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The occasion calls for a little more than a cake and a round of “Happy Birthday,’’ which is why the Red Sox are going all out for Fenway Park' s 100th birthday celebration next year.
“Pardon us, but we think this deserves to be celebrated in a major way,’’ said team president and CEO Larry Lucchino during an elaborately staged sneak peek of the plans yesterday at Fenway Park. “It is a museum and it is also a vibrant, lively ballpark.’’
Even before the first homestand, the Red Sox will hold two events to mark the 100th.
On April 19, the Sox will host an Open House, free of charge, to all fans interested in wandering through the ballpark. Fans will view the park’s expanded collection of historic items, as well as dugout tunnels and the clubhouse usually closed to the public.
On April 9, the Harvard baseball team will play against a Red Sox “team’’ — the actual team will be in Toronto — to mark the 100th anniversary of the first-ever game played at Fenway when the Sox beat the Crimson, 2-0, in that exhibition.
April 20 marks the actual anniversary of the first regular-season Red Sox game at Fenway and the same foe, the New York Yankees will be on hand. First pitch will be 3 p.m., the same time the game started 100 years earlier.
Football may also return in a year-ending event, Sox executive Sam Kennedy told the Herald. A college or high school game is expected, but the team has yet to start formal discussions with prospective teams.
Also, another soccer match, likely featuring the Liverpool club owned by Red Sox owner John Henry could make the schedule in June or July.
Herald:Happy 100th Fenway Park
Finally, something else to celebrate this other than a brick or a coffee table book! To see some actual sporting events happen in Fenway would be wonderful! I don't know why Henry or Lucchino didn't petition MLB to actually play a regular season game on the 100th anniversary but we'll see Harvard go up against the likes of Lou Merloni, Brian Daubach, and Trot Nixon (Not confirmed but I'm hoping they would just get all the dirt dog/fan favorites.).
For all the fun that I poke at Fenway Park and what it's become, it's still the home to many of the greatest moments in not just baseball but sports history. Everyone in New England remembers their first time going to Fenway and it's become a rite of passage as a Red Sox fan. The seats are cramped and there are a few seats where you can't see a thing on the field but it could be worse.. look at the hideous thing Tampa Bay plays in.
Rest of the Links: Globe:Cherington sticking with plan|Sox cautious with Yu Darvish|Herald:Halos spice up AL Race|Sox must weigh pen to rotation move|Happy 100th Fenway Park|CSNNE:Cherington:"We have a good team"|Sox hoping playoffs expand|WEEI:Sox unlikely to pursue Darvish|Lucchino: Major trade: "always a possibility"