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In 1951, the Red Sox celebrated the franchise's 50th anniversary and honored members of the 1901 Boston Americans in May. The following month, future Red Sox first baseman Harry Agganis appeared at Fenway Park as a member of a Marines team from Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, where he played both football and baseball. The local star, who had also played at Fenway Park in 1949 as a member of the Boston University football team, batted cleanup and helped lead the camp's baseball team over Boston College. In the fall, Agganis returned to Boston University to play quarterback, and also returned to Fenway Park, where the Terriers played their home football games. On October 13, 1951 at Fenway Park, Agganis led BU to a 16-0 victory over his former teammates on the Camp Lejeune football squad.

The Red Sox

Record: 87-67, 3rd in American League
Manager: Stephen F. O'Neill
Attendance: 1,312,282

The Red Sox celebrated the franchise's 50th year by honoring the 1901 Boston Americans on May 15, 1951. With several surviving members of the team in attendance (including Cy Young), Ted Williams hit his 300th career home run in a losing effort.

From May 21 through a Memorial Day doubleheader sweep of the Yankees before 35, 824 at Fenway Park, the Red Sox enjoyed a 10-game winning streak but still found themselves three games back at the end of it.

The team climbed into first place shortly after the All-Star break, part of a torrid July stretch primed by Clyde Vollmer, who hit 13 home runs during the month after slugging just 23 home runs in six prior big league seasons.

Williams led the team with 30 homers, 126 RBIs and a .318 average. Mel Parnell's 18-11 record topped the pitching staff and reliever Ellis "Old Folks" Kinder went 11-2 with a 2.55 ERA.

Though they stayed close to the Yankees through mid-September, the Red Sox ended the season losing nine in a row. On September 22, Bobby Doerr announced his retirement due to a spinal condition that had plagued him for a couple seasons. His 1,865 games played were more than any other player in team history up to that point. That same day Mel Parnell shutout of the Yankees prevented the Red Sox from losing their last 13 games of the year, and in late October, Lou Boudreau supplanted Steve O'Neill as manager.

Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park

After leaving Boston University following the Terriers' 1949 football season at Fenway Park, multi-sport star Harry Agganis returned to the ballpark in 1951 as a member of the Camp Lejeune Marines baseball team. Agganis, who was stationed at the camp, played first base and batted cleanup for the Marines in their victory over Boston College on June 4. Just a few days later, multiple rounds of the Eastern Massachusetts schoolboy tournament were held at the park.

1951 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park
June 4Camp Lejeune Marines 4, Boston College 3 (Navy Relief Society Benefit)
June 6Somerville High 11, Melrose High 4
June 6Haverhill High 3, Natick High 1
June 7Mission High 7, Hyde Park High 1
June 7Durfee High 2, Newton High 1
June 8Somerville High 2, Haverhill High 0
June 8Mission High 11, Durfee High 9
June 9Somerville High 6, Mission High 4 (Eastern Mass Schoolboy Tournament Title Game)
June 9Hudson High 6, Scituate High 0 (Eastern Mass Schoolboy Tournament "SmallSchool" Title Game)
June 25Sandlot Baseball Game

More Than a Ballpark™

Boston University's football team started the 1951 season with six straight wins at Fenway Park, including a victory over College of the Pacific on October 19 that was called the greatest New England upset since Holy Cross' defeat of Boston College at Fenway in 1942. With a chance to finish their home season with a perfect record, the Terriers fell to Syracuse 26-19 on November 24, despite three touchdowns by star Harry Agganis.

1951 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park
October 5Boston University 39, Louisville 7 (Football)
October 13Boston University 16, Camp Lejeune Marines 0 (Football)
October 19Boston University 27, College of the Pacific 12 (Football)
November 3Boston University 52, New York University 6 (Football)
November 10Boston University 35, Oregon 6 (Football)
November 17Boston University 39, University of Wichita 6 (Football)
November 24Syracuse 26, Boston University 19 (Football)

The Red Sox during the National Anthem in 1951 (Credit: Leslie Jones Collection/Boston Public Library)