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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Today in Baseball History: Fenway Park opens

On this day in 1912 two new ballparks had their grand openings: the Red Sox’ Fenway Park in Boston and Tiger Stadium in Detroit. On this date in 1916 the Chicago Cubs played their first game at Weeghman Park — renamed Wrigley Field in 1926 — as well.

What a day for ballpark history, eh?

We’ve talked a lot about the Tigers lately, and we mentioned Weeghman/Wrigley in the Federal League post from last week. I’m sure will give both of those places some longer treatments later as well, so let’s focus today on Fenway, shall we?

The Red Sox, then known as the Boston Americans, began play as a charter member of the American League in 1901. Their park: a rickety wooden structure located at Huntington and Rogers Avenues in the Roxbury section of Boston. The site was previously a temporary location for carnivals and traveling circuses and, as such, it was commonly called the Huntington Carnival Lot. It was described at the time as “no more than an expansive wasteland made up of heavily weeded bumps and lumps.” There was a pharmaceutical company nearby and, if the wind was just right, you could smell chemicals. So that was promising.

Some remarks on a rather familiar ballpark- and one that, indeed, has a great atmosphere to it from the outside, though I’ve never been in town during baseball season with time on my hands.

 

QLE Posted: April 21, 2020 at 12:42 AM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: ballparks, fenway park, history

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   1. villageidiom Posted: April 21, 2020 at 09:42 AM (#5942599)
What I find interesting in both Fenway photos in TFA is that the bullpens have been added, and yet there's still a warmup pitching mound in front of the Boston dugout.
   2. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: April 21, 2020 at 10:01 AM (#5942612)
Some remarks on a rather familiar ballpark- and one that, indeed, has a great atmosphere to it from the outside, though I’ve never been in town during baseball season with time on my hands.


You're missing out. I'm biased but man is it a great place to see a game. Yeah, there are some awful seats (right field corner) but there are also a lot of really great seats and yes the atmosphere is usually terrific. For better or for worse the seats themselves are not the most spacious or comfortable so people are almost forced to lean forward and stay engaged and because it's virtually always at 95%+ capacity it gets loud. On that front the roof over the grandstands does a good job of holding in the noise so when it's loud, it's very loud. The other thing is that because it's a bit of a tourist attraction you get people who just want to go and have fun. For all the griping about Sox fans being grumpy the atmosphere in the park is often very upbeat.
   3. Perry Posted: April 21, 2020 at 07:06 PM (#5942858)
Had a conference on the MIT campus (walking distance to Fenway) 5-6 years ago and took the opportunity for my first visit. It was early May, as I recall, and a bit chilly, so it was a good crowd but far from capacity. My seat was behind home plate, which was great, but I found myself distracted from watching the game in front of me by all the thoughts of history -- "there's where Fisk's homer hit, there's where Williams and Yaz played, there's where Evans made that catch, Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb played here," etc. After the 3rd inning or so I decided to go exploring. Went down the first base line and around to RF trying different vantage points and angles. Ended up in the CF bleachers with the drunk college students. Loved all of it. Everyone should see a game there at least once.
   4. Nasty Nate Posted: April 21, 2020 at 08:20 PM (#5942876)
What I find interesting in both Fenway photos in TFA is that the bullpens have been added, and yet there's still a warmup pitching mound in front of the Boston dugout.
Cool. I don't think I've ever noticed that in old Fenway photos. But even before the bullpens, I believe relievers would warm up along the foul line, not at that one by the dugout.

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