2012 -- H 8015

Enacted 03/28/12








     Introduced By: Representatives Kennedy, Fox, Mattiello, E Coderre, and Baldelli-Hunt

     Date Introduced: March 28, 2012



     WHEREAS, Historic Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox and beloved by Red

Sox fans and baseball lovers throughout the world for its quaint intimacy, its world famous Green

Monster, and for the seamless fit between its architecture and the surrounding urban landscape, is

celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2012. This celebration will be observed by the Boston Red

Sox, their millions of fans, and by traditional baseball and architecture lovers across the country

and globe; and

     WHEREAS, Fenway Park opened in 1912 and is the oldest Major League Baseball Park

still in use. Built for the then-princely sum of $650,000, its asymmetrical design stemmed from

the need to position the park against the contours of the bustling and dense “Fenway-Kenmore”

neighborhood of Boston. Its architecture resulted in a small capacity for a major league baseball

park and its many endearing features, such as the short Pesky Pole down the right field line and

the “Triangle” in deep Center Field. Fenway Park’s lack of much foul territory brings the

spectators very close to the action and helps give it its reputation as a “hitters park,” because most

foul balls hit by a batter land in the stands, out of the grasp of the fielders, thus affording hitters

extra swings at the plate; and

     WHEREAS, Fenway Park’s most prominent, famous, and beloved feature is the Green

Monster in the left field. Only approximately 310 to 315 feet down the line, and alleged to be

even shorter by rival teams, this feature is instantly recognizable to baseball fans anywhere in the

world when watching a game from Fenway Park on television. A common experience for just

about every youngster on his or her first trip to Fenway Park is to gasp in amazement at the

wonder of the Green Monster when climbing the stairs and seeing the park in person; and

     WHEREAS, Perhaps the most famous moment in the rich history of Fenway Park and

Major League Baseball was Carlton Fisk’s historic home run to win game six of the 1975 World

Series, which kept the Red Sox alive and forced a game 7 against the Cincinnati Reds. In the 12th

inning of game six, arguably the greatest game in baseball history, with the score tied, Carlton

Fisk hit a long fly ball down the left field line and toward the Green Monster. In dramatic fashion,

he hopped down the base line willing the ball fair with his arms, hands, hips, and every other part

of his body. To the rapturous joy of every Red Sox fan in the world, the ball hit the foul pole, now

called the “Fisk Foul Pole,” was ruled fair, and the Red Sox won the game. This event was

witnessed by countless millions on national television and the image of Fisk directing the ball fair

against the background of the Green Monster is one of the most famous moments and enduring

images in American sports history; and

     WHEREAS, Fenway Park is the one of the last two original Major League Baseball parks

in existence, along with Wrigley Field, that has had so many of the early baseball greats play on

its field. Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Jimmie Foxx, Lefty Grove, Mickey Cochrane,

Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Bob Feller, Al Kaline, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, and countless

other stars have played baseball on this historic ground. It’s the place where the greatest hitter in

baseball history, Ted Williams, became the last player to compile a batting average over .400, in

1941. It’s the place that has a lone red seat in the right field bleachers to commemorate a 520-foot

blast Ted Williams hit on June 9, 1946. It’s the place where Ted Williams, in his last at bat ever,

in dramatic fashion, hit a home run; and

     WHEREAS, Fenway Park is also home of the “Impossible Dream,” the famous 1967

season when the Red Sox, after a decade of horrible baseball and almost total futility, shocked the

baseball world and won the American League Pennant. Led by Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski

and his Triple Crown season, Jim Lonborg, winner of the Cy Young Award, and other beloved

Red Sox players like Rico Petrocelli, George Scott, and Tony Conigliaro, the Red Sox won

arguably the greatest and most thrilling pennant race in baseball history. Fittingly, the Red Sox

won the pennant on the last day of the regular season at home against the pennant contending

Minnesota Twins, aided by the strong pitching of Jim Lonborg, and the clutch hitting of 1967

American League Most Valuable Player, Carl Yastrzemski; and

     WHEREAS, After eighty-six years of heartbreak and not winning a world championship,

the Red Sox in 2004 finally exorcised the “Curse of the Bambino” and won their first World

Series since 1918. The Red Sox had to defeat their hated historic rival, the New York Yankees,

on their way to World Series victory. The Red Sox became the first team in baseball history to

come back from a 3-0 deficit in a best of seven series and win the series. In game 4 at Fenway,

the Red Sox were facing elimination, down 4-3 in the ninth inning, when they dramatically forced

the game into extra innings and won the game in the 12th inning when David Ortiz hit a two-run

homer. Game five incredibly went 14 innings and was won once again by the clutch David Ortiz

with a single. In game six at Yankee Stadium the Red Sox and their depleted pitching staff had to

turn to the injured Curt Schilling to force a game seven. Pitching in pain with a bleeding right

ankle throughout the game, Schilling turned in one of the gutsiest pitching performances in

baseball history, holding the explosive Yankee offense to one run over seven innings, and getting

the Red Sox to game 7. In game 7 the Red Sox completed their historic comeback led by Derek

Lowe’s strong pitching and Johnny Damon’s two home runs, including a Grand slam, to win 10-3

and earn the right to play the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series. The 2004 World Series was

far less dramatic as the Red Sox swept the Cardinals and won their first world championship

since 1918; and

     WHEREAS, The Red Sox thankfully did not wait another eighty-six years to win another

World Series. This time it took only three years. The 2007 Red Sox went 96-66 in the regular

season, tying the Cleveland Indians for the best record in baseball and edging out the New York

Yankees for the divisional title by two games. The Red Sox swept the Angels 3-0 in the first

round of the playoffs, and then in the second round against the Cleveland Indians, once again

came back from behind, and won the American League Championship series. Down three games

to one to the Indians and facing elimination in Cleveland in game 5, the Red Sox fought off

elimination led by a masterful pitching performance by Josh Beckett. The Red Sox would win the

last 3 games of the American League Championship Series by a combined score of 30-5 and win

the series 4 games to 3. Once again, the Championship series proved to be the more dramatic set

of games, as the Red Sox went on to sweep the Colorado Rockies and win the 2007 World Series

title; and

     WHEREAS, Fenway Park is a magical place where the improbable and impossible

frequently occur. It holds a special place in the hearts of all Red Sox fans and is a distinguished

part of baseball lore. May Fenway Park have another 100 years as the home of the Boston Red

Sox and as a special place where baseball is played the way it was meant to be played; now,

therefore be it

     RESOLVED, That this House of Representatives of the State of Rhode Island and

Providence Plantations hereby commemorates the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park, home of our

beloved Boston Red Sox; and be it further

     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and he hereby is authorized and directed to

transmit duly certified copies of this resolution to Boston Red Sox owners John Henry, Tom

Werner, and Larry Lucchino.