With Owner Tom Yawkey's spending temporarily halted, the 1935 Red Sox finished with their first winning record in 17 years. Despite the stronger performance of the team, Fenway Park attendance paradoxically dropped off a bit from the previous year, though the ballpark did attract a crowd of nearly 48,000 fans for a late September doubleheader against the Yankees. Fenway also hosted a bevy of non-Red Sox events, including wrestling and Boston Redskins home football games.

The Red Sox

Record: 78-75, 4th in American League
Manager: Joseph E. Cronin
Attendance: 558,568

On February 8, 1935, Owner Tom Yawkey announced that his spending to acquire ballplayers was over. Though Yawkey's spending would resume after the 1935 season, he had already acquired the services of Joe Cronin, Rick Ferrell, Wes Ferrell, Lefty Grove, Fred Ostermueller, George Pipgras, Rube Walberg and Bill Werber, among others.

Grove returned to form in 1935 and went 20-12 with a 2.70 ERA, while Wes Ferrell won 25 games and posted a 3.52 ERA. The latter was also quite adept with the bat, hitting .347 with seven homers, while his brother and frequent battery mate, Rick, hit .301. Wes was occasionally used as a pinch-hitter and on July 21 he hit a game-winning home run. The next day, he started on the mound and hit another home run to support his own cause in a 12-1 victory (the next time the Red Sox won back-to-back games via the home run was in May 2005). Cronin made his debut as Red Sox player/manager in the 1935 preseason exhibition game against the Braves, and went on to hit .295 with a team-leading 95 RBIs.

The 1935 Red Sox won more games than they lost and were never more than two games below .500 or eight games above. Still, some of the excitement of a new ballpark and team waned a bit and attendance fell by 10 percent. On September 22, however, some 47,627 turned out for a doubleheader with the Yankees, including 5,000 roped off on the field. It remains the largest baseball crowd in Fenway Park history. Far fewer saw a game-ending triple play at Fenway on September 7 that began with a ricochet off Cleveland third baseman Odell Hale's head.

Renovations

Compared to the frenzied pace of renovations following the 1933 season, the next few winters at Fenway Park were relatively tame. Still, the final months of the 1935 calendar year did see a series of minor adjustments: augmentations to the grandstands costing the team a few thousand dollars; new entrances, monetary exchange booths, water bubblers and bathrooms; and various furniture and equipment additions to the team offices.

Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park

Over the course of four June days in 1935, eight Massachusetts high school baseball teams competed at Fenway Park, with Somerville High emerging as champion of the interscholastic tournament by beating Lowell High on June 15. Four days later, a team of Republican legislators from the Massachusetts House of Representatives defeated a team of their Democratic counterparts in a six-inning game. According to an article in The Boston Globe, "the losers demanded a recount, moved reconsideration, rose to sundry points of order and offered to postpone sine die, but the lopsided score still remained." Two more teams of rivals faced off against each other on July 9, 1935, when New York Policemen and Firemen visited Fenway Park to play Boston Policemen and Firemen. After three innings, the game was called due to rain with New York leading, 3-2. Towards the end of the Red Sox season, another interesting matchup pitted Boston baseball writers against the Fenway Park Front Office. This game also lasted only three innings and again, the home team didn't fare well.

1935 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park
June 12Lowell High 2, Mission High of Roxbury 1
June 12St. Mary's of Milford 8, Framingham 7
June 13Somerville High 7, St. Joseph's of Pittsfield 6
June 13Holyoke 6, Taunton 3
June 14Lowell High 9, St. Mary's of Milford 8
June 14Somerville High 10, Holyoke 4
June 15Somerville High 20, Lowell High 8
June 19House Republicans 10, House Democrats 6 (Six Innings)
July 9New York Policemen & Firemen 3, Boston Policemen & Firemen 2 (Three Innings - Called Due To Rain)
September 23Boston Baseball Writers 16, Fenway Park Front Office 3 (Three Innings)

More Than a Ballpark™

On July 9, 1935, the Boston Department of Public Welfare hosted a summer carnival at Fenway Park. Also in 1935, several football games and a pair of wrestling matches, both of which were won by local favorite Dan O'Mahoney, took place at the ballpark. On the gridiron, the Boston Redskins won their first and last home games of the 1935 season at Fenway Park, but lost the other five in between.

1935 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park
May 12War Memorial Service*
June 27Dan O'Mahoney Defeats Jim Londos (Wrestling)
July 9Boston Department of Public Welfare Athletic and Musical Carnival
September 11Dan O'Mahoney Pins Ed Don George (Wrestling)
September 29Boston Redskins 7, Brooklyn Dodgers 3 (Football)
October 6New York Giants 20, Boston Redskins 12 (Football)
October 13Detroit Lions 17, Boston Redskins 7 (Football)
October 16Dorchester High 13, Mechanic Arts 7 (Football)
October 16Charlestown High 0, Jamaica Plain High 0 (Football)
October 17Boston Latin 19, Roxbury Memorial High School 0 (Football)
October 17East Boston High 7, Brighton High 0 (Football)
October 18Hyde Park High 0, South Boston High 0 (Football)
October 18High School of Commerce 8, Boston Trade 0 (Football)
October 23Roxbury Memorial 13, Brighton High 6 (Football)
October 23South Boston High 10, Charlestown 6 (Football)
October 24High School of Commerce 7, Mechanic Arts 0 (Football)
October 24Dorchester High 12, Boston Trade 0 (Football)
October 29Roxbury Memorial 6, Boston Trade 0 (Football)
October 29South Boston High 14, Brighton High 0 (Football)
November 3Philadelphia Eagles 7, Boston Redskins 6 (Football)
November 9Rutgers 12, Boston University 6 (Football)
November 10Chicago Bears 30, Boston Redskins 14 (Football)
November 24Chicago Cardinals 6, Boston Redskins 0 (Football)
December 1Boston Redskins 13, Pittsburgh Pirates 3 (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.


June 27, 1935
 Dan O'Mahoney Defeats Jim Londos At Fenway Park

Long before the mainstream wrestling on television, wrestling was a popular sport in Boston. Matches were held regularly at the Boston Garden, Braves Field and Fenway Park. In the greatest wrestling match ever held at Fenway Park, some 30,000 filled the stands to watch local favorite Dan O'Mahoney, a former soldier in the Irish Free State Army, pin the great Jim Londos after an hour and 16 minutes of what the Boston Post described as "rugged grappling."

In a firsthand Boston Post exclusive O'Mahoney wrote:

"I hardly know what to say. I have just called my father on long distance telephone in Ballydehob, Ireland, and you should have heard the cheering when I told him I had beaten Jim Londos, whom my father regarded as the world's greatest wrestler. The whole village must have been assembled at the farm judging by the noise that came over the 'phone." (Boston Post, June 28, 1935)

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