“DIARY OF A WINNER”
FENWAY'S FIRST TEAM
September 23, 1912 ... The Red Sox received a welcome back home that no general or his army, after being victorious in a war, has ever received, that was wilder and more enthusiastic than what greeted the American League champions when they arrived in Boston shortly before 4 o'clock today. Nothing like it in connection with baseball has ever taken place before and it is highly unlikely that as greatest a spectacle will take place in the future.
The parade from the South Station terminal to the Boston Common was one continuous ovation. The sidewalks and the streets from curb to curb were packed solidly with fans, except for the very narrow lane through which the automobiles slowly made their way. The Speed Boys were given a reception that they will remember as long as they live.
The demonstration on the Boston Common when Jake Stahl, Tris Speaker, Joe wood, Larry Gardner, Duffy Lewis, Buck O'Brien, Ray Collins, Clyde Engle, Hugh Bedient, Hick Cady, Charley Hall, Larry Pape, Steve Yerkes, Pinch Thomas, Les Nunamaker, Olaf Henriksen and all down the line to Jerry McCarthy, the Red Sox mascot, were presented in turn by Mayor Fitzgerald. It was a party such as could only have been given by a crowd of baseball fans, who are nothing short of demonstrating their love for their team.
Some of the players, who had been on championship teams, but nothing really approaching this, seemed awed by the spectacle and had to be dragged out to be presented to the crowd. Joe Wood and Ray Collins have faced some huge crowds, but today they were as bashful as schoolboys and probably should have remained in the background, where they could have taken refuge when the introduction of the players was begun.
Heinie Wagner and Bill Carrigan were the only ones who were not present and the mayor explained that they were in New York getting a line on the Giants. Manager Stahl made a short speech in which he thanked everyone present for such a manifestation of good will toward the team and the approval of the work done by his players. He hoped, he said, they would all turn out to see the world championship series and to encourage the boys by their presence.
Before the players were introduced there were some brief remarks by the mayor and some other government officials. Everyone speaking expressed unbounded satisfaction over the glorious victory of the Red Sox in the championship race and also that they were confident that Boston had the greatest baseball team in the world, and that it would defeat its opponent in the championship series.
The team was due back in Boston at 2:55, but a wreck west of Albany made the train late by over one hour. The committee in charge of the reception sent a group to Worcester to meet the train and escorted it back to Boston. Sometime before 2:30, the crowd, who did not know about the delay, began to gather at South Station and by 3:30 the terminal was packed with waiting fans. Even the platforms inside the gates were so crowded that outbound passengers had some difficulty in getting to their trains.
The crowd was made up of men and women, boys and girls, young and old. Over a dozen automobiles were parked in the train shed. which were used by the players and members of the committee, in the parade to the Common. When the train finally arrived, the crowd was so dense on the platform outside the cars, that the players who are in the rear coaches could not get off and had to make their way through the train until they reached the baggage car. The start was made slowly because of the crowd, which could not clear the way very quickly even if they wanted to. The police cleared a small space and the band moved along after them, followed out of the terminal by Mayor Fitzgerald with Jake Stahl beside him. President MacAleer did not arrive with the train, being detained for a conference with President Johnson. John I Taylor, vice president of the club, acting as a member of the reception committee, was in another one of the automobiles.
Moving out into the Summer Street, the head of the column was checked by a solid bank of humanity and it took the police detail several minutes to make even a narrow passage through them. Every window in every business house along each side of the street, had three or more faces in it. Trolley cars blocked on the tracks were packed with boys and young men, who also climbed onto the roof of the cars.
There was a big crowd already on the Common and those marching behind the automobiles made a break to secure positions around the bandstand, while the parade went up Tremont Street to Charles Street and entered the Common at the gate midway on Charles Street. Progress to the bandstand was slow, but a detail of mounted police helped out.
When the mayor, the ballplayers and the band managed to squeeze into the bandstand, Mayor Fitzgerald addressed the crowd through a megaphone. The crowd on the Common was variously estimated at from 20,000 to 25,000 fans and the number who had viewed the parade along the route, was estimated at more than 200,000.
Mayor Fitzgerald thanked all who were present for their attendance and their loyalty to the team. He then introduced Sheriff John Quinn who wanted to say a few words about the team also. District Attorney Pelletier was introduced next and then members of the team were finally introduced. Jake Stahl was given the megaphone and the cheer that must have warmed the cockles of his heart. Every other member of the team, one by one received similar ovations. Joe Wood and Tris Speaker seemed to be a little better known than the others, but it would have been difficult to distinguish any difference in the enthusiasm which greeted every player.
After the introduction of the players Mayor Fitzgerald again thanked the crowd for their attendance and said that the players were tired after their long trip and suggested that the crowd disperse and allow the players to go to their homes without further attention. The suggestion of the mayor was followed and the big crowd began to melt away. The players went into the automobiles and were driven to their homes, thus ending one of the greatest demonstrations in the history of baseball.
Larry Gardner will start for his home in Vermont tomorrow and said that his little finger had been turned at the first joint. It looked rather bad at the time of the injury, but it was not as painful as he thought it was going to be.
In the evening the Red Sox team occupied boxes at the Plymouth Theater for the performance of "The Man From Home" as guests of William Hodge, the lead actor in the play. After the third act, Mister Hodge made a speech declaring that the applause for the evening belonged to those in the audience and not in front of the footlights.