Today In History – Fenway Park Officially Debuts

20 April 1912 – On this day one hundred years ago, the Boston Red Sox played their first game at Fenway Park, defeating the New York Highlanders (later to be named the Yankees) 7-6 in 11 innings.  It is often noted that the opening was overshadowed in Boston by a much bigger news story at the time: the recent sinking of the RMS Titanic, a British passenger ship, in the North Atlantic Ocean five days earlier.

The franchise, which had been founded in 1901, had spent the previous 11 seasons playing its home games at the Huntington Avenue Grounds.  In 1911, then-owner John I. Taylor purchased land in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston with the intent of building a new ballpark.  Ground was broken on 25 September of that year and construction was overseen by the Charles Logue Building Company at a cost of $650,000.

The opener actually came two days later than expected.  The original date, 18 April, had been rained out, as was a doubleheader scheduled the following day.  It was also not the first game played at the new ballpark; 11 days earlier on 09 April, the Red Sox had played an exhibition contest against the Harvard Crimson baseball team, winning 2-0 as snow flurries made for less-than-ideal playing conditions.

Boston went on to its most successful regular season campaign in franchise history with 105 wins against only 47 losses.  Led by manager Jack Stahl and featuring outfielder Tris Speaker and pitcher Smoky Joe Wood, the team also capped off the season with its second World Series championship, winning four games to three against the New York Giants.

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