In 2011, the final offseason of a 10-year cycle of major, annual improvements to Fenway Park introduced several upgrades to the 99-year-old home of the Boston Red Sox. Renovations that were completed for the 2011 season included three new state-of-the-art high definition video display and scoring systems, upgrades to the Gate D concourse, and the repair, waterproofing and seat replacements of the lower seating bowl in right field. Once again, the park hosted musical events: two concerts with New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys in June, and two nights with Dropkick Murphys and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones in September. The 2011 Red Sox fell just short of playoff baseball despite superb play throughout most of the season. A classic September swoon became an epic collapse and led to a race for the Wild Card that came right down to the final game of the year, which ended in utter disappointment. Shortly after the season ended, manager Terry Francona concluded his excellent eight-year run as skipper of the Red Sox, along with general manager Theo Epstein, who resigned from the Red Sox to become the new President of Baseball Operations of the Chicago Cubs. Senior Vice President/Assistant GM Ben Cherington was named the new Red Sox general manager on October 25, 2011.
Record: 90-72, 3rd in American League East
Manager: Terry J. Francona
The 2011 season was one of great disappointment, despite superb play through most of the season. The year started poorly, with the highly-touted team losing its first six games, all on the road, en route to a 2-10 start. But during May, June, and July, the Red Sox put together respective monthly records of 19-10, 16-9, and 20-6.
There were injuries and disappointments, but also triumphs and comebacks. Daisuke Matsuzaka was lost for the season in May and would undergo Tommy John surgery, while Clay Buchholz pitched his last game of the year on June 15. After appearing in only 18 games in 2010 due to injuries, Jacoby Ellsbury had a career year and was named American League Comeback Player of the Year. Ellsbury played in all but four games in 2011, leading the team with 32 homers and ranking second in RBIs with 105 while batting .321. Newcomer and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez led the team with 117 runs batted in, with his .338 batting average second in the league (he ranked third in the league in on-base percentage and third in RBIs). Left fielder Carl Crawford, in his first season with the Red Sox, struggled to get going and suffered near-career lows offensively.
Dustin Pedroia's 91 RBIs and 21 homers were both career highs. David Ortiz had another productive year and helped fortify the middle of the order. The catching combination of Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jason Varitek drove in 92 runs, while Marco Scutaro played an admirable shortstop. Relief pitching, particularly fine work by Jonathan Papelbon and Alfredo Aceves, was generally strong.
There were highlights, of course, such as the first triple play at Fenway in years, and the team continued its record-setting sellout streak (at the end of 2011 regular season, the streak stood at 712 consecutive games). The team was riding high through August, completely recovering from the slow start, and was in first place in the AL East by 1 1/2 games over the Yankees and had a nine-game lead in the Wild Card standings. But the team went 7-20 in September and lost the Wild Card spot on the final night of the season.
Shortly after the season ended, manager Terry Francona concluded his eight-year run as skipper of the Red Sox, saying that he had, in essence, experienced difficulty in motivating some of his players and that he believed it was time for "a new voice" in the clubhouse. A few weeks later, general manager Theo Epstein resigned from the Red Sox to become the Chicago Cubs' President of Baseball Operations. Senior Vice President/Assistant GM Ben Cherington was promoted and named the general manager on October 25, 2011, as the team prepared for an important offseason of work.
In 2011, the final offseason of a 10-year cycle of major, annual improvements to Fenway Park introduced several upgrades to the venerable home of the Boston Red Sox. Renovations that were completed for the 2011 season included three new state-of-the-art high definition video display and scoring systems, upgrades to the Gate D concourse including new and extended concession areas, and the repair, waterproofing and seat replacements of the lower seating bowl in right field.
The completion of these improvements fulfilled a pledge made by the ownership group led by John Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino to improve every facet of the ballpark, while preserving and protecting the park for future generations. The improvements completed at Fenway Park over the past 10 years have been designed to ensure that the park will remain structurally sound, and the home of the Boston Red Sox, for the next several decades.
With a 2010-2011 offseason investment estimated at $40 million, the investment for the 10-year program is estimated to total approximately $285 million, the largest investment in the history of the iconic ballpark.
The Red Sox selected ANC Sports to install the trio of state-of-the-art Mitsubishi Electric Diamond Vision LED video screens. The largest of the three displays, a 38-foot-high by 100-foot-wide screen, now serves as the main video board in center field, while two additional Diamond Vision screens -- a 1,700-square-foot screen in left-center field and a 480-square-foot screen above the right-field bleachers -- flank the main display. As part of this project, the club also renovated Fenway Park's control room, an area on the fifth level of the ballpark from which the Red Sox video productions department operates the video boards and other ballpark displays.
In addition to the new video boards, the club performed concrete repair, waterproofing and seat replacements in the right-field lower seating bowl, completing the repair and waterproofing of the entire lower seating bowl that began in 2007. Dugout, Field Box and Loge Box seats in this area were replaced with new seats, while Grandstand seats in right field were refurbished and fitted with self-rising mechanisms allowing easier mobility for fans entering or exiting the rows.
The Red Sox also improved the Gate D concourse area, including a new merchandise stand and expanded concessions. The Gate D concourse was also re-graded with new concrete and the entire ground level concourse running from Gate D to Gate C was repaired and upgraded. Outside of Gate D, a new ticket window booth was constructed and the old will call window inside the gate was removed to create better movement into and out of the Gate D area.
In 2011, The Cape Cod League All-Star Game was again played at Fenway Park with the Eastern League All-Stars besting their Western counterparts by a score of 4-1. The annual Futures at Fenway event also continued for its sixth straight year at the ballpark, but Red Sox affiliates dropped both ends of the double-header.
|2011 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park|
|July 29||Cape Cod League All-Star Game: East 4, West 1|
|August 20||Futures At Fenway: Binghamton Mets 6, Portland Sea Dogs 4 (11 innings)|
Syracuse Chiefs 3, Pawtucket Red Sox 1
**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.
2011 was Fenway Park's 100th season, and was full of planning for the official 100th anniversary in 2012. Once again, the park hosted musical events - two nights of concerts with New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys in June, and two nights with Dropkick Murphys and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones in September. There was also a first-ever "Faith Day at Fenway" inspired by some of the players themselves and featuring testimonies by Adrian Gonzalez, Daniel Bard, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and J.D. Drew.
The park also hosted a number of special events such as the Fenway Park Bridal Festival, the Comcast Latino Family Festival, and -- for about two weeks in late October and early November -- "The Fear at Fenway" presented by Spooky World. Fenway Park also added to its silver-screen résumé with a pair of filmings that took place at the ballpark.
|2011 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park|
|May 8||Mother's Day Walk|
|May 22||Run to Home Base|
|June 11||New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys Concert|
|June 19||Father's Day Walk|
|June and July||Filming of "Ted"|
|July 24||Picnic in the Park|
|August 21||Comcast Latino Family Festival|
|September||Filming of "R.I.P.D."|
|September 8 and 9||Dropkick Murphys and Mighty Mighty Bosstones Concerts|
|September 18||Faith Day at Fenway|
|October and November||"The Fear at Fenway" presented by SpookyWorld|