Red Sox in History: April 20, 1912
When you think of Boston's storied Fenway Park, you should remember this date as it was the day the park officially opened its doors for the first time - and 99 years later, it's still going strong.
That same day, Detroit's Navin Field (later and more famously known as Tiger Stadium) opened its doors, as well. Since, Tiger Stadium was demolished in June 2008, Fenway Park officially holds the distinction of being the oldest sports facility in the United States.
On that day of April 20, the Red Sox would play host to the New York Highlanders (who later became the Yankees). The Red Sox and Highlanders would have to go to extra innings before Boston came out on top 7-6, thus christening their new home the right way.
Unfortunately, there has been a theory (albeit a fairly illogical one) that because Fenway Park opened the same week as the infamous Titanic sinking, which met its demise just five days earlier, it is one of the reasons why the Red Sox weren't able to win a World Series for 86 years. Not only did the Red Sox win the World Series that season but they won it in three of the next six before their "curse" began.
Fenway Park is a throwback to those, myself included, who love the old game and what it looked like in the early part of the 20th century. Los Angeles Dodgers broadcasting legend Vin Scully once compared Fenway Park to "a pinball machine", further explaining that "it is what it is, no more no less."
There's no lavish parking at Fenway since the groundbreaking of the park predates the Major League facilities we know today or even thirty years ago where the stadiums stand essentially by themselves with nothing but miles of parking surrpunding them.
To this day, Fenway Park is still the only ballpark in the MLB that has a hand-operated scoreboard. It's notorious for its famed green monster in left field and its mishaped triangle out in center field. It's 34,500 seating capacity may not be much compared to today's standards but that's what makes the park so special.
You don't have to be a Red Sox fan to truly appreciate Fenway Park. I've met the biggest Yankees fans who were in awe of Fenway Park, despite the fact that it houses their most hated rivals. Love the Red Sox, hate the Red Sox or just not care about the Red Sox - no one can possibly deny just what a magical place Fenway Park is.
Next April, the Red Sox as well as the city of Boston will be honouring their beloved, age-old ballpark for its 100th anniversary when we'll truly look back and celebrate the greatest moments in the history of Fenway as well as the players who made their mark there.
The likes of Smoky Joe Wood, Tex Hughson, Jim Loborg, Roger Clemens and Pedro Martinez all dominated on the mound while the likes of Foxx, Williams, Yastrzemski, Fisk, Rice and Vaughn all made their marks at the plate.
Fenway Park is and always will be such a special place to not only the truest of Red Sox fans but the most casual of baseball fans. Fenway has stood the test of time and has survived much longer than Brookyln's Ebbets Field, New York's Polo Grounds or old Yankee Stadium, Pittsburgh's garden-esque Forbes Field and even Philadelphia's palatial Shibe Park.
Fenway Park is in a class of its own and will be rememember for generations long after it's no more - whenever and ifever that will be.