2011, 416 pp.
Link to the Amazon review
Note: Fenway 1912 was recently awarded the Society of American Baseball Research's Seymour Medal (best book on baseball history) and Larry Ritter Award (best book on the deadball era).
Fenway 1912: The Birth of a Ballpark, A Championship Season, and Fenway's Remarkable First Year is the latest in a string of books celebrating the storied ballpark's centennial next year. Three other books about Fenway have already been released this year and another six are on the horizon. In Fenway 1912, Glen Stout, the author of numerous team histories and other sports related books, covers "all the bases," surrounding the park's construction and the 1912 Boston Red Sox championship season.
|The 1912 World Series between the Red Sox and Giants was|
so monumental it earned the title "The First Fall Classic"
|Michael "Nuf Said" McGreevy|
The Sox's most ardent supporter
Fenway is, of course, iconic - its odd shape instantly recognizable to even the most casual baseball fan. Stout opines, however, that Fenway has actually changed so much in its 100 year history that today's Fenway regular, transported back in time to the days of Howard Taft and Smokey Joe Wood would not recognize the ball park he was sitting in. This constant change, not its unchanging image, is the real reason that Fenway has survived while other stadiums from the same era such as Ebbets Field, Shibe (Connie Mack) and Tiger Stadium have fallen victim to the wrecking ball, he writes. Besides dispelling the myth of a timeless, never changing Fenway, Stout demolishes some other myths. For instance, Fenway's shape was dictated by the shape of the land parcel purchased by the owners. There was still undeveloped area around the stadium. Given how far the ball flew in 1912, however, Fenway's dimensions were considered more than adequate and few home runs were anticipated. Of course, the city grew up around Fenway, closing it in and making expansion difficult once the game changed in 1920 with the livelier ball and free swinging, homer seeking batsmen.
|Stout demolishes the myth that Fenway's odd shape was |
attributable to the scarcity of available land
To this day, the 1912 team is the winningist in Red Sox history. While fans will be celebrating Fenway's 100 year anniversary with the gorgeous coffee table books spewing forth, they'll also want this excellent history of the stadium's birth and the team that inaugurated it.