Huntington Ave Baseball Grounds, Boston

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The original playing field for the Red Sox. The building on the far right is still standing.

 

The site of the original Red Sox field from 1901-1911 is now part of the quad at Northeastern University.  The walkway is called “World Series Way.” This a plaque commemorating the 1903 win in the first World Series.

 
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There is a statue of Cy Young where the mound was.

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This granite marker indicates where home plate was and includes the names of all the starting players.

The original home of the Boston Red Sox from 1901-1911. The Red Sox (originally called the Americans – a name coined by newspaper reporters because Boston’s National League team had already been playing for thirty years and the rival American League was brand new. This is why even today you hear reporters refer to the National League as the Senior Circuit. Unofficial early nicknames for the Boston American League team also included the Somersets and Pilgrims. The officially adopted Red Sox in 1907 while Cy Young was still on the team and they were still playing here.

When the AL debuted in 1901 the Boston team decided they could draw fans away from the National League Boston Braves by charging half as much for tickets. It worked. In 1900, the last year of NL-only baseball in Boston, the Braves drew 2,767 fans. In the AL inaugural year of 1901 the Braves attendance dropped to 2,093 and the Red Sox drew 4,195 fans.

There’s a reference to this ballpark in the song “Tessie” by the Dropkick Murphys (“Up from 3rd base to Huntington they sang another victory song…2,3,4”) which is played these days after every Red Sox win at Fenway.

The rival Boston Braves played at the South End Grounds right across the railroad tracks for the first 11 years until the Sox moved to the brand new Fenway Park in 1912.  My grandfather told me about this. I remember watching the All-Star game with him in the 50’s and he told me he was rooting for the National League. I couldn’t understand that, because we were an American League city. We were Red Sox fans. Years later I figured it out. He was born in 1881 and grew up rooting for the Boston Braves (or the Boston Beaneaters as they were known when he was a kid) because the Red Sox didn’t even show up until he was 20 years old. By the time the Braves blew town he was already a grandfather three times over. But toward the end he switched his allegiance to the Sox.

The Red sox won the American League pennant again in 1904, but the New York Giants, winners of the National League pennant, refused to play Boston in the World’s Series. They were mad that this upstart American League had won the first World’s Series and did not want to risk a repeat, so the 1904 World’s Series was canceled. The Red Sox should get credit for winning it by forfeit. Those New York Giants would eventually face the Red Sox in the 1912 World Series, which the Red Sox won in 7 games.

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