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The Boston Globe

Sports

The Fenway Park of 1912

The Red Sox christened their new park just days after the Titanic sank, and at the time the ballpark was state of the art

The biggest story that week, in the Hub and the rest of the universe, was the sinking of the Titanic, which took more than 1,500 souls with it to the bottom of the icy Atlantic. On April 20, 1912, five days after the disaster, the Globe was filled with tales of human error (‘‘Ismay Knew Icebergs Near’’) and heroism (‘‘Instinctive Valor Shown By All From Stoker to Millionaire’’). Michael J. Ryan had shattered the record in the 16th Boston Marathon the day before. ‘‘Well, I told you I would win,’’ he declared after leaving behind Andrew Sockalexis by 34 seconds in the mud and slush. That noon at Faneuil Hall, there was a presidential rally for William Howard Taft, whose candidacy would be bull-moosed that fall by predecessor Theodore Roosevelt, to Woodrow Wilson’s benefit. And ‘‘Hoopla! Father Doesn’t Care!!’’ was playing at the Park Theatre.

The more enduring story hereabouts was the official opening of Fenway Park, ‘‘the mammoth plant with the commodious fittings’’ that is about to celebrate its centennial. The Athens of America, then the country’s fifth-largest city, already had a Symphony Hall, a Museum of Fine Arts, and an Opera House. What it did not have was a 20th-century ballpark.

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