The Red Sox opened their 1912 season April 11th in New York’s Hilltop Park. They did it with a comeback win against the Highlanders and all the runs in the game came in the first and ninth innings.
Harry Wolverton Highlander manager dons the Yankee pinstripes, the first time they appeared on the New York uniform. This was the last season the New York team was known as the Highlanders. In 1913 they moved to the Polo Grounds and officially changed their name to the Yankees.
The New Yorkers unveiled the pinstripes for the first time. They wore them for the 1912 season however abandoned them for 1913 and 1914. They reappeared for the 1915 season and they have grown to be as much a part of the Yankee mystique as any player or ballpark.
Smokey Joe Wood was the Red Sox opening day pitcher as he lifted the curtain on what became perhaps the greatest year of any Red Sox pitcher in history. He was 34-5, with a 1.91 ERA and he threw 10 shutouts.
The Red Sox scored a run in the first inning and the Highlanders countered with two in the bottom half of the frame. That was all the scoring until the ninth when Wood got his bat into the act with a two run single. That provided the difference as he allowed a run in the New York ninth but completed the game for his first win of the season as the Red Sox prevailed 5-3.
Ray Caldwell was Wood’s mound opponent and suffered the loss. He pitched for the Red Sox in 1919.
“Smokey” Joe at an old timers game at Fenway Park in 1939 wearing the uniform of Yale University. To his left are Cy Young, Lefty Grove and Walter Johnson. Wood managed at Yale for 20 years.
In Fenway’s inaugural season of 1912, the Red Sox did not have a losing record against any team in the league. The Indians played them even in 22 games winning 11 of them. They were at their best against New York beating them 19 time in 21 games.
Since Fenway’s inception the Red Sox have opened their season in New York a total of 17 times. They have won six and lost 11 breaking down to 1-0 at Hilltop Park, 2-0 at the Polo Grounds and 3-11 at Yankee Stadium I. They have yet to open the season at the “new” Yankee Stadium.
Last night Daniel Bard made his first start as the Red Sox fifth starter in the 2012 season. He pitched five innings, surrendering five runs on eight hits. He walked a batter, struck out six and the Blue Jays hit .348 against him. He took the loss as the Jays beat the Sox 7-3.
The headline in the Boston Globe online sports page said “Daniel Bard had a decent outing in his first start but still took the loss.” Really? A decent outing? When I read that this scenario came into my head. I’m 12 years old and I fell asleep listening to the Red Sox game. I wake up in the morning and Dad is at the breakfast table with the morning paper. I ask, “Did they win”? Sipping his coffee he just shakes his head from side to side. I respond, “How did Bard do”? Dad puts down his coffee, “He got shelled”!
Decent outing? Decent outing? Do you think any one of these guys would think it was a decent outing?
Do you think any of these folks would think it was a decent outing?
Do you think Bard thinks it was a decent outing? Please!!!!!!!
Today the Red Sox are 1-4 and in last place in the American League East, 100 years ago today they were 1-0 and tied for first in the eight team American League.
And so it was and so it is on this date in Fenway Park history, April 11, 1912, April 11, 2012.