‘A Lyric Little Bandbox’ Turns 100: A Photo Album Tribute

On April 20, 2012, Fenway Park–‘a lyric little bandbox of a ballpark’, as Updike described her in his 1960 classic tribute to the great Ted Williams, “Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu“–turned 100.  Since serving as host to the New York Highlanders one Spring afternoon on April 20, 1912, this Grande Dame of Baseball Ballparks has seen it all.  From the triumphs to the theatrics, from the heroics to the heartaches, from the legends to the rivals… And the roar of the Fenway crowd is only topped by the sound of The Standells singing “Dirty Water” over the loudspeakers after the home team records the final out…

Over the years, I have been blessed to have enjoyed many a great game at this asymmetrical-cut emerald ballpark.   Seeing Pedro toe the rubber when he was at the peak of his game.   And enjoying the at-bats of such sluggers as Mo, Nomar, Papi, Manny and Pedroia.  And having the good fortune to see a young Clay Buchholz pitch a no-hitter on a cool September evening…  Not to mention the countless memories I’ve shared with family and friends at Friendly Fenway, especially taking my son to his first ball game at the Old Ballpark…  Such memories will be forever etched in the ‘Green Fields’ of my Mind.

While the names of the players and managers have changed, and the Park has undergone a few facelifts over the years, the majestic red brick and evergreen walls filled with the echoes of history and the hope of a passionate fanbase remain constant.   Happy 100th, Fenway Park!  Thanks for the memories!

As a tribute to Fenway, I have selected a few photos taken recently to honor the Old Ballpark.

On Yawkey Way, April 14, 2012, Opening Day Weekend.

The iconic Citgo sign. Fans file along Brookline on their way to catch an 'Old Ballgame.' Though not structurally connected to Fenway Park, no gallery of Fenway images is complete without the Citgo sign. Before the Monster Seats were added, on TV, the Citgo sign stood out like a beacon, appearing to hover atop the Green Monster. It remains itself a Boston landmark.

View of the retro-modern Gate B entrance at the corner of Van Ness and Ipswich.

Commemorative red bricks gather 'round Eck's outstretched hands, myself included.

From within the ancient cavernous walls around her, Fenway beckons you to enter her lush, palatial green courtyard...

View of Pesky's Pole from the bleachers during warm-ups. The foul pole is a mere 302 feet from home plate, making it the shortest home-run in baseball if you can hit it. Sox 2B Mark Bellhorn hit the Pole in Game 1 of the 2004 World Series helping the Sox win.

The Lone Red Seat.

View of the seating rows located in the RF Grandstand before the fans file in.

Black & white image of all of the retired Sox numbers along the RF facade (L to R): Ted, Cronin, Doerr, Yaz, Fisk, Pesky, Rice, and, of course, Jackie Robinson whose #42 was retired by MLB. Some day #45 will join the venerable facade...

A favorite Fenway tradition: Here's to one fine century and to another, Fenway!

The 7th Inning Stretch, of course! Across, is the famous Green Monster, standing 37' and 2" high and boasting a manually operated scoreboard. The left field wall wasn't actually painted green until 1947.

Sunlight majestically graces the Green Monster. To the right is the infamous outfield Triangle, and the bullpens can be seen in the foreground, just in front and below the fans, who sit in the bleachers.

The Green Monster at dusk.

Outside, The Teammates at twilight on Van Ness. Red Sox legends, Ted, Johnny Pesky, Bobby Doerr and Dom DiMaggio, stand tall beside the Park. These four statues honor the enduring friendship they enjoyed throughout their lives. Together, they would lead the Sox to the '46 AL pennant, the team's first since 1918. The Sox would lose the '46 World Series to the Cards in 7 games, however. One of the endearing highlights from Fenway's 100th anniversary ceremonies was seeing elder statesmen, Pesky and Doerr--the only surviving members of the old Quartet--being led onto the fine green grass by recently retired Red Sox heroes, Varitek and Wake.

Evening settles over the Ancient Ballpark with Pesky's Pole in the foreground and the Fisk Foul Pole in the back. The LF foul pole was made famous by Fisk's epic home run to win Game 6 of the '75 World Series, one of Fenway's many classic moments.

Here’s to many more magical Fenway moments! Go Sox!

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What are your favorite Fenway moments?  Please share your thoughts and comments.  Thanks for visiting and cheers!

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