Published on Apr 26, 2012
The Boston Red Sox celebrated Fenway Park's centennial by welcoming more than 200 former players and coaches back onto its landmark lawn. Here's my video of the celebration from the opening comments to the introduction of the first player, Jim Rice, in left field... to the introduction of Tim Wakefield - Johnny Pesky - David Ortiz - Bobby Doerr - Jason Varitek... to John Williams conducting Fanfare for Fenway with the Boston Pops. I posted the national anthem and the flyover as a separate video.
If you want to scroll ahead, here are some of the introductions:
3:00 Jim Rice
3:25 Dwight Evans
3:50 Bill Buckner
4:25 Jerry Remy
4:35 Rico Petrocelli
5:00 Jim Lonborg
5:10 Luis Tiant
5:30 Bruce Hurst
6:00 Tony Conigliaro
6:20 Carlton Fisk
6:50 Denny Doyle
7:50 Rich Gedman, David Henderson
8:00 Sam Horn
8:25 Pedro Martinez
11:40 Lou Merloni
11:50 Nomar Garciaparra
14:15 Jose Canseco
15:05 Kevin Millar
15:20 Terry Francona
16:05 Alan Embree, Mike Timlin, Keith Foulke
16:20 Mike Lowell, Alex Cora
17:20 Luis Alicea
17:30 Pumpsie Green
18:40 Bill Lee
19:20 Dennis Eckersley
20:00 Mo Vaughn
21:20 Carl Yastrzemski
22:00 2012 Boston Red Sox
24:30 Tim Wakefield, Johnny Pesky, David Ortiz, Bobby Doerr, Jason Varitek
26:45 John Williams and the Boston Pops (Fanfare for Fenway)
Some excerpts from Sports Illustrated's article about the event:
Walking onto the field to the theme from Field of Dreams and the cheers of the ballpark's 719th consecutive sellout crowd, players from Don Aase to Bob Zupcic gathered at their positions and then watched as Caroline Kennedy took part in a ceremonial first pitch from the first-base box seats 100 years after her great-grandfather did the same.
Doomed for the wrecking ball before the current owners bought the team in 2002, Fenway now has seats above the Green Monster and an HD video screen -- not to mention lights above the upper decks and black and Latin players in the field -- all unimaginable when it opened the same week the Titanic sank.
The Red Sox are planning a season-long birthday party for the ballpark, with a special logo and historic plaques, books and bricks and even a musical composition by Oscar-winner John Williams. The ceremonies began on Monday, much as they did 100 years earlier, with the Harvard baseball team on the field, and on Thursday more than 53,000 fans filed through the gates for an open house.
For the actual anniversary on Friday, the Red Sox brought out the bunting and the Green Monster-sized U.S. flag and hundreds of players from the franchise's not-always glorious history.
Jim Rice began the procession of former ballplayers, coming out of a gate under the stands and taking his familiar place in left field. What followed was a steady procession of graying ballplayers in starched white or yellowing jerseys, giving the fans one more chance to cheer for stars Carlton Fisk and Carl Yastrzemski or fan favorites like Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd, Bill "Spaceman" Lee, Bill Buckner, Luis Tiant and Nomar Garciaparra.
Pumpsie Green, who became the franchise's first black ballplayer more than a decade after Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier, received a warm cheer. The crowd did not seem to know whether to applaud or boo for Jose Canseco, whose two seasons in Boston were characterized by forgettable play and hints he would drop about a book he planned to write.
After taking their positions, the players all gathered around the oldest of the old-timers, Johnny Pesky and Bobby Doerr, who were pushed out to second base in wheelchairs by recently retired Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield.
Pesky, 92, was in tears.
Among the bigger cheers was the chant of "Tito!" that greeted Terry Francona, the manager of the '04 and '07 champions who was let go after the team's unprecedented collapse last September. Francona, who was angered by a newspaper article revealing details about personal troubles during the 2011 season, said he would not attend before relenting.
They were all joined on the field by the current players, who were wearing replica uniforms matching the 1912 style, including all white caps. The Yankees also wore throwbacks; it's believed to be the first time in franchise history they have deigned to do so.
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