Fenway Park: A Salute to the Coolest, Cruelest, Longest-Running Major League Baseball Stadium in Americaby John Powers, Ron Driscoll
Fenway Park. The name evokes a team and a sport that have become more synonymous with a city’s identity than any stadium or arena in the country. Since opening in the same week of 1912 that the Titanic sank, the park’s instantly recognizable confines have seen some of the most dramatic happenings in baseball history, including Carlton Fisk’s
Fenway Park. The name evokes a team and a sport that have become more synonymous with a city’s identity than any stadium or arena in the country. Since opening in the same week of 1912 that the Titanic sank, the park’s instantly recognizable confines have seen some of the most dramatic happenings in baseball history, including Carlton Fisk’s “Is it fair?” home run in the 1975 World Series and Ted Williams’s perfectly scripted long ball in his final at-bat. For 100 years, the Fenway faithful have been tested. They have known triumph and heartbreak, miracles and curses—well, one curse in particular—to such a degree that an entire nation of fans heaved a collective sigh of relief when Dave Roberts stole a base by a fingertip in 2004, triggering the most amazing comeback in the game’s annals. To sit and watch a game at Fenway is to recognize that the pitcher is standing on the same mound where Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, and Babe Ruth pitched, that a hitter is in the same batter’s box where Ty Cobb and Hank Aaron and Shoeless Joe Jackson dug in to take their swings. This is a ballpark that has embraced its odd construction quirks, including the bizarre triangle out in center field and the Green Monster that looms above the left fielder, and today—for better and for worse—it remains largely unchanged from the day it opened.In its long history, Fenway has hosted football, hockey, soccer, boxing, and so much more. It has provided a backdrop to hundreds of historic events having nothing to do with sports, including concerts, religious gatherings, and political rallies. It was the site of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s final campaign address, as well as visits by music luminaries from Stevie Wonder to Bruce Springsteen to the Rolling Stones. Through it all, the Boston Globe has been the consistent, respected chronicler of every important moment in park history. In fact, the newspaper played a remarkable role in Fenway’s creation and evolution: the Taylor family—founders and longtime owners of the Globe—owned the ballclub in 1912, helped finance the new stadium, and renamed the team the “Red Sox”. It is the Globe’s insider perspective, combined with more than a century of exemplary journalism, that makes this book the definitive narrative history of both park and team, and a centennial collectors’ item unlike any other. Its pages offer a level of detail that is unmatched, with exceptional writing and hundreds of rarely seen photographs and illustrations.
This is Fenway Park, the complete story, unfiltered and expertly told.
Longtime Boston Sportscaster Clark Booth
"We love Fenway Park because we love antiques, be they rocking chairs or ballparks. But we love it even more because the eccentricities of the place mirror our own. It is, like us, difficult and cranky. … Players come and go, but Fenway Park may become an American pyramid."
“I came to love Fenway. It was a place that rejuvenated me after a road trip; the fans right on top of you, the nutty angles. And the Wall. That was my baby, the left-field wall, the Green Monster.”
M.M. Library Journal
"This coffee-table book, commemorating the park’s 100th anniversary, painstakingly re-creates its history, from planning and construction to its role in the surrounding neighborhood and its designation as a symbol of a bygone era. Powers (sports reporter, Boston Globe) and Driscoll (formerly, Boston Globe) explore the unique character of the field and the legendary Green Monster, nemesis of many would-be home-run hitters. With large-format, archival color and black-and-white photos, stories of memorable games, and interviews with past players, this is more than a book about a stadium; it’s a testament to a city, a team, its fans, and the game itself. A treasure for all fans of baseball history, a must-have for Red Sox faithful."
Boston Red Thoughts.com
“A must read, and a must have on every Red Sox fans coffee table. Check it out!”
“You know when you first pick up that fresh new copy of Sports Illustrated and rush to see the latest "how did they do that?" photos at the front? That's what this entire book is like. Photo after photo will make your jaw drop. Whether it's a casual pre-game street scene of Boston's "new" ballpark in 1912, or Curt Schilling standing on the dugout in 2007 showering the crowd with champagne, each image is unforgettable. The Boston Globe's John Powers and Ron Driscoll weave a compelling story of the park—and the photofest is also peppered with amazing commentaries by Globe writers like Dan Shaughnessy and the Great, Great, Great Bob Ryan. His essays alone are worth the price of this book. Fenway Park—A Salute to the Coolest, Cruelest, Longest-Running Major League Baseball Stadium in America will make the past come alive—from "the Lady With The Megaphone" (Lolly Hopkins) to the man who gave us all the sound of the Red Sox (organist John Kiley). Putting this book on your coffee table will make it the coolest in town.”
Over the Monster blog
“It is fitting that such an excellent tribute to the 100 year old park should come from the Globe; the paper and the team are inseparably linked…. Powers and Driscoll write a concise and highly readable history of the team and the park, focusing in on the seasons and players that have made Fenway the iconic place it is. The two writers are aided by a wealth of inserts and additional material… The People of the Park segments are especially engaging…. Power and Driscoll write with the ease and skill one would expect from two long time pros, but their most impressive work here is not their words, but the incredible job they do in mining the Globe’s archives to allow the figures of Fenway’s past to speak again. Pulling quotes from writers and players of days now long gone, the writers create a palpable sense of the present even when recounting events like the 1918 World Series, William’s .406 season and the incredible 1967 "impossible dream" pennant….However, by far the biggest reason Red Sox fans should consider shelling out the $30 cover price for this book is the quality of thousands of color glossy images that bring to life the men and women the writers are talking about. From the two page black and white photo of the bleacher crowd amassed for the 1912 World Series on the third page to the large, fold out blueprint from the 1933 renovation of the Park that is included at the back of the book, this 273 page tome is a treasure trove of incredible photography. Virtually every story is accompanied by an equally memorable image. … I highly recommend the book for serious fans as the images alone are worth the cost and the myriad of bite-size articles on every topic related to the Red Sox and Fenway will give casual readers something to pick at for a long time.”
"More than just a sports fan's coffee-table book, this is a paean to what many consider the quintessential American ballpark….While providing an exhaustive centennial history of the home of the Green Monster, long-time fans Powers and Driscoll (current and former writers for the Boston Globe, respectively) supply plenty of personal passion and verve, and their love of the game and the park comes across beautifully in the excellent writing and numerous photos…. Even Yankees fans will likely appreciate this impressive homage to America's favorite pastime and America's oldest ballpark."
Christian Science Monitor
“This book, as the saying goes, hits the ball out of the park. It has it all: compelling history and substantial sidebars, extensive timelines of each of Fenway’s decades, and the best photo collection imaginable.”
"What makes this book distinctive is the poster of the rare and extraordinary blueprints from the 1934 renovations of Fenway and the blueprint of renovations of the unique and legendary scoreboard from a year earlier. Also included is an in-depth timeline that concludes each decade."
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Meet the Author
John Powers made his first visit to Fenway on June 14, 1956 when he witnessed a normal ballgame of the era; the Sox nearly blew a five-run lead and Don Buddin made an error. Since joining the Globe sports staff in 1973 he has spent hundreds of hours watching games from the elevated perspective of the press box before heading to the clubhouse to ask the players to explain the inexplicable. He still has no idea why Johnson took out Willoughby. Powers lives outside Boston.
Ron Driscoll attended many Red Sox doubleheaders with his brother, Tom, in the mid-1960s, and later suffered the indignity of living in Kenmore Square surrounded by Yankee fans when he majored in journalism at Boston University in the late 1970s. A former copy editor for the Cape Cod Times and the Boston Globe, he lives in Marstons Mills, Massachusetts, with his wife Kathi and daughters Molly and Meg, and is manager of editorial services for the United States Golf Association.
The Boston Globe, winner of 21 Pulitzer Prizes, is New England’s leading daily newspaper. It is wholly owned by The New York Times Company.
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As a person born, raised and educated in the Greater Boston area, this book brought back great memories from many visits to Fenway Park.I moved away to other parts of the USA in 1977, but never forgot the Boston Red Sox and the great game of baseball as only Fenway Park can show it. While I follow the local teams in my area, the Red Sox and Fenway Park will always be in my heart.
Bought this for a long time fan! He is in his 90's and absolutely loves it. It has become a sort of "brag book". He lives in a nursing home and spends his days showing off his favorite pictures and telling stories with anyone who will listen. Great find!