The Red Sox celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Fenway Park

ON THIS DATE (April 20, 2012) ... Fenway Park celebrated its 100th anniversary with a spine tingling pregame ceremony. No organization serves history and tradition better than the Red Sox. The team treated an ever loyal constituency to a great bash.

As beautiful strains from the "Field of Dreams" movie soundtrack resounded throughout Fenway Park, 212 Red Sox players, managers and coaches, returned to their one time friendly confines. Emerging from the ballparks painted green nooks and crannies, some entered from the left-field garage gate, some from underneath the centerfield bleachers, others still from "canvas alley" along the first base line, or from the Red Sox dugout. The alumni wore vintage white jerseys, representative of the era in which they played while names were revealed only on the ballparks message boards.

Jim Rice was first. He came out of the big garage door in left and took his position in front of the Green Monster. Then Dwight Evans walked out of the door in center strolled toward right field. Bill Buckner then appeared from "canvas alley". Frank Malzone walked out, then Jerry Remy, Reggie Smith, Jim Lonborg, Luis Tiant, "Oil Can" Boyd, Bill Lee, Bruce Hurst, Billy Rohr, Jose Santiago, Bill Monbouquette, Nomar Garciaparra, Rico Petrocelli, Lou Merloni, Dave Stapleton and on and on. Former manager Terry Francona showed up and received the loudest cheer of all.

 

TERRY FRANCONA

There were no individual announcements, instead each player a manager was identified on the video board in center. It went on for more than 20 minutes before Carl Yastrzemski popped out of the Red Sox dugout and trudged toward left field.

After the Red Sox alumni gathered, the members of the 2012 team soon joined them. Last to be welcomed to the diamond were legends Johnny Pesky and Bobby Doerr, who were wheeled onto the field by Jason Varitek, David Ortiz and Tim Wakefield. After Doerr and Pesky took up their positions on either side of second base, where the duo have teamed to turn many a doubleplay, there Red Sox brethren of past and present converged for the National Anthem, as Keith Lockhart conducted members of the Boston Pops. The ensemble that performed "A Hymn to New England" as most alumni exited toward centerfield. Meanwhile, most of the 2012 team, wearing throwback uniforms which the local nine donned for Fenway's inaugural 1912 Red Sox game, remained along the first base line.

100 years ago Mayor John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald delivered the opening pitch. He was accompanying by his daughter Rose, who later married Joseph P Kennedy. Today, Mayor Tom Menino, Caroline Kennedy, daughter of JFK and the great granddaughter of the former Boston mayor, were among two of the trio making the first pitch, paying homage to Fenway's first day in 1912 and signifying that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Red Sox nation.

Afterward Fenway fans were led by two championship caliber toastmasters, Kevin Millar and Pedro Martinez, who led the crowd in a toast to Fenway Park.

 

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