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Read & Recognition | The Palace of Triumphs & Tragedies | Fenway

The 100th anniversary of the opening of Fenway Park is a monumental day in the history of baseball.  In fact, it’s huge for sports in general.  This historic day represents the reason we love sports.  A full century in the same house indicates our love should continue for another hundred years or more.Fenway

Why do we as fans love sports?  One word says it all, drama.

Drama is like an addictive drug.  Long before reality shows became a mainstay in pop culture, sports was still the best soap opera on television, radio or in print.  Prior to American Idol, The Bachelor, the Kardashians or Dancing with the Stars, there were Survivors.

On a day where a ballpark’s birthday is at the top of sports stories, let’s reflect on the triumphs and tragedies of 100 years in Fenway.

Fisk

Fenway has been host to possibly one of the greatest games ever played.  Game 6 of the 1975 World Series’ see-saw affair took our breaths away when the nation stopped simultaneously to watch Carlton Fisk wave a ball fair in the 12th inning.  His walk-off shot curled around the right field pole to defeat the Cincinnati Reds on that October night to win it for the Red Sox.   We watched Fisk’s leaping and waving his hands in the air while he skipped down the first base line.

Fisk displayed what was the epitome of the childlike emotion we get from our favorite team’s success.

Williams

The curtain call for the legendary Ted Williams’ career came on September 28, 1960.  Ironically, Williams homered in his final at-bat of his career but refused to answer the call from the fans.  Williams’ odd relationship with Boston was typified by his final contribution in a game for the club.

Williams didn’t return to Fenway until the 1999 All-Star Game on July 13th.  Again deep emotions were stirred.

Game 6, 1918 World Series

The last time the Sox clinched a World Series in Fenway was 1918.  Carl Mays edged the Cubs 2-1, while going 1-for-2 and scored a run.

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Carl Mays

Clemens

A record that would stand for 10 years was claimed in the iconic Fenway by a gun named Roger Clemens on April 29, 1986.  Clemens took down 20 Seattle Mariners in a single game while breaking another Texan’s record, Nolan Ryan.  The mark would be tied a decade later by none other than Clemens, himself.

Lester

A more significant victory had already been won over cancer, but on May 19, 2008, Jon Lester added this no-hitter Red Sox defeat of the Royals.  Lester posted the 18th no-hitter in Sox history.

Fisk vs. Munson

Two gritty catchers of iconic teams brawling at home plate on August 1, 1973 was the event which triggered the renewal of the rivalry…and is what I call memorable.  The Yankee’s Thurman Munson, the 1970 Rookie of the Year, was jealous of Fisk, the 1972 Rookie of the Year, due the attention Fisk received.

A suicide squeeze was called in an effort to break the 2-2 tie score sending Munson charging the plate. The batter, Gene Michaels failed to make contact on the bunt.  Fisk not only tagged Munson, but dumped him on his head eliciting a bevy of punches.

Fenway

Fisk & Munson Collision Revives the Rivalry

Though it was not the most eloquent moment in history at Fenway, it was the beginning of the revival of one of the most celebrated rivalries in sports.

Anniversary Celebrations

While the game against the Yankees today is not yet played, it is befitting the team Boston loves will host the team Boston loves to hate on such a grand occasion.  Yes, we are still addicted to drama.

Fenway Park survived 100 years because of the fans in Boston and those across the country.  The park has survived fires, owners plans to build a new park, fights and society’s desire to have the latest & greatest.  Fans reluctance to change their beloved Fenway is beyond admirable.  One of the greatest forms of love is acceptance.

The park’s 37′ 2″ left field wall aka the Green Monster stands tall and is a target for right-handed hitters, especially.  It is constructed of wood, covered in tin and a hard plastic surface.  The surface isn’t cushioned like many outfield walls.  It stands as a stark reminder of days gone by before players were specialists, pampered and overly-protected.

Fenway Park is still a must-see for baseball fans because baseball lives at Fenway.

 

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