Titanic/Fenway Park 100 Years Later

April 13, 2012 | Marty Mossa

You know I love to link history with sports. I did it in regards to Pearl Harbor, and the JFK Assassination in Dallas. Well I can’t help linking the much famed sinking of the Titanic to Major League Baseball.

At 11.40pm on the night of 14 April 1912, en route from Europe to New York, the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg that ultimately lead to her sinking. It took only three hours to submerge. At 2:20am on the morning of 15 April, Titanic disappeared beneath the cold, icy surface of the North Atlantic Ocean. As a result, more than 1,500 lives were lost. This resulted in almost 66% of all the people on board. (Courtesy of http://www.titanicfacts.net/, 2012)

As the devastating news hit the shores of North America, Major League Baseball was about to begin its 1912 season. A new ball park was to open in Boston, Massachusetts. Although over shadowed by the excessive loss of life at the hands of Titanic passengers five days earlier; Boston’s Fenway Park opened with much enthusiasm.

It was April 20, 1912: Babe Ruth was 17, Tris Speaker and Smoky Joe Wood were the best players on the team, and the Red Sox were successfully aiming to win their second World Series. Boston’s beautiful new ball park in the “Fenway” opened before a crowd of 24,000 spectators. The game started at 1:10 in the bright afternoon. The Sox were down in the 11th inning and Steve Yerkes, on third, the batter Tristram Speaker hit in the winning run. The Sox won 7 to 6. To the crowd’s delight, they left for home. (http://seamheads.com/2011/04/19/opening-day-for-fenway-park-april-20-1912/)

According to seamheads (2011), the day was ideal. The sun brought out the bright colors of the flags and bunting that decorated the grandstand. It gave the new uniforms of the players a “natty” look. Before the game started, the crowd broke into the outfield and remained behind the ropes, forcing the teams to make ground rules, all hits going for two bases. The stadium grounds were in fair condition that day, although there were spots where the ground was soft and lumpy, and this caused fumbling that would never have occurred on a dry field.

I would love to have a time machine and go back to see that ball game in Boston in 1912. The Orioles fans will celebrate the 20th anniversary of Camden Yards, the Boston fans will do the same as they celebrate the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park.