The first year of the 1930s brought more of the same at Fenway Park; the Red Sox continued to lose and finished in last place in the American League for the seventh straight year, the annual war memorial was held at the park, amateur baseball was interspersed with the Red Sox season and football dominated the Fenway Park calendar in the fall.

The Red Sox

Record: 52-102, 8th in American League
Manager: Charles H. (Heinie) Wagner
Attendance: 444,045

Heinie Wagner took over as Red Sox manager in 1930 but the team won six fewer games, losing 102 on their way to eighth place once again. Still, in the first year after the Stock Market Crash of 1929, home attendance actually jumped by more than 50,000.

Milt Gaston and Jack Russell each lost 20 games in 1930 but the biggest loss of the year occurred in early May, when the team traded Red Ruffing to the Yankees for Cedric Durst and $50,000. Though Ruffing had started the 1930 season 0-3 and had lost 47 games for the Red Sox during the previous two seasons, he found great success after leaving Boston and won 231 games for the Yankees during his Hall of Fame career.

Earl Webb, who had been acquired from the Cubs, led the team with a .323 batting average and rookie Tom Oliver finished second at .293. Oliver led the league in at-bats with 646 while striking out just 25 times, tying a league record for the fewest strikeouts by a rookie. From 1930 through 1933, Oliver compiled 1,931 at-bats without hitting a single home run, the longest stretch of at-bats without a home run since the start of the 20th century. Webb, on the other hand, hit 16 home runs in 1930, the most by a Red Sox player since Babe Ruth hit 29 in 1919.

Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park

The Gurnett & Company team from the Bankers & Brokers League played three games at Fenway Park in 1930, including the league's first-half title game. On August 8, the Boston Park Department and the Community Service of Boston held the Class C finals of their field day events, which included a circling the bases competition, a throwing for accuracy drill and a catcher's throw.

1930 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park
June 251930 All-Interscholastic team 5, 1929 All-Interscholastic team 2
July 23Gurnett & Co. 5, Stone & Webster & Blodget 2 (Bankers & Brokers League First-Half Championship)
August 8Class C finals of the Baseball Field Day Events of the Boston Park Department and the Community Service of Boston
August 26Gurnett & Co. 5, Atlantic National Bank 0
September 4Agawam A. A. 5, Gurnett & Co. 1

More Than a Ballpark™

As a new decade dawned and the Red Sox persisted in the doldrums of the Quinn ownership era, Fenway Park was again busy with non-baseball events in 1930. The annual war memorial mass was held in May and a pair of highly-anticipated boxing matches was interspersed between baseball games during the summer months. In mid-September, the Boston Fire Department's band and other groups rehearsed at Fenway Park in preparation for Boston's Tercentenary Parade. In the fall, Boston College's football team had an up-and-down season at the park that culminated with a 7-0 loss to Holy Cross on November 29. Adding insult to injury, following the defeat, a fuse blew in the BC dressing room and forced the players to change out of their uniforms in the dark.

1930 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park
May 18War Memorial Service*
July 2Jim Braddock Beats Joe Monte (Boxing)
September 2Babe Hunt vs. Ernie Schaaf Heavyweight Fight (Boxing)
Sept. 11-12Rehearsal for Boston Fire Department 150-Man Band and Others
September 27Boston College 54, Catholic University 7 (Football)
October 4Boston College High 7, Boston English 0 (Football)
October 6Boston College 13, U. S. Marines of Philadelphia 7 (Football)
October 10Boston College High 7, Boston Latin 0 (Football)
October 12Fordham and BC Football Teams Practice
October 13Fordham 3, Boston College 0 (Football)
October 25Boston College 15, Dayton College 6 (Football)
November 1Marquette 6, Boston College 0 (Football)
November 8Georgetown 20, Boston College 19 (Football)
November 22Boston College 47, Boston University 7 (Football)
November 29Holy Cross 7, Boston College 0 (Football)

*Started in the 1910s, a late May memorial service coinciding with the Memorial Day weekend was often held at Fenway Park through the mid-20th Century.

Opening Day Preparations In 1934 (Credit: The Brearley Collection)