The rooftop press box at Fenway Park as seen on Sept. 18, 1915. Photo courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection

What: First Red Sox Game Played at Fenway Park
When: April 20, 1912
Where: Boston 

At a public auction in February 1911, Civil War Gen. Charles Taylor purchased land for $120,000 that would become the site of the Boston Red Sox’s new ballpark, according to Glenn Stout’s book “Fenway 1912: The Birth of a Ballpark.” Taylor and his son, John I. Taylor, owned the baseball team. 

The Taylors did not want to go into debt to finance construction of the ballpark, Stout wrote, and instead sold a 50 percent stake in the team to help finance the project. The property was transferred to the Fenway Realty Trust in September 1911, and co-trustees included both Taylors, attorney Arthur Wise, and State Street Bank vice president and treasurer, Ashton Carr.  

The project, designed by architect James E. McLaughlin, cost $600,000 and included 7,000 barrels of cement and 270 tons of steel, according to Stout. Stout wrote that the technology to build the park, including columns created with reinforced concrete, had been developed only within the previous decade.  

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“The day was ideal. The bright sun brought out the bright colors of the flags and bunting that decorated the big grandstand….Before the game started, the crowd broke into the outfield and remained behind the ropes, forcing the teams to make ground rules, all hits going for two bases.” 

— Boston Globe reporter T.H. Murnane writing about the first Red Sox game at Fenway Park. 

This Month in History: Sox First Play at Fenway

by Diane McLaughlin time to read: 1 min