Ninety-nine years ago today, the Red Sox beat the New York Highlanders 7-6, in 11 innings, in the first major league baseball game played at Fenway Park. This morning, the team announced some of its plans to celebrate the park's 100th anniversary, including the launching of a website -- Fenway Park 100.
April 21, 1912:
Boston's beautiful new ball park in the Fenway was yesterday opened before a crowd of 24,000 spectators.
There was no time wasted in childish parades. Mayor Fitzgerald dignified the occasion by tossing out the new ball and the Speed Boys and Highlanders were soon at it, starting the game at 1:10 and closing the entertainment at 4:20, when Tristram Speaker, the Texas sharpshooter, with two down in the 11th inning and Steve Yerkes, on third, smashed the ball too fast for the shortstop to handle and the winning run came over the plate, making the score 7 to 6, and the immense crowd leaving for home for a cold supper, but wreathed in smiles to see the Speed Boys come from behind and by dint of staying prowess land the victory.
The day was ideal. The bright sun brought out the bright colors of the flags and bunting that decorated the big grandstand, and gave the new uniforms of the players a natty look. Before the game started, the crowd broke into the outfield and remained behind the ropes, forcing the teams to make ground rules, all hits going for two bases.
This ruling was a big disadvantage to the home team, for the Highland laddies never hit for more than a single, while three of Boston's hits went into the crowd, whereas with a clear field they would have gone for three-base drives and possibly home runs, and would have landed the home team a winner before the ninth inning.
While the grounds were in fair condition, there were spots where the earth was soft and lumpy, and this caused fumbling that would never have occurred on a dry field. . . .
The game was full of interest, the crowd holding its seats to the end, figuring that the Red Sox would eventually nose out the Broadway swells. . . .
The park was crowded with veteran ball players and fans, and everyone praised the new park, which is a model in every way.
New York - 302 000 010 00 - 6 7 2 Boston - 100 301 010 01 - 7 14 7The Red Sox had played an exhibition game (in a snowstorm) against Harvard University on April 11. The game against the Highlanders was delayed for two days by rain.