record: 105-47, 1st in the American leaguemanager: j. garland (jake) stahlattendance: 597,096postseason: won the world series
The Red Sox opened the 1912 season with new owners and a new stadium. General Carlos H. Taylor and his son John I. Taylor had sold the majority interest in the team to James Mcaleer in September 1911, but the Taylor family stayed on as supervisors of the construction of the club’s new ballpark. After a hectic winter of work, Fenway Park, the new home of the Boston Red Sox, was ready for an April 9 exhibition against Harvard University, a game the Sox won 2-0 amid snowfall. the opening day of the regular season was scheduled for April 18, 1912 and not only did it rain that day, but so did the patriot day games the next day, with the newspaper headlines focusing mostly on the sinking of the titanic steamship which had sunk on April 15.
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When the Red Sox finally took the field for the first official game on April 20, 1912, some 27,000 fans watched the Red Sox prevail in a 7-6 extra inning victory over the New York Highlanders (renamed Red Sox). as Yankees in 1913). Boston Mayor John “Honey Fitz” Fitzgerald, prominent member of the Royal Rooters fan club and grandfather of future President John F. Kennedy threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
one of james mcaleer’s first moves had been to lure back first baseman jake stahl, who hadn’t played in 1911, by making him the manager and giving him a small ownership stake. Under Stahl’s leadership, the Red Sox clinched first place on June 15 and never gave up.
The 1912 Red Sox pitching staff was led by 22-year-old Smoky Joe Wood, who went 34-5 (including 35 complete games) with a 1.91 ERA. Wood’s start on September 6, 1912, against Walter Johnson was considered the game of the year, with Wood prevailing 1-0 for his record-tying 16th straight victory before a packed Fenway Park. Wood was joined on the staff by two other 20-game winners, Buck O’Brien and Hugh Bedient, as well as Charley Hall and Ray Collins.
With a .383 batting average, 90 RBIs and 10 home runs and a league-leading 53 doubles, center fielder Tris Speaker was the 1912 American League winner of the Chalmers Award (the equivalent of Most Valuable Player, presented by the car company of the same name). speaker played spectacular center field and had three long hitting streaks during the 1912 season.
The Red Sox finished the season with a 105-47 record, which remains the best winning percentage in team history. The team also compiled the largest run differential in franchise history, scoring 799 runs while allowing just 544. Boston in particular dominated New York, with the Sox winning 19 of 21 games on the season and finishing 55 games for the season. ahead of the Highlanders, the biggest gap between the two teams.
The Red Sox faced the rugged New York Giants in the 1912 World Series. Boston jumped out to a 3-1 series lead but lost the next two to force a winner-take-all finish. carries it all in fenway. The Sox trailed 2-1 in the final game before the bottom of the 10th inning, but Giants center fielder Fred Snodgrass’ fly ball brought the Sox to life and set the stage for the game-winning sacrifice fly. from Larry Gardner’s game, securing Boston’s first World Series title at Fenway Park.
fenway’s first home run
When Fenway Park opened, the most prominent feature that greeted fans was the exceptionally tall left field wall. At a time when home runs were few and far between, hardly anyone believed a hitter could send a ball over and past the towering structure.
However, on April 26, 1912, an unlikely figure etched his name into Fenway Park lore with a historic throw to left field. Boston backup first baseman Hugh Bradley, a Central Massachusetts native with only one previous round trip in his major league career, hit Fenway Park’s first home run against the Philadelphia Athletics during Game 5 at home of the equipment in your new park.
The shot was Bradley’s only home run of the season and the last of his career. Following the 1912 season, Bradley went on to play two seasons in the Federal League before bouncing around the minor leagues for several years, then retiring. But Bradley’s home run on April 26, 1912 lives on in baseball history as the first of many home runs at Fenway Park.
the 1912 world series
The 1912 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Giants began on the polo grounds, with 300 Boston royals taking the train to Gotham for the first game. The Boston contingent included a 30-piece marching band and most of the group wore bright red sweaters with matching hatbands and pennants proclaiming “Red Sox Champions of the World.” Boston Mayor and prominent royal supporter John “Honey Fitz” Fitzgerald led the group in singing “Tessie,” a song that supporters used in Boston’s first World Series performance against Pittsburgh in 1903. The cheers worked and Boston won the first game, 4 -3.
on wednesday, october 9, 1912, fenway park hosted game two, the first game of the world series at the new park. the contest ended in a 6–6 tie when the game was called after 11 innings due to darkness. at the time, it was only the second World Series game to end in a tie, the first being game one of the 1907 series.
on october 10, 1912, before game three at fenway park, tris speaker was presented with a chalmers roadster for winning the season’s most valuable player award and took the car for a spin before the game. After Boston dropped Game 3 to the Giants, the series alternated between the two cities. The Red Sox won the next two games, giving them a 3-1 series lead, but, facing elimination, the Giants won Game 6 at home to force a return to Boston.
Three games to two (not counting the tie), royal fans marched to fenway park on october 15 hoping to witness the ultimate victory at home. Led by their band, supporters marched towards Fenway only to find that their usual seats had been sold to others. the game was stopped while the police restrained the supporters, who nearly rioted. The Giants beat the Red Sox 11-4 in game seven, setting up a decider for the winner-takes-all series the next day.
To cap off what many consider to be the greatest World Series ever played, Game 8 was held at Fenway Park but, due to a boycott organized by still furious fans, was only seen by 17,000 fans. The pitch was excellent, pitting the Giants’ already legendary Christy Mathewson (whose 23-12 record in 1912 represented his 10th straight 20-plus-win season) against 22-year-old rookie Hugh Bedient, who was 20-9. With a 2.92 era in 1912. Both pitchers were outstanding, but the Giants were leading 1-0 when the Red Sox came to bat in the bottom of the seventh. With two out and two on, pinch-hitter extraordinaire Olaf Henriksen replaced Bedient and doubled in the tying run.
smoky joe wood replaced the beacon and shut down the giants in the eighth and ninth. but the Red Sox failed to generate any offense, and the game went into extra innings. With one out in the top of the tenth, New York’s Red Murray doubled and then scored on teammate Fred Merkle’s single. Now leading 2-1, Mathewson started the bottom of the 10th by prompting pinch hitter Clyde Engle to lift a routine fly ball to center field, but New York’s Fred Snodgrass dropped the ball and Engle ended up at second base.
The play went down in baseball lore as the “$30,000 muff,” as that amount was the difference between the collective actions of the winners and losers. Harry Hooper quickly hit a ball to Snodgrass, who made a great catch, but Engle caught up and took third place. After Steve Yerkes walked, Tris Speaker hit a pop-up foul but fell between Merkle and Meyers. Given new life, Speaker singled, tying the score, and Yerkes took third place. Mathewson intentionally walked Duffy Lewis to put power on each base, but Larry Gardner hit a sacrifice fly to deep right field and Yerkes ran home to give the Red Sox the World Series victory.
The Giants had outhit the Red Sox (.270 to .220) and outscored the Red Sox by six runs. His pitch was much better overall (1.59 ERA vs. Boston’s 2.92) but timing was everything, as it often is, and the Red Sox emerged victorious. After the series, thousands upon thousands of raving Red Sox fans lined the celebration route from Fenway Park to Faneuil Hall, where Mayor Fitzgerald welcomed the 1912 World Champions.