By pretty much any standard, 1912 was a big year. China became the Republic of China, Piltdown Man, originally thought to be the missing link, was discovered (it was later revealed to be a hoax), and the Titanic struck an iceberg in the Northern Atlantic and sank.
For baseball fans – and fans of the Boston Red Sox in particular – something else important happened in 1912. On April 20th, 1912, at 3:05 in the afternoon, the Boston Red Sox played their first baseball game in Fenway Park. For eleven years the team – a founding member of the American League – had been playing at the Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds. In 1912, the team moved to a shiny new stadium on Yawkey Way near the Boston’s Back Bay Fens (get it? Fen way?).
The Red Sox played – and won – that first game in Fenway Park against the New York Highlanders, which would later be renamed the New York Yankees, and become the Red Sox’s opponents in one of the fiercest and best-known rivalries in all of sports.
Today, Fenway Park turns 100 years old. In an era when teams seem to build new stadiums at least once a decade, Fenway stands as the oldest baseball stadium in America, followed closely by the Chicago Cubs’s home stadium, Wrigley Field (which was opened in 1914).
To celebrate Fenway’s 100th birthday, today at 3:05 the Boston Red Sox will take on the New York Yankees again, with each team wearing uniforms like those worn by their forbears a century ago. Apart from the nostalgic value, the game promises to be an interesting one: the Red Sox and Yankees have consistently been two of the best teams in baseball in recent years, yet both have struggled in the opening weeks of the 2012 season, the Red Sox still struggling with the issues that led to their historic September meltdown last season.
As you might expect, today’s game is getting a lot of attention on Twitter. Here’s what people are saying:
The Red Sox host the Yankees today at 3:05pm – the precise day, time and opponent of the first pro game at Fenway Park 100 years ago today.
Today is Fenway park’s 100th anniversary, and it’s Red Sox vs. Yankees. Fate says Red Sox HAVE to win.
Even those who hate the Red Sox are talking about Fenway on its birthday:
Fenway is 100 years old. A cathedral for baseball. Gem of a ballpark. I despise the team that plays there, but Fenway is a special place.
Fenway Park is on my travel bucket list. 100 years old and still the best park in baseball.
Some can’t help but worry about the team’s struggles early in the season:
It’s 1912 all over again at Fenway Park, where the Red Sox have struck an iceberg right on schedule.
While others think the old park is starting to show its age:
Happy 100th Birthday, Fenway Park. Last time I was there, you didn’t look a day over 412.
To commemorate the occasion, the Red Sox organization has invited pretty much everyone who is still alive and ever wore a Red Sox uniform to the park for the game. That includes former manager Terry Francona, who left after last season’s dismal finale, and former first baseman Sean Casey:
Getting ready to head over to Fenway for the 100 year celebration! Can’t wait to see the ovation for Tito and all the other Sox legends!
Music time, and some Celtic punk to celebrate Fenway Park’s 100th year. Good day.
Speaking of Celtic punk, just for fun, here’s Dropkick Murphy’s Red Sox anthem, Tessie:
Will you be watching the Red Sox-Yankees game? What do you think of Fenway Park turning 100? Let us know in the comments.