A Celebration of Fenway Park’s Upcoming Centennial

From Greg Simons at The Hardball Times on September 16, 2011, on SABR member Saul Wisnia’s new book, Fenway Park: The Centennial: 100 Years of Red Sox Baseball:

Wisnia goes into some detail at several points throughout the book explaining how the park’s dimensions have changed with various additions and upgrades. Of course, the most famous of those changes was the construction of The Green Monster. Like the ivy at Wrigley Field, the Monster was not an original feature of the park. It followed, and significantly upstaged, The Wall as Fenway Park’s trademark feature in 1934.

Numerous other additions, such as the manual scoreboard at the base of the wall in left, the bullpens in right field, luxury suites atop the left- and right-field stands, the 406 Club and the Monster seats are covered in detail. Today’s ballpark may still be called Fenway Park, but someone who attending a game there in 1912 might have a difficult time identifying it as the same place.

That’s not to say the improvements are a bad thing. Owners from Tom Yawkey to John Henry have made numerous improvements over the decades to make Fenway modern and competitive during a period in which every other major league stadium has been replaced.

The other major focus of the book is, of course, the team. It may surprise some to learn that the Red Sox were a powerhouse during Fenway’s early years. Four World Series championships in the ballpark’s first seven years established the BoSox as the sport’s dominant team.

However, around the same time owner Harry Frazee sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees (not to finance a play), Boston’s losing ways began—though no one for several decades would refer to this as any sort of curse.

Read the full article here: http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/a-celebration-of-fenways-centennial/

Originally published: September 16, 2011. Last Updated: September 16, 2011.