With the 100th Anniversary season of
It is fitting that such an excellent tribute to the 100 year old park should come from the Globe; the paper and the team are inseparably linked. In 1912, it was Boston Globe publisher Charles Taylor bought the team in 1904 and bequeathed it to his son, John I. Taylor, who became the team’s owner and president. In 1911,
The large format book also features some pieces by Globe mainstays Bob Ryan and Dan Shaughnessy. Ryan writes about his desire to be Smokey Joe Wood back in 1912 and about the legacy that Carl Yastrzemski created in his 22 seasons with the Red Sox. Shaughnessy revels in a cab driver knocking out Harry Frazee and in the equally violent destruction of a man’s hat by a certain Ted Williams home run ball. Other inserts pull the focus away from the Red Sox and baseball, recounting the many other teams and sports that have enjoyed the use of
Power and Driscoll write with the ease and skill one would expect from two long time pros, but their most impressive work here is not their words, but the incredible job they do in mining the Globe’s archives to allow the figures of Fenway’s past to speak again. Pulling quotes from writers and players of days now long gone, the writers create a palpable sense of the present even when recouting events like the 1918 World Series, William’s .406 season and the incredible 1967 "impossible dream" pennant.
However, by far the biggest reason Red Sox fans should consider shelling out the $30 cover price for this book is the quality of thousands of color glossy images that bring to life the men and women the writers are talking about. From the two page balck and white photo of the bleacher crowd amassed for the 1912 World Series on the third page to the large, fold out blueprint from the 1933 renovation of the Park that is included at the back of the book, this 273 page tome is a treasure trove of incredible photography. Virtually every story is accompanied by an equally memorable image. Some images, like the full page print of Jason Vartiek sparing the world from Alex Rodriquez’s face with his catcher’s mitt, are wonderfully familiar to Red Sox fans, but many of images are startlingly new. A young Harry Hooper takes a cut in one small reprint. Smokey Joe warms up in a another, his glove looking like little more than an oven mit. There is a image of a young Babe Ruth, just 20 years old, looking lean and hard in blank Red Sox uniform. More than anything else, these pictures make this book a must-have for Red Sox fans and anyone looking for a view into the history of the greatest place ever built for the sport of baseball.