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Harvard at Fenway, 100 Years Later

4.11.12

Harvard players near the batting cage.

Harvard players near the batting cage.

Photograph by Harvard Magazine/CL

Harvard players are interviewed by a local news station.

Harvard players are interviewed by a local news station.

Photograph by Harvard Magazine/CL

The scoreboard shows the line score of Fenway's first game, on April 9, 1912.

The scoreboard shows the line score of Fenway's first game, on April 9, 1912.

Photograph by Harvard Magazine/CL

Outfielder J.T. Tomes in the batting cage

Outfielder J.T. Tomes in the batting cage

Photograph by Harvard Magazine/CL

A welcome from the Red Sox to the Crimson

A welcome from the Red Sox to the Crimson

Photograph by Harvard Magazine/CL

The JunboTron showed Harvard baseball photographs from years past.

The JunboTron showed Harvard baseball photographs from years past.

Photograph by Harvard Magazine/CL

Former Red Sox pitcher MIke Stenhouse ’80 donned a throwback uniform.

Former Red Sox pitcher MIke Stenhouse ’80 donned a throwback uniform.

Senior Marcus Way in a throwback uniform.

Senior Marcus Way in a throwback uniform.

Photograph by Harvard Magazine/CL

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.