Fenway at 100

Fenway at 100: A Ballpark's History of Change

By Ibby Caputo   |   Wednesday, August 1, 2012
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As with any centenarian, people talk about Fenway Park with respect. 

“To come out here, it really is wonderful,” says Red Sox historian Dick Bresciani.

He says anyone’s first visit to the home of the Red Sox is one to remember.

“The first time into Fenway, so many fans have walked up the ramp right over there, or right over there,” Bresciani says. “They come in from underneath and they say look at that wall, look at that grass, on a nice day people are amazed.”

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The Sounds of Fenway

By Ibby Caputo   |   Thursday, July 12, 2012
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July 13, 2012

BOSTON — The crack of the bat, the roar of the crowd, the love it/hate it chorus of "Sweet Caroline": the experience of a Sox home game is as much aural as visual. And some of us will always now associate the Dropkick Murphys with an Irish-dancing, World Series–winning closing pitcher. We go behind the Green Monster to meet the people who make the musical magic happen: DJ TJ Connelly and organist Josh Kantor.

Video: The ZOOMers Sing at Fenway

By Cristina Quinn & Elizabeth Deane   |   Thursday, June 21, 2012
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June 22, 2012

BOSTON — Today is Kid Nation Day at Fenway, a day where the little Red Sox fans get to hang out at the park and meet the players. Back in 1999, the cast of the WGBH kids program ZOOM got the chance of a lifetime — to perform the national anthem at Fenway. We were curious: where are they now?

The stands were filled with parents and pint-sized Red Sox fans eating Cracker Jacks and wearing baseball caps they’d eventually grow into. The field was filled with baseball greats like Pedro, Nomar and Wally the Green Monster, signing autographs and taking photos. The WGBH Archives has video footage from that day, shot by ZOOM producer Jim Johnston on his home video camera. Alisa, David, Jared, Lynese, Pablo and Zoe are wearing oversized matching jackets with the word ZOOM embroidered on them — and they're barely able to contain their excitement.

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Making Fenway a Place for Everyone

By Phillip Martin   |   Friday, May 25, 2012
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May 25, 2012

Red Sox fans on a 2012 game day. (Photo: Phillip Martin/WGBH)

BOSTON — Scanning the stands at the start of a game at storied Fenway Park, black and brown faces are noticeably far and very few between; something not lost on Howard Bryant, a black Boston native and a Red Sox fan. 

"Well, looking around the stands, you’re not going to see a lot of diversity in terms of African Americans," he said.

But Bryant and others argue that Fenway Park today is still a vast improvement over the color scheme of the not-so-distant past.

Sam Kennedy, the Red Sox chief operating officer, has been with the team for 11 seasons, arriving with the new owners in 2002.  He says this most recent management team came with a strong vision they expressed from the start.

"No one sort of came in here with their head buried in the sand saying we didn’t have problems. We clearly did," Kennedy recalls. "The quote that Larry Lucchino had was something to the effect that the organization had an undeniable history of racial intolerance, and that was something for our leader to say that, and to say that on the record was a wakeup call to the region that there is a sort of new leadership group in charge."  

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Arthur Griffin's Lens on Fenway

By Jared Bowen   |   Thursday, May 24, 2012
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May 24, 2012

Hear more about the Griffin Museum on Greater Boston

WINCHESTER — Perhaps the best view of the Red Sox these days may be at the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester. Small but industrious, the museum honors Red Sox Nation in its latest show.
It’s a Fenway fest at the museum. The park you love, the moments you know and the ones you will now never be able to forget (think nuns). The Griffin celebrates Fenway Park’s 100th anniversary with a veritable scrapbook.
Paula Tognarelli is the executive director of the Griffin Museum. She said they’ve been anticipating Fenway’s anniversary for some time.
“We’ve been planning this for 2 years. This has been so much fun. We have gone out to a plethora of organizations looking for photographs,” she said.
There are stars and stripes, divine intervention and Fenway itself as the supermodel. It’s a photographic party for the park, according to Tognarelli.
“What it does do is focus on the building itself. People who inhabited the space, people who have visited the space, and I believe it communicates the spirit of a Boston icon,” she said.

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Outside Fenway's Walls: Discussing Baseball and Race on The Takeaway

Friday, May 18, 2012
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May 18, 2012
the takeaway

BOSTON — WGBH welcomed guest host Celeste Headlee from The Takeaway to our studios this morning. For the show's regular broadcast, she shared interviews with Boston locals, including 89.7FM senior reporter Philip Martin, who talked about the story he is reporting for the WGBH News Fenway Fridays series.

Listen to their conversation on the mixed feelings that Massachusettes communities of color have held towards Fenway park and the Red Sox over the decades, from offering their support to the Dodgers and the Yankees, to no love for A-Rod and what Major League Baseball must do to boost its fanbase.

Phillip Martin's full story will air next Friday, May 25th, on Morning Edition. Tune in at 89.7 FM, WGBH Boston.

About Fenway at 100

WGBH News brings you local stories and historic moments from Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, as it marks a century in baseball history. (Fenway photo courtesy of the Boston Red Sox.)

About the Authors
Phillip Martin Phillip Martin
Phillip W. D. Martin is the senior investigative reporter for WGBH Radio News and executive producer for Lifted Veils Productions. In the past, he was a supervising senior editor for NPR, an NPR race relations correspondent and one of the senior producers responsible for creating The World radio program in 1995. He was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard in 1998. Learn more at liftedveils.org.
Jared Bowen Jared Bowen
Jared Bowen is WGBH’s Emmy Award-winning Executive Editor and Host for Arts. 

Tune In for Fenway Fridays on 89.7 FM

WGBH Radio will air Fenway stories on Fridays throughout the baseball season. Listen for accounts of history, innovation, behind-the-scenes and how the arts were influenced by America's oldest ballpark.

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