Red Sox get ready to celebrate 100 years at Fenway

Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:05pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

BOSTON (Reuters) - Major League Baseball's oldest stadium hits the century mark on Friday and the Boston Red Sox are throwing a grand 100th anniversary bash for fabled Fenway Park.

Thursday brought the Red Sox faithful an invitation to a remarkable house party, with thousands of fans welcomed into the quirky old ballpark to savor an up-close view of the diamond treasure nestled in the middle of the bustling seaboard city.

Another 100 fans won pairs of Fenway game tickets by finding the prize inside balloons placed around town.

From the towering Green Monster wall in left with its old-time scoreboard, to the triangle in deepest center, to the Pesky Pole down the short right-field line, Fenway Park is an instantly recognizable gem and the scene of a treasure trove of baseball history.

Babe Ruth broke into the major leagues with the Red Sox two years after John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald, the eventual grandfather of John F. Kennedy, Jr., tossed out the ceremonial first pitch at Fenway on April 20, 1912, as the proud mayor of Boston.

Ruth was a magnificent left-handed pitcher before evolving into the game's greatest slugger after being sold to the Yankees.

Fittingly, Friday's anniversary game is against the New Yorkers, reprising the inaugural Fenway Park game between the Red Sox and the New York Highlanders, who a year later changed their name to the Yankees.

The game will be played at 3:15 pm, as on April 20, 1912 when the Red Sox won 7-6 in 11 innings, and the teams will dress in throwback uniforms for the contest following a ceremony celebrating the centennial.   Continued...

Fans tour Fenway Park during an open house at the ballpark in Boston, Massachusetts April 19, 2012 ahead of Fenway Park's 100th anniversary celebration on April 20. Fenway Park hosted its first major league baseball game on April 20, 1912 and is the first major league ballpark to ever reach its 100th anniversary. REUTERS/Brian Snyder