The renovation to Fenway Park's upper level was completed in 1983 and featured luxury boxes, new sky-view seating and the ballpark's first elevator. On the field, the Red Sox labored through their first losing season in nearly two decades and the franchise suffered through ownership in-fighting.
Record: 78-84, 6th in American League East
Manager: Ralph G. Houk
After 16 consecutive winning seasons, the Red Sox finished under .500 in 1983 and sunk to sixth place.
The only new face on the team was Tony Armas, who was acquired from Oakland in exchange for Carney Lansford during the offseason. Armas hit 36 home runs and 107 RBIs despite hitting just .218. With Lansford gone, Wade Boggs hit .361 and won the batting title, while Jim Rice was the team's main power leader with 39 homers and 126 RBIs. Contributing off the bench was Rick Miller, who went 16 for 35 (.457) as a pinch-hitter.
The pitching staff was led by John Tudor, Bruce Hurst and Bobby Ojeda, three home-grown lefties who combined for 37 wins.
From the start of the year, all of Red Sox Nation knew that 1983 would be Carl Yastrzemski's 23rd and final season. After pre-game ceremonies on October 1, Yaz ran the full circumference of Fenway Park and touched hands with fans in the front seats. The next day, he hit a single in his final game and retired having played in a then-record 3,308 major league games.
A darker moment came on June 6, when a benefit for the stricken Tony Conigliaro was overshadowed by General Partner Buddy LeRoux's announcement that he was taking over the ballclub. Writers dubbed the debacle "Coup LeRoux," but Jean Yawkey, Haywood Sullivan and John Harrington eventually prevailed in court, forcing LeRoux to sell his interest in the Red Sox in 1987.
In 1983, the two-stage renovation of the roof level was completed. The addition of 23 luxury boxes down the left-field line brought Fenway's total to 44 and new roof seats were built on top of the newly tarred roof above both sides of the infield. Fenway Park also received its first elevator when one was installed near Gate D and a new staircase from the ground to the roof helped access the newly expanded upper level.
In addition, the last true bleacher seats (wooden planks without backs) at Fenway Park were removed and replaced with green plastic seats. The bleacher seats remained until 2007, when they were replaced with new ones as part of a project to waterproof the concrete in the bleachers.
Outside of Fenway Park, the Citgo sign in Kenmore Square was repaired and turned back on during the 7th inning stretch on August 10, 1983. It was the first time it had been lit since the late 1979, when it was darkened as a symbol of energy conservation at the urging of then Governor Edward King.
The 1983 All-Star Game between the Cape Cod Baseball League and Atlantic Coast Baseball League teams resulted in a 6-2 Cape victory.
|1983 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park|
|July 25||Cape Cod Baseball League 6, Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League 2*|
* From 1975 to 1987, on a biennial basis, Fenway Park hosted an all-star game between the Cape Code Baseball League and the Atlantic Collegiate League. The all-star game alternated between Fenway Park and sites closer to the ACL's teams, such as Yankee Stadium and Veterans Stadium. In 1988, the Cape Cod Baseball League returned to an intra-league format for their annual all-star game and in 2009, Cape Code League All-Stars returned to Fenway Park for the Cape Cod League All-Star Game, which was played again in 2010.