Red Sox refuse to rent Fenway Park to Braves
Do you remember your first time? Age can be cruel by tainting memories or even exaggerating them especially through young eyes that become old eyes. The first time was on a July evening and a night game at Braves Field before just 5,442 fans that included myself and my mother who was gifting me with a school is out reward.
What I do remember is my first impression and that was of a cavernous field and a rather worn field. But the most significant view was our seats in the first row right by the third base side so I can see my favorite player Eddie Mathews up live and personal.
Mathews was just a rookie that season and only 20-years-old so being an only child, maybe it was a big brother thing? Mathews did not disappoint as he hit a home run that was just number seven of a career that would produce 512 and a Hall of Fame career. This was 1952 and the last season for the Braves in Boston, but what if they stayed?
The Braves had triumvirate ownership with Lou Perini as the titular head of the operation. The partnership was based on the mutual interest of baseball and construction and the ownership was dubbed by the ever-creative Boston media “The three steam shovels.” The Braves were a wreck as a team and with a stadium that no longer met the needs of the fans.
Tom Yawkey has reached iconic stature in the Boston area and some are most certainly deserved, but as with the racial issue, there is another one such as greasing the skids for the Braves’ departure to Milwaukee. The Braves had been refused requests to rent Fenway Park – repeated requests – that eventually culminated in the last-minute departure from Boston.
Baseball had franchise stability for fifty years with the last movement being the Baltimore team becoming the New York Highlanders (Yankees) in1903. Yes – the Yankees were not an original American League team! That now changed and set in motion a series of shifts and eventually expansion.
What could have been is questionable? The Braves were on the cusp of a revival with an influx of talent and some shrewd trades that would take place and culminate in a World Series Championship in 1957. There is a distinct possibility that they could have remained in Boston with the Braves and their construction magnates building a new park and invigorating a great rivalry.