Members of the 2004 World Series Championship Boston Red Sox are honored on Sept. 25, 2012, including Kevin Millar, who throws baseballs to fans while riding a Duck Boat into Fenway Park, before the game.
Age is a number
At 100, Fenway is one of only two parks to be considered "classic" parks still in use. The other, Wrigley Field, serves as home to the Chicago Cubs. Fenway's century of use makes it the oldest venue used by a professional sports team in the United States since Chicago's original Comiskey Park was razed in 1991.
Fill 'er up!
Boston's faithful have filled Fenway Park since May 15, 2003. The consecutive sellout record of 712 games entering the 2012 season is easily baseball's longest. The team (and its dedicated fans) broke the previous MLB record of 455 consecutive sellouts set by the Indians at Jacobs (now Progressive) Field.
Renovations to "America's Most Beloved Ballpark" continued all the way through 2011. The Red Sox added state-of-the-art, high-definition video display and scoring systems, upgrades to the concourse (including new and extended concession areas) and upgrades to the lower seating bowl in right. The 2011 improvements marked the end of a 10-year commitment to renovating Fenway, just in time to celebrate its 100th anniversary.
Ring it in
The Red Sox boast the third-most World Series championships of any American League club, with seven, trailing the Yankees (27) and Athletics (nine). The Red Sox enjoyed loads of success early in the 1900s, winning five titles from 1903 to '18. Boston fell victim to one of the biggest championship droughts in baseball history, however, going 86 years without a World Series title. In 2004, the Red Sox snapped the so-called "Curse of the Bambino," winning their sixth title. They snagged their most recent World Series triumph in 2007.
No tale about the Red Sox or their home would be complete without the mention of Boston's biggest rival, the New York Yankees. The two squads have met more than 2,000 times, with the series at 1,132–954–14 in the Yankees' favor. There have been numerous brawls at both homes, but perhaps the most famous in recent history came in 2003. In the 2003 American League Championship Series, the benches cleared after a couple of inside pitches angered both sides. Yankees bench coach Don Zimmer, then 72, charged Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez, who, in turn, threw the coach to the ground.
Much like its cast of sometimes strange characters on the field, Fenway Park features a few quirks of its own. Built into the dense Fenway-Kenmore neighborhood, Fenway's renovations are limited to a constrained location. The most notable feature of Fenway Park is the left-field wall, dubbed "The Green Monster." Standing at more than 37 feet tall, the Monster is only 310-315 feet from home plate, depending on the source you believe. Other park eccentricities include "The Triangle" in right-center field and "Pesky's Pole" down the right-field line, named for longtime Red Sox player and coach Johnny Pesky (pictured, middle).
Getting a boost
Despite the popularity of the Red Sox, Fenway Park had the smallest seating capacity in the major leagues before 2008. Although renovations have bumped the official capacity up to 37,493, Fenway is still one of the smallest parks in terms of seating capacity.
Sharing is caring
In true New England hospitality fashion, the Red Sox shared Fenway Park with their crosstown rivals, the National League's Boston Braves, in 1914 and '15. Once Braves Field was completed, the Red Sox reclaimed their home as their own.
Located at 4 Yawkey Way in Boston, construction of Fenway Park began on Sept. 25, 1911. Construction continued into the early months of 1912, and Fenway hosted its first baseball game on April 9. That game was an exhibition between the Red Sox and Harvard College. Eleven days later, the Red Sox played their first official game at the park against the New York Highlanders. Boston went on to win the American League pennant and the World Series that season.
The Red Sox and the city of Boston have been pulling out all the stops in recognition of Fenway's milestone.
Show of respect
The New York Yankees wore this throwback uniform for the game against the Red Sox on April 20, the 100th anniversary of the vaunted ballpark.
Paint the town
Baseball fans get a chance to step foot on the field at Fenway Park on April 19 during an open house.
Boston Red Sox great Johnny Pesky, center, is greeted by former players including Nomar Garciaparra, left, at Fenway Park on April 20, 2012, during a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the first regular-season game at the ballpark.
Old and new
Boston Red Sox legend Carl Yazstremski talks with teh team's new skipper Bobby Valentine during 100 Years of Fenway Park activities on April 20, 2012.
Getty ImagesJim Rogash
Then and now
Recently retired Boston Red Sox players Jason Varitek, top left, and Tim Wakefield flank DH David Ortiz, and accompany Red Sox legends Bobby Doerr, right, and Johnny Pesky onto the field during ceremonies to celebrate the 100th anniversary of a regular season baseball game at Fenway Park on April 20, 2012.
Conductor John Williams leads the Boston Pops before the 100th-anniversary game at Fenway Park on April 20.
Wouldn't miss it
Boston Red Sox greats Johnny Pesky and Bobby Doerr are wheeled off the field by Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield, respectively, during the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Fenway's first game.
All for one
A huge contingent of former Boston Red Sox players, coaches and managers acknowledges the fans during a ceremony before the 100th-anniversary game at Fenway Park on April 20.
Gathering of greats
Current and former Red Sox players, coaches and managers stand on the field before the 100th-anniversary game between the Red Sox and Yankees on April 20. The one-time players entered from the outfield and took their former positions on the field, stirring fans' emotions.
A giant flag covers the Green Monster as the national anthem is played before the game between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees on April 20, commemorating the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park in Boston.
Toast of the town
Former Boston Red Sox players Pedro Martinez and Kevin Millar lead a toast before the anniversary game against the Yankees at Fenway Park on April 20.
Former Red Sox players, coaches and managers gather on the field as the jets fly over Fenway for the 100th-anniversary celebration.
Case in bronze
Fans line up at Fenway's Gate B and surround the statues of Red Sox legends Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr, Johnny Pesky and Dom DiMaggio before the start of the 100th anniversary celebration and the game between the Yankees and Red Sox. Doerr and Pesky attended the 100th-anniversary celebration.
A fan wears a commemorative ticket before the start of the 100th anniversary game at Fenway between the Red Sox and Yankees.
The Green Monster scoreboard has a special message for the 100th anniversary celebration before the game between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox on April 20.
Up close and personal
Fans view the scoreboard section of the Green Monster left field wall during an open house at Fenway Park on April 19, part of the Red Sox's celebration of the 100th anniversary of the first regular-season baseball game at the park.
Remembering No. 6
Fenway Park grounds crew water the infield of the baseball park near a large number six, top, before ceremonies held to honor the life of the late Johnny Pesky in Boston on Sept. 23, 2012. Pesky, who died in August at the age of 92, was a player, manager, and coach for the team.
A photo of the late Boston Red Sox baseball player Johnny Pesky is displayed in front of the Green Monster on Sept. 23, 2012. Ceremonies honored the life of Pesky who was a player, manager, and coach for the team. Pesky died in August 2012.
Members of the 2004 World Series Championship Boston Red Sox yell "play ball" as they are honored during ceremonies at Fenway Park before a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays on Sept. 25, 2012.