Manny P. here…
Glorious Fenway Park is 100 years old. It’s the first ballpark to reach this milesone in Major League history. Memories are etched in Boston baseball lore:
~ Curse of the Bamino ~ The Splendid Splinter ~ The Green Monster ~ Yaz
~ Bucky @#%#%@ Dent ~ Fisk’s Homer ~ Bill Buckner’s Ground Ball Gaffe
~ An Improbable Comeback Against The Hated Ones ~ 2004 World Series Win
Friday’s celebration began early with a live broadcast of CNBC’s Morning Joe from Fenway. The show’s guests included historian Doris Kearns Goodwin and baseball analyst Peter Gammons (both unabashed Red Sox fans).
Every living former player from the team were invited, including old-timers Johnny Pesky and Bobby Doerr; Hall of Famers Carl Yastrzemski, Carlton Fisk, Dennis Eckersley, and Jim Rice; local favorites Dennis Oil Can Boyd, Luis Tiant, Nomar Garciaparra, Bill Spaceman Lee, Tim Wakefield, Pedro Martinez, and Mo Vaughn; and former manager Tony Francona.
Pre-game ceremonies provided A-list celebrities. Caroline Kennedy threw out the First Pitch. Her great grand-father, former mayor John Honey Fitz Fitzgerald, was the first to perform this tradition in 1912 at the park. Current mayor Tom Menino also threw a ceremonial First Pitch.
Oscar-winning composer John Williams conducted members of the Boston Pops, debuting his new composition, Fanfare for Fenway. Williams was commissioned by owners of the team to write the tune. Pops conductor Keith Lockhart led his orchestra in the Star Spangled-Banner. There was an Air Force flyover from World War II-era planes. Ted Williams had to be smiling from above.
The actual contest was a rematch from the very first played in 1912 between the Red Sox and New York Yankees (then known as the Highlanders). It was the 719th consecutive sellout. Oh… and the Yankees beat the Red Sox 6-2. Remnants of the Curse of the Bamino was in full swing. I imagine, the Splendid Splinter was swearing from his perch in the heavens.
Until next time. “never forget”