The 3 Oldest Continually-Operating Professional Baseball Fields in the U.S.
1) Fenway Park – 4 Yawkey Way, Boston, MA
Fenway from Legend's Box by User Jared Vincent on Flickr - Originally posted to Flickr as Fenway-from Legend's Box. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
Groundbreaking took place on 25 September, 1911, for the famed home of the Boston Red Sox, and the first official game was played at the new stadium on April 20, 1912 against the New York Highlanders (though an exhibition game between the Sox and Harvard College had been played on April 9). Prior to the construction of Fenway, the Sox played at the Huntington Avenue Grounds (upon which the athletic department of Northeastern University now resides), but then-owner John Taylor conveniently was able to move the ballpark to a parcel of land owned by his father in the Fens area of Boston – a real estate deal that was fortuitous for the Taylor family and the Fens neighborhood.
Fenway Park in Boston is continuing its annual summer concert series this year with two classic artists. On Friday, Bruce Springsteen announced that he is heading to Fenway on August 14 as part of his Wrecking Ball Tour. Roger Waters, currently on his The Wall Live Tour, also has a scheduled a concert at the park on July 1.
Springsteen's announcement brings things full circle, as he was the first artist scheduled to play a show at the park when it began hosting concerts on September 6, 2003, but he wasn't actually the first to appear at the park. Here's a quick look at the highlights:
1999 - Limp Bizkit
That's right, Limp Bizkit was actually the first band to perform at the park, albeit without permission. On Sunday, June 13, 1999, the band climbed atop the roof of the Fenway parking garage and proceeded to play a 5-song set before the unauthorized concert was discovered by police. By the time authorities got to the park, 1,500 fans had flocked to see the band play, creating a traffic jam.
Growing up in New England as a Red Sox fan, Fenway Park quickly became one of those places that I had to see when I was a kid. When I was 10 years old I got that chance and I can still remember the feeling of seeing the ballpark for the first time because I still get it every time I go back. On television, Fenway seems huge with the "Green Monster" overlooking the entire stadium. Then when you walk in you realize that the park is small, intimate, and a great place to watch a game.
Today is Fenway's 100th birthday and for a century now it has been America's greatest ballpark. It is on almost any sports fan's bucket list of "places to visit before you die" and with good reason. No ballpark has ever been open for 100 years, no ballpark still standing has seen as much history, and no ballpark is as connected and important to a sports franchise and its fans.
It's crazy to think just five days before Fenway opened the Titanic sunk in the Atlantic Ocean, and it's crazy to think of everything that has happened since 1912. There have been 18 presidents, two world wars, the invention of the television, and something named "Snooki" became a pop-culture star.
Needless to say, people in 1912 never thought that Fenway would still be standing in 2012, but it is and by the looks of things it isn't going anywhere anytime soon.