BOSTON — Callie Crossley spoke about Fenway Park's past with Christopher Klein, author of A Die-Hard Sports Fan's Guide to Boston: A Spectator's Handbook. They discussed Fenway from its time as a small, wooden stadium on Huntington Avenue, to its days as a civic gathering space where presidents and pachyderms once convened.
Klein said, "What most people don't realize about Fenway is that it was more than just a baseball stadium to the people who lived here. It really was a civic gathering spot." Both Boston College and Boston Univeristy held football games at Fenway, as did several professional football teams who got their start in Boston. Among other sporting events held at Fenway were the matches of the Boston Beacons, a 1960s Boston soccer team, and the Bruins hosted a Winter Classic match in Fenway against the Philadelphia Flyers in 2009. Even the Harlem Globetrotters have played a few basketball games in Fenway.
Not only did all kinds of sports teams get their moment of fame on Fenway's field. The park has also played host to numerous political rallies and performances. FDR gave his last campaign speech in Fenway in 1944, which was also broadcast on radio, and Fenway has offered music fans concerts over the decades, from John Philip Sousa in 1929 to Bruce Springsteen in 2003 and again this year.
Do you have a memory of attending a civic event at Fenway Park? Tell us about it in the comments below.
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About Fenway at 100WGBH 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.)
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