“DIARY OF A WINNER”
FENWAY'S FIRST TEAM
April 20, 1912 ... The weather finally permitted the game to be played, however people from out of state didn’t show up because the hundreds of excursionists who had made plans to attend days before and had those plans cancelled because of the weather. Both teams had a practice session in the morning.
Fans began to arrive after noon. The decorations, which had been in place for three days, looked a bit bedraggled by the rain, but the new park was a cheery spectacle. Streetcars brought fans to the corner of Lansdowne and Jersey St because the subway had not yet been extended into Kenmore Square. Section L of the third base grandstand had been reserved for invited guests. The mayor of Boston John F “Honey Fitz” Fitzgerald, grandfather of President John F. Kennedy, was on hand and threw out the first pitch, with Boston Marathon winner, Michael Ryan at his side.
Ticket prices ranged from
25c in the bleachers, 50c in the pavilion seats, 75c for unreserved
grandstand, $1.25 for the reserved grandstand and $1.50 for box seats.
The outfield was roped off to hold back a couple of thousand standing
customers. There would be no possibility of a home run or triple,
because the ground rules between the managers, Stahl and Wolverton, stated
that a ball hit into the crowd would be a ground-rule double.
On the field, the Red Sox christened their brand new ball park with a 7-6 win over the New York Highlanders after 11 innings of great baseball. Buck O’Brien and Ray Caldwell started the game but were both driven out early in the contest.
The New Yorkers piled up five runs in short order through misplays around the infield and unlooked-for wildness by Buck O’Brien. Sox second baseman Steve Yerkes committed three errors that helped the Yankees get their first runs, but New York fielders gave the runs back.
Charley Hall then shut down the New Yorkers for four innings with their only run in the eight coming via more miscues in the field. In fact, Hall scored the tying run sixth. He was also on second in the ninth with one down and came within a fraction of scoring the winning run when Guy Zinn make a remarkable catch of Tris Speaker’s fierce drive. Manager Jake Stahl hit a ringing two-bagger that sent Yerkes home with the tying run in the eighth and brought the crowd to its feet. The Sox won it in the eleventh on yet another error by Dolan, setting up Tris Speaker to deliver the game winning walkoff single. Steve Yerkes was 5 for 7 at the plate.