Fenway Park: 5 new books about the beloved ballpark

5 new books to check out about the fabled stadium

2. 'Fenway: A Fascinating First Century,' by the editors of Sports Illustrated

When you can throw the resources of the world’s premier sports magazine into a book project, there’s bound to be a lot to recommend it.  That’s the case here, as SI plays to its strengths – great photographs and compelling writing. While it provides the requisite historical markers in succinct, timeline fashion, pictures are the star of this book, including one of pitcher Jim Lonborg, his jersey half ripped from his body, determinedly making his way through a sea of fans with Boston cops at his side, after his 1967 pennant-winning performance. The most sensational image of all, however, is a panoramic, four-page foldout of a packed Fenway Park taken during the 1914 World Series, when the National League's Boston Braves were allowed to use the stadium. It's a picture that one can sit and study for a long time and discover a multitude of fascinating details.

Stories by staff writers are selected to accompany the pictures from each of Fenway’s decades. In the 1930s section, there’s a piece about outfielder Earl Webb, who is little remembered today but set a major-league record for the most doubles in a season (67) that still stands. A focus of the 1970s isn’t on Carlton Fisk’s iconic World Series home run, as one might expect, but on Carl Yastrzemski’s 3,000th career hit in 1979. Yaz called it the hardest to achieve of his 23-year career.

In a fan-appealing feature at the back of the book, 100 fun facts about Fenway’s history are listed. These include the fact that Mickey Mantle struck out more often at Fenway than did any other opposing player and that in 1950 golf balls distributed to fans on “Caddy Day” rained down from angry fans after a Red Sox loss.

2 of 5

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.