A perfectly fascinating 100 for Fenway

April, 20, 2012
4/20/12
11:13
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Gail Oskin/Getty ImagesApril 20, 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the first game played at Fenway Park.
The Boston Red Sox will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first game played at Fenway Park today by hosting the New York Yankees, who will be wearing throw back New York Highlanders uniforms.

On April 20, 1912, the Red Sox defeated the Highlanders 7-6. Fenway is the oldest current MLB park. Other than Wrigley Field (1914), no other active park was built before 1960.

Random Fenway Facts
• The opening of Fenway Park did not even make the front page of Boston’s newspapers. The Titanic had sunk just a few days earlier.

• Prior to Fenway, the Red Sox played at Huntington Avenue Grounds from 1901-11.

• From 1912-33, there was a 10-foot inclined mound in front of the left field fence that came to be known as Duffy’s Cliff.

• Johnny Pesky hit only six home runs at Fenway Park. Newspaper reports of those home runs make no mention of hitting the right-field foul pole.

• Originally marked at 315 feet, the distance marker for the Green Monster was changed to 310 feet in 1990. Multiple independent measurements place it close to 304 feet.


Joe Robbins/Getty ImagesThe spot where Ted Williams 502-foot home run he hit in 1946 landed is mark with a red seat.



• Ted Williams hit one of the most famous home runs in Fenway history. On June 9, 1946, he hit a 502-foot home run that hit the head of fan Joseph A. Boucher (sitting in Section 42, Row 37, Seat 21), puncturing a hole in his hat.

ESPN Home Run Tracker estimates that the ball actually would have travelled 527 feet had it not hit the fan in the head.

Fenway Records
Williams hit 248 career home runs at Fenway, the most by any player. Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle each hit 38 home runs for the Yankees at Fenway Park. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that’s not only the most in franchise history, it’s also the most for any visitor in the ballpark’s history.

Best and Worst of Fenway Park
Even for opponents, Fenway has been a happy place for many hitters. Fred McGriff hit .377 there. Lou Gehrig knocked in 152 runs.

Then there are the more obscure:
• Eli Marrero homered in his lone Fenway plate appearance. As did Hal Keller and Nyls Nyman.

• Leo Durocher was just a .247 career hitter. But at Fenway? He hit .429 in 29 at-bats.

• 13 of Dave Kingman’s 21 hits at Fenway were home runs.

Fenway hasn’t been kind to everyone though.
• Jerry Remy had 1,626 plate appearances at Fenway, but never hit a home run (had only seven career HR).

• The active leader for most plate appearances at Fenway without a HR is Ichiro Suzuki (192).

• Pitcher Pete Schourek was 2-11 at Fenway and 64-66 everywhere else.

• The award for the worst Fenway experience has to go to Phil Hensiek of the Washington Senators. On September 2, 1935, Hensiek pitched at Fenway for the first (and last) time. He entered a tie game in the 11th inning.

Hensiek face one batter in Jack Wilson (a Red Sox relief pitcher). Wilson hit a walk-off home run. Hensiek never threw another pitch in the majors.

Jeremy Lundblad contributed to this post.

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