for a doubleheader against the New York Yankees on Sept. 22, 1935, when 47,627 people filled up the ballpark.

53. Fire codes in the 1940s would assure that Fenway Park would never reach that capacity again.

54. Fenway Park was also home to the Boston Braves in 1914 and 1915.

55. The Boston Braves played a World Series in Fenway Park, when they won the 1914 title against the Philadelphia Athletics.

56. The Red Sox actually played two World Series at the new Braves field in 1915 and 1916, since it was larger than Fenway Park.

57. April 20 wasn't supposed to be the original date for Fenway's first game in 1912, as two prior games had been rained out.

58. The biggest post-war crowd at Fenway Park was 36,388 for a 1978 game against the Cleveland Indians.

59. Fenway Park is 20 feet above sea level.

60. Press boxes built in the 1980s caused wind swirls that actually pushed more balls into foul territory.

61. The foul ball screen behind home plate was the first ever used in professional baseball.

62. Fenway Park is home to the only in-play ladder in the majors.

63. The 13-foot ladder lies on the Green Monster, which was used to retrieve home run balls in the netting.

64. An old rumor stated that a ball that hit the ladder was an automatic ground rule triple, but that is not true.

65. Giant coke bottles were built above the Green Monster back in 1997 and were removed in 2008.

66. No home run has ever been hit over the right field roof at Fenway. Carl Yastrzemski is the only play to have hit the facing of the roof.

67. Willie Horton hit a foul ball that killed a low-flying pigeon in flight in 1974.

68. Franklin D. Roosevelt delievered the final political speech of his career in 1944 in front of 40,000 supporters at Fenway Park.

69. Last season, there were 62 marriage proposals on the electronic screen at Fenway.

70. Also last season, 25 marriages took place in the historic park.

71. The inside of the Green Monster is filled with hundreds of signatures from current and former major league baseball players.

72. A restored version of the old scoreboard on the Green Monster at Fenway now rests on the Green Monster Wall at JetBlue Park, the Red Sox' new spring training home.

73. David Ortiz broke the single-season Red Sox home run record in 2006 when he hit his 51st homer off of Johan Santana, passing Jimmie Foxx's previous record of 50.

74. The first basketball game to take place in Fenway Park occurred on July 29, 1954, when the Harlem Globetrotters played the George Mikan United States All-Stars.

75. Fenway Park hosted its first-ever naturalization ceremony in 2008, where 3,000 new citizens were sworn in. The park hosted another ceremony in 2010.

76. Soccer legend Pele led his Santos FC squad to a 7-1 win over the Boston Beacons in 1968. It would be the last soccer game played at Fenway Park for 42 years.

77. That drought was broken when Celtic F.C. defeated Sporting Lisbon 2-1 in 2010.

78. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band played the first Fenway Park concert in 30 years in 2003. Fenway had not seen a concert since B.B. King, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder and others played at the Newport-New England Jazz Festival in 1973.

79. Since Springsteen's concert, several musicians have played at Fenway, including Jimmy Buffett, the Police, Neil Diamond and many others.

80. Fenway Park hosted its first boxing match on Oct. 9, 1920, when Battling McCreary fought John Lester Johnson.

81. Earl Wilson no-hit the Angels on June 26, 1962, becoming the first African-American pitcher to throw a no-hitter in the American League.

82. WBZ-TV broadcasted the first televised game at Fenway Park on May 12, 1948.

83. Mickey Mantle hit the longest home run to center field, blasting a 480-foot shot off of Frank Sullivan in 1956.

84. Babe Ruth was the first player to hit a home run over the newly constructed left field wall in 1934.

85. Hugh Bradley was the first player to hit a home run at Fenway on April 26, 1912.

86. Then-Red Sox owner John I. Taylor came up with the name Fenway Park, simply by calling it after the Fenway section of Boston.

87. From 1975 to 1987, Fenway Park would host an All-Star game between the Cape Cod Baseball League and the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League on a biennial basis.

88. Fenway Park has hosted the final round of the Baseball Beanpot Tournament since 1990.

89. The Red Sox lost 13-2 to the Yankees on the first Sunday game played at Fenway on July 3, 1932.

90. Sunday baseball was approved in Boston three years earlier, but not at Fenway due to its proximity to a local church.

91. The Boston Patriots weren't the only football team to play at Fenway, as the Boston Redskins enjoyed the park in the mid-1930s.

92. Boston College defeated Norwich University 28-6 during the first college football game played at Fenway on Oct. 31, 1914.

93. Approximately 15,000 people were in attendance to honor the fallen military members of the Spanish-American War on May 23, 1915.

94. Right field originally had no stands, but was instead used as a parking lot for players.

95. John. F. Fitzgerald, grandfather of John F. Kennedy, started the tradition of tossing out the first pitch.

96. The first fan tour of Fenway Park took place in 1993.

97. Fenway Park did not have upper-deck seating until 1946.

98. The left field foul pole also has a name. Dubbed the "Fisk Pole," the left field foul pole was named after the legendary home run hit by Sox catcher Carlton Fisk in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series.

99. A 10-foot incline slope used to occupy left field, which was named after left fielder Duffy Lewis. The incline was flattened in 1934.

100. The 100th anniversary of Fenway Park's opening will take place on April 20, 2012, as the Red Sox will take on the New York Yankees. Both teams will be wearing throwbacks uniforms for the event.

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