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Highlights From Recent Red Sox History
1978 - Bucky Dent Prevails. In any other park, Bucky Dent's three-run home run likely would have been a routine fly ball for an out. But in Boston's Fenway Park, which isn't always friendly to the Olde Town Team, it was the final nail that sealed the coffin of the Red Sox' 1978 season.
1979 - Yaz Hits Number 3,000. A soft ground ball made a path through the infield, out of the reach of defender's gloves and into the plush green grass of Fenway. It was a defining moment of the game, a quiet single that reminded us of how simple baseball could be and a monumental statistic that told the story of a ballplayer for the ages.
1983 - Carl Yastrzemski's Last Game - Yaz Day. "New England," he said. " I love you." Carl Yastrzemski was ready to play the last game of an amazing Red Sox career. It was "Yaz Day" at Fenway Park. A late summer afternoon where the hard-working left fielder would stand before the shadow of the "Green Monster" for the last time.
1986 - Dave Henderson's Game Five Homer. Anaheim was preparing for a history's worth of celebration. Its Angels were one out away from the World Series, one strike from adding another chapter to the book of Red Sox playoff misfortunes and one moment away from labeling Dave Henderson as the goat of Game 5 in the American League Championship Series of 1986.
1987 - It was an unsatisfying season team-wise, as Boston followed its 1986 pennant by going 78-84. However, there were some terrific individual performances. Roger Clemens solidified his second consecutive Cy Young award by earning win No. 20 on the final day of the season. Wade Boggs won his third consecutive batting title, and fourth in five years. The hitting machine also set a career high in homers with 24.
1988 - The Red Sox made a managerial change after the All-Star break, as coach Joe Morgan took over for John McNamara. The Red Sox ripped off victories in Morgan's first 12 games, and 19 out of his first 20. They also won 24 in a row at home. The period became known as "Morgan Magic", and culminated with the Red Sox winning their second division title in three years. The joy ended there, as Boston was swept by the A's in four straight in the ALCS. On an individual note, Wade Boggs won his fifth batting title and Mike Greenwell finished second to Jose Canseco in AL MVP voting.
1990 - In one of the most memorable plays in Red Sox history, Tom Brunansky made a diving catch in the right field corner to save the final game of the regular season and clinch the AL East for the Sox. It was Boston's third division title in five years. However, the Sox were again swept by the A's in the ALCS, extending their postseason losing streak to 10 games.
1991 - Roger Clemens won his third and final Cy Young in a Red Sox uniform by going 18-10 with a 2.62 ERA. He also registered 241 strikeouts. Despite a second-place finish, manager Joe Morgan was fired the day after the season. He was replaced by former Sox third baseman Butch Hobson.
1995 - Kevin Kennedy took over the managerial reins from Butch Hobson, and Boston proved to be one of the surprise stories in baseball. The Sox won the AL East with a record of 86-58. Mo Vaughn emerged into a superstar, earning AL MVP honors. Tim Wakefield was plucked off the scrap heap by GM Dan Duquette and shocked the baseball world by beginning the season 14-1. However, the Red Sox were again swept out of the playoffs, this time by the Indians in three games in the newly formatted Division Series. It brought Boston's postseason losing streak to 13 games.
1996 - In his final season with the Red Sox, Roger Clemens tied his own Major League record by registering 20 strikeouts against the Tiger on Sept. 18. The Red Sox made a late wild-card bid, but fell short. Mo Vaughn had the best statistical season of his career, smashing 44 homers and driving in 143 runs. Manager Kevin Kennedy was fired shortly after the season, and replaced by Jimy Williams.
1997 -The Red Sox were treated to the arrival of a rookie named Nomar Garciaparra, who immediately turned into a superstar. The dynamic shortstop won Rookie of the Year honors by hitting .306 with 122 runs, 209 hits, 44 doubles, 11 triples, 30 homers, 98 RBIs and 22 stolen bases. But the season was a disappointment, as Boston went 78-84 in Jimy Williams' first season as manager.
1998 - After acquiring star right-hander Pedro Martinez in the winter, the Red Sox produced their first 90-win season since 1996. The 92-70 finish was good enough to vault them into the playoffs as the AL Wild Card. There was no sophomore jinx for Nomar Garciaparra, as he finished second in AL MVP balloting. The Red Sox snapped their postseason losing streak of 13 games by clubbing the Indians in Game 1. Mo Vaughn blasted two homers, pacing an 11-3 victoy. The Red Sox were eliminated by losing the next three games. Vaughn, a free agent after the season, signed a six-year contract with the Anaheim Angels.
1999 - Without Mo Vaughn, the Red Sox were not without hope. In fact, the Red Sox improved upon their win total from the season before, finishing 94-68. Jimy Williams was named AL Manager of the Year. Nomar Garciaparra won his first batting title. Pedro Martinez was the best pitcher in baseball, going 23-4 with a 2.07 ERA and 313 strikeouts. The Sox again won the AL Wild Card. They also won their first postseason series since 1986, rallying back from a 2-0 deficit to beat the Indians in five games. Martinez was heroic in the Game 5 clincher, tossing six no-hit innings out of the bullpen despite an injury to his right shoulder. Boston lost the ALCS to the Yankees in five games.
2000 - Nomar Garciaparra earned his second consecutive batting title. Pedro Martinez earned his third Cy Young award in four years. But it wasn't enough to get the Red Sox to the playoffs for a third consecutive season. Boston finished 85-77, 2 1/2 games behind the Yankees in the AL East.2001-Present
2001 - The Red Sox signed superstar slugger Manny Ramirez off the free agent market. Ramirez's impact was felt immediately. He clubbed a three-run homer in the first pitch he saw in a home uniform at Fenway Park. On April 4, Hideo Nomo pitched Boston's first no-hitter since 1965. The start against the Orioles at Camden Yards was Nomo's first in a Boston uniform. But injuries to Nomar Garciaparra, Pedro Martinez and Jason Varitek decimated any chance Boston had of qualifying for postseason. Manager Jimy Williams was fired on Aug. 16 and replaced by pitching coach Joe Kerrigan. The Red Sox went 17-26 the rest of the way.
2002 - The Red Sox began a new era, as the ownership group led by John Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino officially took over on Feb. 27. The next day, GM Dan Duquette was fired and replaced on an interim basis by Mike Port. On March 5, Joe Kerrigan was fired as manager. He was replaced on March 11 by Grady Little, who had formerly been a coach in Boston under Jimy Williams. The Red Sox went 93-69 under Little, but missed the playoffs for the third straight year. Pedro Martinez and Derek Lowe gave the Sox their first 20-win tandem since 1949. The highlight of the season was Lowe's no-hitter at Fenway on April 27 against the Devil Rays. Manny Ramirez, despite missing six weeks with a fractured left index finger, won his first batting title.
Red Sox Retired Numbers
1 - Bobby Doerr
¥ Played 14 seasons in Majors, all with Red Sox (1937-44, 1946-51), before retiring due to a
¥ Elected to Baseball Hall of Fame in 1986.
¥ Tied for AL lead with Dom DiMaggio in triples in 1950 (11).
¥ Led AL in slugging percentage in 1944 (.528).
¥ Named The Sporting News AL Player of the Year in 1944.
¥ Hit .409 (9-22) in 1946 World Series to lead Red Sox.
4 - Joe Cronin
¥ First modern-day player to become a league president.
¥ Elected to Baseball Hall of Fame in 1956.
¥ Compiled .301 average in 20 MLB seasons.
¥ Affiliated with Red Sox for 24 seasons as player/manager, manager, and general
¥ Leads all Red Sox managers with 1071 wins.
¥ Managed Red Sox to AL pennant in 1946.
¥ Holds AL record for pinch-hit homers in a season, 5 (1943).
¥ Became 1st player to hit pinch-hit homes in both games of a doubleheader, June 17, 1943 (in a stretch when he hit three three-run pinch-hit homers in four at-bats).
¥ Participated in 12 All-Star Games for AL, six as a player
8 - Carl Yastrzemski
¥ Named to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989.
¥ Along with Johnny Bench became the 18th and 19th players elected to Hall of Fame on
the first ballot.
¥ Received 95 percent of Hall of Fame voting, the seventh highest in the history of voting at
¥ First Little League player to be elected to the Hall of Fame.
¥ Won AL Triple Crown in 1967.
¥ Most games lifetime in the AL with 3,308.
¥ AL MVP in 1967.
¥ Seven-time Gold Glove winner.
¥ Tied MLB record with 1.000 fielding percentage in 1977.
¥ Selected Outstanding Player of 1970 All-Star Game.
¥ Played 167 consecutive errorless games.
¥ Only AL player with 400 home runs and 3,000 hits
9 - Ted Williams
¥ Named to starting outfield of Greatest Living Team, 1969.
¥ Named MLB Player of Decade for 1950s.
¥ Elected to Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966.
¥ AL MVP in 1946, 49.
¥ Won AL Triple Crown in 1942, 47.
¥ Led AL in batting six times.
¥ Led AL in home runs four times.
¥ Led AL in total bases five times.
¥ Led AL in walks eight times.
¥ Led AL in slugging percentage nine times.
¥ Holds MLB record for most successive times reaching base safely, 16, in Sept. 1957 (2
singles, 4 HR, 9 BB, 1 HBP).
¥ Oldest MLB player to win batting title, batting .388 in 1957 at age 39. Won batting title
again in 1958 at age 40.
¥ Voted Greatest Red Sox Player of all time by fans, 1969 and 1982.
¥ Holds MLB rookie records for most walks (107) and RBIs (145).
¥ Holds Red Sox record with 17 grand slams
27 - Carlton Fisk
¥ Carlton Fisk will always be remembered as the player who hit the historic, 12th-inning,
game-winning homer in Fenway Park off Reds pitcher Pat Darcy in Game 6 of the 1975
World Series. Besides being the hero on MLB's biggest stage in a game that has been
referred to as "the greatest World Series game ever played," Fisk had many other
memorable highlights during his 11-year career as a member of the Red Sox.
¥ Red Sox first draft choice and fourth overall selection in the January 1967 Winter
Baseball Amateur Draft.
¥ Made his MLB debut on September 18, 1969.
¥ Was the first unanimous winner of the American League Rookie of the Year Award in
1972 (.293, 22 HR, 61 RBIs). He was also tied for the AL lead with nine triples.
¥ Won the 1972 AL Gold Glove Award for defensive excellence.
¥Seven-time All-Star, including four games started. He was voted as a starter five times but
was replaced in 1974 due to a knee injury.
¥Was the AL Honorary All-Star Game captain on July 13, 1999 at Fenway Park.
¥Is the all-time Red Sox leader in games caught with 990.
¥Red Sox Hall of Fame Inductee on September 8, 1997
42 - Jackie Robinson
¥ In 1947, Jackie Robinson became the first African American man to play in the Major
¥ Number retired throughout baseball in 1997.
¥ Played for Brooklyn Dodgers from 1947-56.
From his Baseball of Hame Plaque:
"Leading NL batter in 1949. Holds fielding mark for second baseman playing in 150 or
more games with .992. Led NL in stolen bases in 1947 and 1949. Most Valuable Player in
1949. Lifetime batting average .311. Joint record holder for most double plays by second
baseman, 137 in 1951. Led second baseman in double plays 1949-50-51-52."
Fenway Park: History
Though generations have come and gone, Fenway Park remains, much like it did the day it opened on April 20, 1912. The home of the Boston Red Sox resounds with the echoes of great baseball players: Cy Young, Babe Ruth, Jimmy Collins, Duffy Lewis, Tris Speaker, Harry Hooper, Joe Cronin, Bobby Doerr, Johnny Pesky, Ted Williams, Jimmie Foxx, Carlton Fisk, Jim Rice and Carl Yastrzemski, to name just a few.
Fenway Park is actually the second home for the Sox. In 1901, the Boston Americans became one of the charter members of the fledgling American League. The Americans played ball at the Huntington Avenue Grounds, now a part of Northeastern University's campus. Boston Globe owner General Charles Henry Taylor, a Civil War veteran, bought the team for his son John I. Taylor in 1904. In 1907, owner Taylor changed the club's name from the Pilgrims to the Red Sox. In 1910, tired of the leasing arrangement for the Huntington Avenue Grounds, Taylor announced that he would build a ballpark for his Red Sox. Taylor dubbed the new ballpark Fenway Park because of its location in the Fenway section of Boston.
Fenway Fun Facts
What are the dimensions of Fenway Park?
Fenway Park measures 310 feet (94.5 meters) down the left field line: 379 feet (115.5 meters) in left center field; 390 feet (118.9 meters) in center field; 420 feet (128 meters) in deep center field; 380 feet (115.8 meters) in deep right field; and 302 feet (92 meters) down the right field line. The left field wall -- also known as the Green Monster -- measures 37 feet (11.3 meters) high, with the screen above the wall extending 23 feet (7 meters). The center field wall is 17 feet (5.2 meters) high, the bullpen fences measure five feet (1.5 meters) and the right field fence is 3 to 5 feet (0.9 to 1.5 meters) high.
When did Fenway Park open?
Opening Day for Fenway Park was April 20, 1912. The Red Sox defeated the New York Highlanders (later named the Yankees) 7-6 in 11 innings before 27,000 fans. Tris Speaker drove in the winning run. Fenway Park was actually due to open two days earlier, on April 18; however, there were two postponements due to rain. Of course, the opening of Fenway Park was pushed off the front pages of Boston newspapers by news of the Titanic sinking. Navin Field (later known as Tiger Stadium) in Detroit opened the same day as Fenway Park.
Where did the Red Sox play before Fenway Park?
Prior to 1912, the Red Sox played their home games at the Huntington Avenue Grounds, now part of Northeastern University. The Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds, an all-wooden structure, had a seating capacity of 9,000. The Boston gmes in the first World Series in 1903 were played there. The first game at the Huntington Grounds was played on May 8, 1901 in front of an overflow crowd of 11,500 fans as hurler Cy Young pitched the Boston team to a 12-4 win over the Philadelphia Athletics.
What other teams have played in Fenway Park?
Besides the Red Sox, several other teams have played in Fenway Park.
In 1914, while Braves Field was under construction, the "Miracle Boston Braves" played their World Series games in Fenway. The Braves swept the favored Philadelphia A's in four games. The Boston Patriots - now the New England Patriots - were fall occupants from 1963-68 before eventually ending up in Foxboro. The Patriots, however, were not the first pro football team in Fenway. The Boston Redskins played four years here before heading to Washington in 1937. The Boston Yanks played here from 1944-48 prior to traveling to New York, Dallas, Baltimore (where they became the Colts) and now Indianapolis. Collegiately, Boston College teams mostly of the Frank Leahy era, and Boston University with stellar quarterback Harry Agganis (later a promising Red Sox first baseman who died during the 1955 season) also played home games in Fenway Park.
Why the name "Fenway"?
Constructed for the 1912 season, the new ballpark was named by then Red Sox owner John I. Taylor because it was built in an area of Boston known as the Fens. As Taylor said, "It's in that section of Boston, isn't it? Then call it Fenway Park." Taylor, by the way, was also the person who changed the club's name from the Pilgrims to the Red Sox in 1907.
What's the largest crowd ever to attend a game in Fenway Park?
The biggest baseball crowd at Fenway ever was 47,627 for a Yankees doubleheader on September 22, 1935. Previous to that, 46,995 fans attended a Detroit Tigers doubleheader on August 19, 1934. One week earlier, on August 12, 1934, a crowd of 46,766 said goodbye to Babe Ruth at a Yankees doubleheader. (The Babe actually did not retire after the 1934 season, but played one more year with the Boston Braves.) Those crowds will never be equaled under Fenway's current dimensions. After World War II, more stringent fire laws and league rules prohibited the overcrowding that was so common in the 1930s. The current capacity of Fenway Park is 33,871, lowest in the Major Leagues.
What was Duffy's Cliff?
From 1912 to 1933, there was a 10-foot-high mound that formed an incline in front of the left field wall at Fenway park, extending from the left-field foul pole to the centerfield flag pole. As a result of the mound, a left fielder in Fenway Park had to play the entire territory running uphill. Boston's first star left fielder, Duffy Lewis, mastered the skill so well that the area became known as Duffy's Cliff. In 1934, Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey arranged to flatten the ground in left field so that Duffy's Cliff no longer existed and became part of the lore of Fenway Park.
Is the manual scoreboard still used?
Absolutely! Fenway Park has one of the last hand-operated scoreboards in the Major Leagues in the left-field wall. Green and red lights are used to signal balls, strikes, and outs. Each scoreboard number used to indicate runs and hits measures 16 inches by 16 inches and weighs three pounds. The numbers used for errors, innings, and pitcher's numbers measure 12 inches by 16 inches, and weigh two pounds each. Whereas all other ballgame scores used to be displayed on the manual scoreboard, only scores from other American League games are posted there now during Red Sox games. That change to the scoreboard occurred in 1975, when the wall was remodeled and when Fenway Park's first electronic scoreboard was installed. Scores from ongoing National League games are now displayed on the electronic scoreboards around Fenway Park. Behind the manual scoreboard is a room where the walls are covered with signatures of players who have played at Fenway Park over the years. Also, the initials TAY and JRY - for Tom Yawkey and Jean Yawkey - appear in Morse code in two vertical stripes on the scoreboard.
What is the meaning of that seat painted red in the bleachers?
The seat in the right field bleachers is painted red to mark the spot where the longest measurable home run ever hit inside Fenway Park landed. Ted Williams hit the home run on June 9, 1946 off Fred Hutchinson of the Detroit Tigers. The blast was measured at 502 feet. Legend says that the ball crashed through the straw hat of the man sitting in the seat - Section 42, Row 37, Seat 21.
What is Pesky's Pole?
Even though Pesky's Pole was dubbed that in the 1950s, the phrase really didn't become popular until the late 1980s or early 1990s. According to former Red Sox star Johnny Pesky, it was Sox pitcher Mel Parnell who coined the term, after Pesky hit a home run just beyond Fenway Park's right-field foul pole. That home run - one of only six homers Pesky ever hit at Fenway Park - won the game for Parnell.
Did you know...?
No player has ever hit a home run over the right-field roof at Fenway Park.
The screen behind Fenway's home plate that protects fans and allows foul balls to roll back down onto the field was the first of its kind in the Major Leagues.
The padding at the bottom of both left- and center-field walls at Fenway Park was installed after the 1975 World Series. In Game 6, Sox outfielder Fred Lynn crashed into the then-concrete wall in center trying to make a catch, and then lay on the field for several minutes.
In 1945, a throw by Athletics outfielder Hal Peck hit a pigeon flying over Fenway Park. The ball then deflected to the A's second baseman, who tagged out Boston's Skeeter Newsome trying to stretch his hit into a double. The pigeon flew away, minus a few feathers but otherwise unharmed.
All information courtesy of RedSox.com