Fenway Park: The Scene of Joy and Heartbreak


Fenway Park is much more than just a famous American ballpark. It’s so iconic that it’s become the stuff of legend over the years. Anyone who has made the trip there will agree that history of baseball isn’t complete without the story of Fenway Park.

There’s just something about that place, although it’s hard to put your finger on exactly what it is. It isn’t just the unique design of the stadium or the memorable Green Monster keeping score in left field that sets Fenway apart, either. The heart and history of this place is palpable from the moment you take your seat and join the action.


The Significance of Baseball in America

It was President Calvin Coolidge who said, “Baseball is our national game!” When you consider the many ways the history of baseball connects to American history, it’s a statement that’s hard to deny.
  • Union and Confederate troops both shared an interest in baseball during the Civil War. Both sides took baseball equipment to war and played regularly as a way to keep morale high, ease boredom and stay fit.
  • When Abraham Lincoln ran for president, he received important pre-election news during a pick-up game of baseball. Abe actually asked the messenger to wait so he didn’t miss his turn at bat.
  • Numerous visionaries and business leaders praise baseball for the lessons it teaches players and fans about life, teamwork and tenacity.

More than almost anything else, baseball is a fantastic equalizer. Although people consider it to be a working man’s game, it’s appealing to everyone, even presidents and generals. When Fenway Park hosted its first official baseball game on April 9, 1912, it became an indelible part of American life.



Making History: Fenway Park and the Boston Red Sox

Since 1912, Fenway Park has certainly seen its share of exciting highs and heartbreaking lows. So have the Boston Red Sox and the faithful fans that stand by their side through thick and thin! For instance, greats like Roger Clemens and Pedro Martinez threw their stunning strikeouts at Fenway. Carl Yastrzemski celebrated his 3,000th career hit in 1979 in the stadium as well.

However, Fenway has also seen its share of crushing losses over the past century. What Red Sox fan could ever forget the heartbreaking losses the Sox suffered to the Cardinals in ’67, the Mets in ’86 or their long-time rivals, the Yankees, in ’78?

One can’t help but consider the fabled Curse of the Bambino either – the astonishing failure of the Sox to win the World Series over the course of a staggering 86-year period. People commonly believed that the curse was the result of star player Babe Ruth’s sale to the Yankees during the off-season in 1919-1920.

Long-time Sox fans cried and lamented while the “curse” was in effect, but they rejoiced when, in 2004, the Sox beat the Cardinals in the final game of the World Series.



The Enduring Legacy of Fenway

Red Sox fans are among the most loyal in the history of the game, and that has a lot to do with Fenway Park. It’s a venue that’s unusually intimate. For instance, if you’re sitting in one of the dugout seats, it’s actually possible to accidently bump the coach’s elbow, and players will definitely hear you if you decide to engage in a little heckling.

Plus, Fenway has changed very little over the years. It’s like witnessing history every time you walk through the gates.

Therefore, it’s hard not to feel like you are part of something special when you hear “Sweet Caroline” played before the bottom of the eighth inning, or when “Dirty Water” kicks off the celebration after every Red Sox victory.

You can’t help but feel blessed if you get a chance to touch the Green Monster for luck. When the Curse of the Bambino finally became a thing of the past, fans took every victory as a personal affirmation.

It doesn’t hurt that Fenway’s survived so much history over the years. Presidents have campaigned there. Numerous professional sports have made guest appearances on the hallowed greens, including hockey, soccer and football.

Occasionally, Fenway even hosts concerts with headliners like the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. The park even survived a fire in the 1930’s and successfully avoided the business end of a wrecking ball in the 1960’s.

In other words, Fenway Park is as tough and tenacious as the Red Sox and their fans. Here’s to another 100+ years of making baseball history!