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Fenway 1912: The Birth of a Ballpark, a Championship Season, and Fenway's Remarkable First Year

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  312 ratings  ·  41 reviews

In anticipation of the one hundredth anniversary of America’s most beloved ballpark, the untold story of how Fenway Park was born and the remarkable first season ever played there

For all that has been written in tribute to the great Fenway Park, no one has ever really told the behind-the-scenes true story of its tumultuous yet glorious first year. Nineteen twelve was a lea

Hardcover, 392 pages
Published October 11th 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published January 1st 2011)
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Richard Gazala
Oct 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Although those old enough to remember the 1986 World Series may feel differently, many deem the September collapse of the 2011 Boston Red Sox as the worst flop in the history of Major League Baseball. As recently as August of 2011, smart money in Las Vegas put the chances of the Red Sox making the post-season at 99.4%. The Red Sox proved Vegas wrong by utterly blowing the nine game lead the team enjoyed in the American League Wild Card race in early September. Tony Francona fell on his sword and ...more
Dec 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I liked this a lot. It seems like it is going to be about Fenway Park, but when you think about it, that doesn't really make sense. It would be a very boring book. Instead, this is about the Red Sox 1912 season, when Tris Speaker and Smoky Joe Wood and the rest beat the Giants in an epic World Series. I actually didn't think the stuff about building Fenway was all that interesting, to be honest. Partly because the park has changed so drastically over the years as to be basically unrecognizable. ...more
Don LaFountaine
Apr 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Baseball fans; especially Red Sox fans
I found this to be an interesting book about the building of Fenway Park and the inaugural Red Sox season of 1912 in that historical park.

The beginning of the book starts with the journey of sod from Boston's prior park, Huntington Grounds. The groundskeeper removed it after the last game of the 1911 season and transplanted it. The Sox were not expected to do much in the 1912 season, based on how the previous season went, so Fenway was to be the big attracti0n of the season.

Then a funny thing ha
May 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Not just a comprehensive look at Fenway and the Sox, but also how fans behaved as spectators and of how bizarrely early teams (and the Leagues) were managed. Exhaustive in its detail, it's a bit of a slog when describing the actual structure of the park as it was built, but shines in discussions of team relations and dramas. An interesting if often flowery look at the park and its legacy. ...more
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fenway 1912 is an excellent description of not just the renowned park, but the human aspect and dynamics between the team and fans that happened in its historic first season. Stout vividly depicts the interpersonal relationships inside the locker room of the 1912 Red Sox in addition to providing an interesting history of the stadium's eventful first season. ...more
Steve Kettmann
Oct 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The Boston Red Sox did author Glenn Stout a favor this last season by pulling one of the all-time great collapses in baseball history, a nose dive that will live in infamy. It's much easier for those of us who did not grow up on the Red Sox to tune into the unique lore of this fascinating franchise when we are not being confronted by unstoppable, cash-fueled success.

Stout's Fenway 1912 offers up a stunningly rich buffet of pleasures for the baseball fan, centered around the construction and open
Robert Waddle
Sep 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Fun History

A very detailed, yet interesting book on the first year in Fenway Park. Fabulous background and interest in the team and how that impacted the work and changes to the park. A fun read for a baseball fan.
Christine King
May 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Meticulously researched and heavy on details, facts and figures. Very interesting read!
Zach Koenig
Feb 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
In 1912, the most celebrated ballpark in the history of Major League Baseball opened in Boston. This book serves as a chronicle to that magical season.

Simply put, there are two primary "plots" within "Fenway 1912":

1. The construction of Fenway Park (and requisite maintenance during that inaugural season). If you are fascinated by such things as building schematics, concrete, cement, and general building engineering, these pages will fascinate you. If not, they can easily be skipped over in favor
Tom Kellermann
Feb 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
Being a Red Sox fan I loved this book - gave me a great historical understanding of my favorite baseball team.
Sep 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
As a Detroit Tigers fan, it broke my heart to see Tiger Stadium, which opened the same year as Fenway Park, torn down a few years ago. Make no mistake, Comerica Park, where the Tigers now play, is a beautiful facility. It’s hosted a World Series and an All Star game in its short history; but Tiger Stadium, a.k.a. Briggs Stadium, a.k.a. Navin Field, like Fenway Park, was a throwback to a bygone era.

Jim Thome may have hit his 600th career homerun at Comerica Park this summer, but somehow the sign
Christy B
So, the 2011 Red Sox season landed on a bad note, to put it mildly. I wrote this review way back in May, and I don't want to change the wording. I like it just the way it is.

Fenway 1912 was a really great, concise history of Fenway Park's first year – both the park and the players who called it home.

It's no secret that I'm a huge Red Sox fan. So, when this book came up for review, I couldn't snatch it up fast enough. Learning about the history of a ball park I love so much was something I hadn'
Mar 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Anyone who has ever spent time at Fenway must read this book. The author did some amazing research. It is a little heavy on the engineering and at times I felt like I needed to be at Fenway personally to see what he was talking about. He does bust many myths both about Fenway and early baseball although I don't think it was always intentional. The park was not built to be a "gem" and wasn't even considered one until very recently. The "green monster" was not always called as such. Oddly, he only ...more
Dec 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sports
This is a very intelligent and detailed look at the construction and first year of Fenway Park. The author's fan profile is interesting because he explains his motives for the book and also describes in a journalistic way the pros and cons of the park and the team.

For the most part the book follows the established lead of Devil in the White City, where it is non-fiction written as fiction, although the plot is the baseball season and the World Series that follows. The writing is dense and the s
May 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Glenn Stout is a good writer who had a great idea: write an account of the first baseball season at Fenway Park in 1912, which also happened to be a magical year for the Red Sox. The 1912 Red Sox was the winningest in team history and shocked the powerhouse NY Giants in a memorable 8 (yes 8) game World Series. What I loved about this book was that I didn't know what was going to happen. Even knowing that they win the series I did not know how. And the account is so crazy that you swear they are ...more
Apr 04, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: baseball
An exhaustive (to the brink of being exhausting at times) account of the 1912 season and the opening of Fenway Park. I'd recommend this book only to those baseball fans who desire to know the minutiae of events (like me), because vast portions of this book involve in-game accounts and details that I could easily picture a layman fan finding to be incredibly boring.

Often, when authors take on historical baseball topics, they wisely choose to include larger news events and analysis of the times as
Jun 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Stout is an excellent writer, and how much you enjoy the book will depend on your specific interests. As a Massachusetts native and casual Red Sox fan, I thought Stout was at his best when he nested the ins-and-outs of Red Sox baseball within a broader narrative about the game, the politics, and the history of Boston. However, when Stout spent pages narrating the minutiae of which players made which plays in every game, I was bored to tears and started skimming. I would have preferred more of th ...more
Feb 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Was a little leery about this book. Seems like every book in the baseball section these days is either related to the Yankees or the Red Sox.

So I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed this book. The details of construction were very interesting and the author does a good job of recreating the flavor of baseball in the early 1900s.

The 1912 World Series is among the most famous, but even so, the accounts of the games still leave the reader in anticipation of the next pitch.

Very highly recomm
Jan 14, 2012 added it
I'm not a Red Sox fan, but this was an enjoyable and informative read, written an expert, Glenn Stout. Fenway was one several new stadia -- including Shribe Park in Philly, among others -- that used concrete and steel in construction. This was a huge leap forward from the wooden stadiums of the earlier era; these were flimsy and often burned down. The new parks were better suited to what baseball was becoming in the modern age: mass entertainment. Perfect timing: Fenway turns 100 this year! ...more
Chris Aylott
May 03, 2012 rated it liked it
A comprehensive history of the building of Fenway Park, the 1912 Red Sox, and that year's slugfest -- literally, the players were hitting each other -- of a World Series. It's a good read, especially for Sox fans, though I sometimes wondered if absolutely every detail had to be in there. Then again, Stout apparently has been working on the book for two decades, so you can forgive him for wanting to get it all in. ...more
Apr 01, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: sports
Nice, but not a lot more than that. Probably should be either 30-40 pages longer, for a real read, or 30 pages shorter, for a real light read. Ideally, 3.5 stars. I learned a bit about Boston at this time, the Red Sox at this time, and baseball at this time, but not a lot. Hence my "longer" comment, or else tighten the focus and go shorter. ...more
Holly Cline
Apr 05, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: nook, sports, nypl
This was ok. If you're a Boston fan, you'd probably like it more. The story of the first year in Fenway was interesting, but I think I'd be more into details about the park and less about one season of the team. The epilogue rushed through a lot of cool facts about the park, and I think I'd have enjoyed a more fleshed out version of that than what this is. ...more
Jan 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Slow starting but by the time you reach the World Series can visualize what it's like going to Fenway or the Polo Grounds for games. End of book has every players stats for season and Series...very informative. ...more
Sep 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
As an avid Red Sox fan, I found this book very interesting! It gave me a new perspective of Fenway. I learned a lot about the players and World Series of 1912.
Anyone who wants to know the early history of Fenway should read this book!
Walt Trachim
Sep 07, 2012 rated it liked it
An ok read. Parts were tedious, especially the description of life on the road. The beginning held my attention, however, and it was worth reading about the construction of a new ball park in early 20th century Boston
Ed Logiudice
I will give it a 3 since it was well-researched. The First Fall Classic was a much better book about the 1912 World Series. It's probably my fault for being a fan/student of the early days of Major League Baseball, but no new ground was covered in this novel.... ...more
Nov 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: baseball
What fun. To read this book and see Fenway for the first time last year. The year if Fenway's anniversary!!! ...more
Big League Manager
Jan 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: baseball
Interesting(very interesting if you are a Red Sox fan)story of Fenway Park's first season. Lots of information about the park itself. ...more
David Crowley
Feb 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this book. Good reading as the Red Sox get ready to start the 100th season at Fenway. Will share more details later.
Mar 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
Had some dull moments... But really picked up at the end. A must read for all Fenway/sawks fans.
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