One thing being a teacher has taught me is this, there are times when we are so enmeshed in something, that it is such a part of us, we take for granted that others have a heightened awareness level of that with which we are so enmeshed. For example, having been enmeshed in the life and career of Babe Ruth, I assume that EVERYBODY knows that he was raised, for the most part in an orphanage. I have come to realize, that most simply don’t know that!
And as I make my way around Fenway Park, it occurred to me that many folks may not know things which are simply taken for granted. So, here goes.
These banners represent the first four years the Red Sox won the American League pennant. You will note that three are red, which represent World Series Championships. The blue 1904 banner tells us that they did not win the World Series in 1904, the reason was there was not one played.
You see this man, John McGraw the manager of the New York Giants, the national league champs, really hated this man,
He is Ban Johnson, he was president of the new american league. McGraw said that the american league was a minor league and thus his team was already the World Champs because they won the pennant in the only “major league.” He totally discounted the fact that the Boston Americans, had defeated the Pirates the previous year. Anyway, McGraw, the Giants and the national league got lambasted in the press and we’ve had a World Series ever since. (With the exception of the players strike in 1994).
Back to Fenway Park and Yawkey Way.
The 2004 blue banner tells us this photo was taken during the 2004 World Series!
It marks a change in the way the franchise perceives itself, for just a few short years ago, they celebrated by hanging banners for winning the american league eastern division. It is clear that this version of the Red Sox are not satisfied with that. Their goal, to play in the World Series every year! This is a throw back 100 years to their expectations in Fenway Park’s first decade.
Yawkey Way, once called Jersey Street has undergone a transformation and today a ticket is required to participate in the festivities which take place before each game.
It is a far cry from the simplicity of days gone by.
Jersey Street 1946 All Star Game.
And Yawkey Way has incorporated into the Fenway Park experience, the history of the ball park and the franchise. In so doing they make a bold statement about it’s expectations to maintain itself as one of the premier franchises in all of baseball.
Tomorrow we’ll take a walk down Van Ness Street.
And so it is on this date in Fenway Park history, February 14, 2012.