Few realize that the first baseball game ever played at Fenway Park was between the Boston Red Sox and the Harvard College nine on April 9, 1912. Fenway is now celebrating its centennial with a season of special events, and the story of that first game—a 2-0 win for the Red Sox, the game called on account of chilly temperatures and darkness, as there were no lights at Fenway then—makes a fascinating opener to the history of Major League Baseball’s oldest playing field.
One century to the day after that contest, the Harvard baseball team again trotted out onto the field at Fenway, this time to celebrate the centennial with an extended session of batting practice at the invitation of the Red Sox, who were playing a road game in Toronto. The Harvard athletes had a blast—and hit a few, as well, sending some shots over the towering left-field Green Monster and rattling even more off it. The Crimson squad even got a taste of life in “the show,” as local media covered the occasion: The Boston Globe ran an account the next day, and a television reporter from New England Cable News interviewed Harvard players and head baseball coach Joe Walsh. The JumboTron screen displayed pictures from the history of Harvard baseball, and the left-field scoreboard, showing “Harvard” as the visiting team, gave the line score of that April 9, 1912 game—all seven innings of it.