As the oldest, operating Major League Ballpark, Fenway Park will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in the New Year with a series of special programs to commemorate the history of sports, music and community events that have been hosted at this location over the past one hundred years.
Fenway Park, located on Yawkey Way, was designed by the Osborne Engineering Corporation and officially opened on April 20, 1912. It is currently being considered by the National Parks Service for the National Register of Historic Places; a decision that may come out as soon as early 2012. Approval of the application would result in a big step for the preservation of Fenway Park, a development many loyal Bostonians would love to see for this jewel of a landmark. As one of two remaining classic-style ballparks, with the other being Wrigley Field in Chicago, Fenway Park originally had the smallest seating capacity out of all of the major league ballparks in the country. However, with gradual expansions and alterations over the past century, that is no longer the case. The Park has grown from 33,513 seats to almost 40,000 since its opening in 1912.
Key structural features of Fenway include: The Green Monster, the wall located at the edge of left field measuring 37 feet and 2 inches in height which serves as a popular target for right-handed hitters; The Triangle, where the intersection of outfield walls form a unique kink in the stadium seating and is used to conventionally mark the center field distance from home plate; and the Lone Red Seat, placed in the right field bleachers to mark and commemorate the longest home run ever hit at Fenway Park that flew 502 feet from home and hit a spectator in the head.
To celebrate the Park’s centennial, the Red Sox have arranged for many events to occur throughout the year, according to ESPN Boston and Boston.com, beginning with the actual anniversary being observed on April 20, 2012 with a repeat of Fenway Park’s first major league opening game against the New York Yankees (then Highlanders) at 3:05pm. The Red Sox have begun their charitable campaign, “100 Acts of Kindness”, which involved many community and volunteer, events and donations to notable charities and establishments. The team will also be forming a non-profit organization named the Preserve Fenway Park Fund, in the hopes of raising money to preserve and display historic artifacts in the ballpark, from architectural plans to baseballs to other memorabilia, such as tickets, bases and pennants. Most of these artifacts will be on display at Fenway Park throughout the 2012 season, starting at the Open House on April 19, 2012 when fans can enter the Park free of charge to view and experience the history for themselves.
Photo by Aidan C. Siegel, Wikipedia.