Monday, April 20, 2015

Fenway Park and Navin Field Open April 20, 1912

On This Day in Baseball History April 20, 1912: With the nation shrouded in the somber mood following the R.M.S. Titanic tragedy, the new home parks of the Boston Red Sox and the Detroit Tigers open for business. After a rain-out the day before in both cities, Fenway Park would play host to the New York Highlanders (aka Yankees) while Navin Field (later known as Tiger Stadium) would play host to the Cleveland Naps (aka Indians). Both home field fans were treated to exciting 11-inning games where the home teams would be victorious.

In Boston, a record 27,000 fans crammed into the new ballpark in order to see the debut contest of the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. The article ANOTHER DEFEAT FOR THE YANKEES from the New York Times dated April 21, 1912 stated:
The opening of the American League's new grounds in this city, Fenway Park, was marked by the largest attendance ever recorded here, 27,000 people crowding the stands and bleachers and standing behind ropes drawn about the outfield. It was, too, the first appearance at home of McAleer's Red Sox, which added to the enthusiasm.
The Red Sox would win the game in 11-innings by a score of 7-6.

In Detroit, Navin Field was opened with another 11-inning match-up that was also won by the home team. The Detroit Tigers defeated the Cleveland Naps by a score of 6-5. The article 24,000 in New Navin Field from the New York Times dated April 21, 1912 stated:
A record crowd of over 24,000 people jammed Navin Field which replaces Bennett Park, which cost $200,000 and which seats 23,000 people in its steel and concrete stands. 
The box scores of both games are below


As we know, Fenway is still in use by the Boston Red Sox. Navin Field which was later known as Briggs Stadium and Tiger Stadium was replaced by Comerica Park in 2000 and torn down in 2009. The only thing that remains is the actual field of play from the stadium which is the center of a movement to restore it for community use. I'll come back to that movement in a future post.

Until Then Keep Playing Ball,
Baseball Sisco