The ballpark has hosted some of the most memorable events in Boston history. Here are the ones that stand out:
1912: First game
With the park still being finished, the Sox and Harvard played an exhibition game April 9, in front of a few thousand fans in wintry weather. Boston’s Casey Hageman threw the first pitch to Crimson captain Dana Wingate, and the Sox won, 2-0.
From April 10, 1912: Red Sox outlast Harvard in Fenway Park launch
1912: Series clincher
Not only was Fenway’s first season a success, the Sox won their second championship after eight years of middling finishes and started a brief dynasty. The decisive Game 8 went 10 innings, with Smoky Joe Wood getting the best of Christy Mathewson, 3-2.
From Oct. 17, 1912: Boston now supreme in baseball world
1914: ‘Miracle Braves’
The Boston Braves, a perennial doormat, surged from last place to the National League pennant while playing at Fenway, their temporary home. The Braves denied the Athletics their fourth title in five years by clinching a World Series sweep in the Fens.
From Oct. 14, 1914: Fans revel after Braves win World Series at Fenway Park
1918: Series clincher
The second and last time the Sox wrapped up a world championship on Fenway soil. Things were settled in Game 6 when Carl Mays beat the Cubs, 2-1, with a three-hitter. Mays and Babe Ruth combined for all four wins and a 1.03 ERA.
From Sept. 12, 1918: Red Sox win sixth game and title from Cubs
1920: Babe Ruth’s return
After being sold by the Sox to the Yankees over the winter, Ruth — baseball’s biggest draw — returned to Fenway on April 19, receiving a big ovation during the Sox’ doubleheader sweep. Ruth went 3 for 8 on the day but didn’t hit one of the 54 home runs he had that season.
1934: The fire
With Fenway undergoing extensive and expensive renovations, a five-alarm fire broke out Jan. 5, causing $250,000 in damage. The fact the park was ready for Opening Day showed the determination and deep pockets of new owner Tom Yawkey.
From Jan. 6, 1934: Fenway Park flames cause $250,000 loss
1943: Babe Ruth’s Service All-Stars
Baseball’s retired home run king led a group of enlisted players to Fenway for a charity game on July 12, including Sox Ted Williams, Johnny Pesky, and Dom DiMaggio. Williams hit a three-run home run in the All-Stars’ 9-8 win over the Boston Braves.
From July 13, 1943: Babe Ruth, Ted Williams face off in Fenway exhibition
1944: FDR’s speech
On Nov. 4, Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed a packed Fenway (estimated crowd of 40,000) in his final campaign speech before being elected to his fourth term as president, with Harry S. Truman his vice president. Roosevelt died in office five months later.
From Nov. 5, 1944: Fenway Park is spectacle of color as leaders rally for FDR
1945: Robinson’s tryout
On April 16, the Sox (begrudgingly) hosted a tryout for three players from the Negro leagues — Jackie Robinson, Sam Jethroe, and Marvin Williams. Despite strong showings, the team passed on all three. And the Sox were passed by in baseball’s integration.
From April 17, 1945: Red Sox coaches check out Negro League players
1947: First night game
The addition of light towers made it possible to play after dark at the park — 12 years after the majors’ first night game. In Fenway’s nocturnal debut, June 13, the Sox defeated the White Sox, 5-3, behind scoreless relief from Bob Klinger.
From June 14, 1947: Red Sox win in first Fenway night game
1967: The beaning of Tony Conigliaro
The immortal Sox summer of 1967 turned gruesome Aug. 18 when the Angels’ Jack Hamilton fired a fourth-inning pitch that struck slugger Tony Conigliaro beneath his left eye socket. Conigliaro was hospitalized and didn’t return to action until 1969.
From Aug. 19, 1967: Beaning sends ailing Tony Conigliaro to hospital
1967: Pennant clincher
Though the Sox fell short in the World Series to the Cardinals, the team’s climb from ninth place in 1966 to a World Series berth (secured with a win over the Twins on the season’s final day) cultivated a new generation of fans who embraced the “Impossible Dream.”
From Oct. 2, 1967: Red Sox clinch AL for first pennant in 21 years
1973: The debut of the DH
The American League adopted the designated hitter rule prior to the 1973 season, and on April 6 at Fenway, the Yankees’ Ron Blomberg logged the first official plate appearance by a DH, drawing a bases-loaded walk against Luis Tiant in the first inning.
1973: Fisk-Munson brawl
A new era in the Sox-Yankees rivalry really took off Aug. 1, when, in the ninth inning of a tie game with playoff implications, Munson slammed into Fisk while trying to score on a suicide squeeze. A wild brawl ensued between the rival catchers.
From Aug. 2, 1973: Fisk, Munson fight in Red Sox’ win
1975: Game 6
Among the greatest World Series games in baseball history: a tense, drama-filled matchup between the Sox and Reds that ended with one of the most indelible moments in postseason history, Carlton Fisk’s walkoff blast off the left-field foul pole in the 12th inning.
From Oct. 22, 1975: Fisk’s home run in 12th beats Reds, 7-6
1978: Dent’s home run
Bucky Dent, the pint-sized Yankees shortstop, was the surprise hero of the one-game playoff at Fenway, breaking the Sox’ hearts with a three-run home run that just cleared the left-field wall and wiped out a 2-0 deficit in New York’s eventual 5-4 victory.
From Oct. 3, 1978: Yankees have final say again, beat Red Sox
1983: Yaz Day
The Sox paid tribute to their all-time leader in games, hits, and RBIs on Oct. 1-2 as Carl Yastrzemski played in the final homestand of his 23-year career. After a pregame tribute, Yaz made a lap around the park to high-five fans.
From Oct. 2, 1983: One last Fenway go-round for Yastrzemski
1986: Roger Clemens’s 20th strikeout
Clemens, embarking on an MVP season, was at his best on April 29, against the Mariners. He tied the major league strikeout record with his 19th in the ninth inning, and then rang up Phil Bradley for No. 20, establishing a mark he would match 10 years later.
From April 30, 1986: Clemens fans a record 20 batters
1988: Morgan Magic
With the Sox at 43-42 coming out of the All-Star break, manager John McNamara was abruptly fired and replaced by third base coach Joe Morgan, a local product who instantly produced 12 straight wins, 11 at home, and 19 of 20 overall to launch a playoff run.
From July 25, 1988: Morgan Magic rolls on at Fenway
1999: All-Star Game
It was a three-day baseball lovefest at Fenway, featuring an exciting Home Run Derby, MLB’s All-Century Team, a celebration of Ted Williams, and a game MVP performance by AL starter Pedro Martinez, who struck out five of his six batters.
From July 14, 1999: Ted Williams the star at baseball’s showcase
2003: Springsteen concert
After 30 years without a full-scale music act at Fenway, the Sox’ new ownership group signed up Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band for two shows in September. Elaborate concerts have become an annual summer event at the ballpark.
From Sept. 7, 2003: Springsteen turns Fenway into house party
2004: Varitek-A-Rod brawl
The Sox’ comeback win on July 24 was the spark in their title run, and the fight between Jason Varitek and Alex Rodriguez was symbolic. The Yankee star took exception to a third-inning plunking and mouthed off to Varitek, who shoved his mitt in A-Rod’s face and set off a melee.
From July 25, 2004: Red Sox win slugfest with Yankees after brawl
2004: Roberts’s steal
On the verge of getting swept out of the ALCS and trailing the Yankees, 4-3, in the ninth inning of Game 4, Kevin Millar drew a leadoff walk against Mariano Rivera. Enter Dave Roberts to do what he did best. His headfirst slide barely beat the throw to second, and Bill Mueller followed with the tying single.
From Oct. 18, 2004: Red Sox avert sweep as walkoff homer downs Yankees
2010: NHL Winter Classic
With the ice stretching across the infield and the Green Monster as the backdrop on New Year’s Day, the Bruins and Flyers battled through regulation tied at 1. Marco Sturm won it for the host team less than two minutes into overtime.
From Jan. 2, 2010: Winter Classic at Fenway a grand slam on ice