The Boston Red Sox today launched a series of special events and programs that will take place to commemorate the upcoming 100th anniversary celebration of Fenway Park, America’s Most Beloved Ballpark and the oldest operating Major League ballpark in the United States. 

The celebration will highlight Fenway Park and Red Sox history over the past one hundred years, commemorating the wide range of sports, music, civic, philanthropic, and community events that Fenway Park has hosted during its first century.

“It is with great anticipation that we announce the events for Fenway Park's 100th Anniversary celebration,” said Principal Owner John Henry. “As we embark on the next century of baseball in one of the great cathedrals of sport, we look forward to joining with our fans to celebrate the rich history and character of this ballpark.  We have a saying around here that I’m particularly fond of, and I think it is very well-suited for this special occasion – ‘Fenway Park: It never gets old’.”

“The promise to preserve Fenway Park, a commitment we made more than ten years ago when our ownership group assumed stewardship of this franchise, was made in recognition of what a living shrine to history this ballpark is for so many in Red Sox Nation,” said Chairman Tom Werner. “As we prepare to celebrate this centennial with our fans and neighbors, we look forward to commemorating our great home by preserving its artifacts and rich history so that it can be shared with generations to come.”

“Fenway Park is a jewel of this city and a second home to Red Sox fans,” said President/CEO Larry Lucchino. “Fenway’s important history and key role require that we celebrate this historic anniversary with great enthusiasm and pride, and we shall.” 

Commemorating America’s Most Beloved Ballpark

To help ensure that as many fans as possible can enjoy Fenway Park during its centennial celebration, the Red Sox will host an Open House on April 19. Throughout the day, fans can enter the ballpark free of charge to view historical artifacts, memorabilia and other displays on the eve of the 100th birthday on April 20. Fans will also have an opportunity to meet various Red Sox Legends and visit parts of the ballpark not normally accessible to fans such as the dugout tunnels and clubhouse.

For select games during the 2012 season, the team will also be hosting Throwback Days, where both the Red Sox and the opposing team will dress in historic uniforms from previous eras. One of the Throwback Days will take place on May 2, when the team will face the Oakland Athletics and wear 1936 uniforms as a nod to the year when Hall of Famer Jimmie Foxx was sold by the then-Philadelphia Athletics to the Boston Red Sox. Foxx made an immediate impact on the team, winning the Most Valuable Player award in 1938. Information on additional Throwback Days will be announced closer to the start of the season.  

Fans attending games at Fenway Park next year can also look forward to a new commemorative ticket design for both single-game and season tickets. The new tickets incorporate an historical black and white photo of the ballpark’s Gate A entrance taken in 1912.

The team, in conjunction with Major League Baseball, has produced and printed a 256-page coffee table book – an homage to baseball’s oldest ballpark that details the life of a place whose history in the sport is unparalleled. With a foreword penned by Stephen King, the pages of this remarkable retrospective are filled with over 300 compelling historical images – including some that have never before been seen – and tributes from some of the ballpark’s biggest admirers, including Doris Kearns Goodwin, Conan O’Brien, George Will, Charles Ogletree, and Bobby Orr. The book, Fenway Park: 100 Years, is available to the public starting today, December 8, online at redsox.com/fenwaybook  or at the Official Team Store, Twins, located on Yawkey Way.  

Additional information on these and other upcoming items and events celebrating Fenway Park’s 100th anniversary celebration are available at fenwaypark100.com.

Preserving and Sharing the History of Fenway Park

In an effort to share the rich history and artifacts of Fenway Park with the community, the Red Sox have launched a new initiative entitled, “Fenway Park – A Living Museum,” designed to highlight the historical events that have taken place at the ballpark through displays, artifacts and an enhanced tour program.

The Red Sox have been cataloguing artifacts over the past few years to have a complete record of the historical pieces in the club’s possession in time for the 100th anniversary. The undertaking included the documentation and preservation of more than 4,000 artifacts including, an extensive historical photo collection, architectural plans and blueprints, baseballs, and ballpark artifacts such as chairs, signs, tickets, lineup cards, bases and championship pennants.

Many of “The Nation’s Archives” will be on display throughout the ballpark during the 2012 season for fans to enjoy, and will also become key elements on an enhanced tour of Fenway Park. The team is adding more than 50 new elements to the collection of plaques, displays and historical markers and more than 100 such items will be featured in the ballpark by Opening Day. 

As a way to help preserve, share and celebrate Fenway Park’s rich history, the Red Sox have established the “Preserve Fenway Park Fund,” a not-for-profit fund that will serve as a vehicle to support the preservation and display of historic elements and items at Fenway Park. The Fund will also enable fans who would like to make a donation towards the preservation of Fenway Park – through an endowment or contribution of historic memorabilia – to receive a full tax deduction for their gift. Donations to the Fund will be used to make Fenway Park a true living museum through the creation and maintenance of plaques, statues, and display cases to showcase its rich history.  

“100 Acts of Kindness”

As a way to highlight and support the important work done by the many charitable institutions throughout New England, the Red Sox will conduct “100 Acts of Kindness” with various not-for-profit organizations during the 100th anniversary season. These “100 Acts of Kindness” will take on a number of different forms, including donations, volunteer efforts and hosting community events. Each Act will be designed to highlight charities throughout New England above and beyond the thousands of organizations the Red Sox currently support each year.

The first two Acts of Kindness took place today with the Red Sox donating a copy of the Fenway Park: 100 Years coffee table book to each of the 18 Boston Public Library branches and each of the 125 Boston Public Schools.

Starting next week, the Red Sox will be performing six Acts of Kindness, one in each of the New England States including Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Maine, Vermont and Rhode Island. The December Acts of Kindness will run from Monday, December 12 through Monday, December 19, highlighting the following six organizations:

  • In recognition of the important work done by the Massachusetts Department of Children & Families in South Weymouth, MA, the Red Sox will make a donation of holiday gifts to their organization on Monday, December 12.
  • In recognition of the important work done by New Horizons for New Hampshire, an adult homeless shelter, food kitchen, and pantry in Manchester, NH, the Red Sox will be making a donation of 100 Turkeys and assembled holiday baskets to the organization on Tuesday, December 13.
  • In recognition of the important work done by the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center in Portland, ME, the Red Sox will make a donation of holiday gifts and toys to patients at the hospital on Wednesday, December 14. All gifts and toys were sponsored in their entirety by Twins, the Red Sox Souvenir Store on Yawkey Way.
  • In recognition of the important work done by the Bridgeport Rescue Mission in Bridgeport, CT, the Red Sox will donate bedding including, sheets, blankets, pillows and pillowcases, to the organization on Thursday, December 15
  • In recognition of the important work done by the Committee for Temporary Shelter (COTS) in Burlington, VT, the Red Sox will donate canned goods and towels to the organization on Friday, December 16; and 
  • In recognition of the important work done by Meals on Wheels of Rhode Island, the Red Sox will aid the organization by delivering and serving nutritious holiday meals for 100 people at the St. Martin De Porres Multi-Cultural Senior Center in Providence, R.I., on Monday, December 19. All meals were provided at a discount by area caterer Baker’s Best in Newton, MA.

All Acts of Kindness will be conducted by Red Sox ownership, players, alumni and staff. Additional Acts of Kindness will be announced throughout 2012, culminating with 100 Acts by the end of year.

Engaging Red Sox Nation

During last April’s announcement of the 100th anniversary preparations, the organization asked fans to share their ideas for the celebration and provided them with an outlet on fenwaypark100.com. Through the website and additional fan focus groups, the team used feedback from the Fenway Faithful to come up with a number of initiatives, many of which will be implemented throughout the celebration next year. 

The idea to produce a commemorative coffee table book and to showcase uniforms from previous eras came directly from fans. Fans also expressed an interest in voting on an all-time Red Sox team. In response to this request, they will now have a chance to vote on players from various decades that will create the All-Fenway Team, comprised of members of the Red Sox team who have played at Fenway Park and best represent its history. Online voting for the All-Fenway team will launch in 2012 on fenwaypark100.com.

Through the fenwaypark100.com webpage, Red Sox fans will also have an opportunity to visit the Red Sox Hall of Fame, a digital webpage dedicated to enshrining players and executives who have contributed extensively to the tradition of the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox Hall of Fame page launched today, December 8.

Fans will also be able to share their Favorite Personal Fenway Park Moments by uploading photos that represent their fondest memories at the ballpark. Fans can also continue to share their stories about America’s Most Beloved Ballpark on fenwaypark100.com by emailing FenwayPark100@redsox.com.

Additionally, the Red Sox will challenge fans to create their own history on April 20 by attempting to break the Guinness Book of World Record for largest toast, using Welch’s Sparkling Juice Cocktails, as Red Sox Nation collectively and simultaneously pays tribute to Fenway Park on its 100th anniversary prior to the game. 

In an effort to involve some of the younger fans, the Red Sox will be conducting Mayor Menino’s Fenway Park 100 Essay Contests, a competition among students from the Boston Public Schools to write an essay drawing upon personal experiences, features of the ballpark and its place in the annals of American sports. Students are encouraged to read and refer to the book Fenway Park: 100 Years, a copy of which has been donated by the Boston Red Sox to every Boston Public School. Further details about these contests will be announced in the Spring.

Additional fan ideas for the 100th anniversary celebration are already in the works and will be announced closer to the start of baseball season.