Of all the baseball parks throughout the U.S., few are as iconic as Fenway Park. Even the fiercest fans of other baseball teams have been known to watch a game at Fenway just for the experience in the ballpark.
The question begs, why? Why is Fenway so iconic and what is its history? Those of you heading to Boston sometime soon for a visit may especially enjoy knowing a little more about Beantown’s famous ballpark!
History of Fenway Park
The “Basic” History
Since Fenway Park is so famous, you may already be familiar with it’s more basic history, but here’s a quick refresh anyway.
- Fenway Park is the oldest standing baseball stadium still in use. It is considered one of the few remaining stadium complexes built during 1909-1923, known as the “Golden Age of Ballparks.”
- It’s been open, and the home of the Red Sox, since 1912.
- April 20, 1912, was the date of the first game ever played at the park.
- It was built on land that was once marshland.
The “Steamy” History
Now that we’ve refreshed the Fenway Park tidbits everyone knows let’s reveal some Fenway history you can use to impress Bostonians and get more out of your trip!
The Red Sox vs. The Yankees are by far the best-attended games, with one such game in 1935 attracting nearly 49,000 spectators. The park officially claims to have a capacity of 37,673, but has, on a few occasions, housed many more than that.
What’s more is that the largest crowds ever to gather at Fenway had nothing to do with baseball at all. It is said that a crowd of 60,000 gathered during a political rally for Eamon de Valera.
Historic in More Ways Than One
Not only is Fenway Park listed in the National Register of Historic Places locally, but it’s also listed at the state and national levels. It’s regarded as a historically important location, as well as historically significant in baseball, for momentous team moments, and for important historical baseball figures such as Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, and Carl Yastrzemski.
A Grand Opening Blurred by Tragedy
One would assume that the opening of the park in 1912 would have been a momentous occasion, but history had other plans. Days before the grand opening, the Titanic sunk. Though the grand opening was still celebrated, it’s safe to say the mood was somewhat somber.
A Couple of Firsts’
Every park’s first game is memorable, but at Fenway, its first game turned out to also be the first game with extra innings. On April 20, 1912, the Red Sox defeated the New York Highlanders (later the Yankees) in 11 innings.
Fenway Park Transcends Baseball
Perhaps one of the most striking things about Fenway Park isn’t a historical fact or physical feature, but rather its culture. Truly, even Bostonians who could care less about baseball still hold a fondness for Fenway. Fenway Park is a cultural icon, an ode to decades past, a place where athletic stars debuted, and above all else, a venue to bring the Boston community together.
More than just baseball takes place at Fenway. There have been other sporting events, concerts, festivals, displays, and even elephants have spent time in Fenway Park. Visitors come from all over the world to snap photos and take in the magic. A visit to Boston is not complete without a stop at Fenway, even if just for a moment.
Better yet, catch a game this season, you can find the schedule here.
Boston is full of incredible sights, choose a luxurious and historic hotel in the center of it all to enhance your trip!