The Creation of Fenway Park
Fenway Park opened on April 20, 1912, making it the oldest ballpark still in active use in Major League Baseball. Fenway Park is actually the second home for the Sox. In 1901, the Boston Pilgrims became one of the teams in the American League. The Pilgrims played at the Huntington Avenue Grounds, now a part of Northeastern University's campus. Boston Globe owner General Charles Henry Taylor, a Civil War veteran, bought the team for his son John I. Taylor in 1904. In 1907, owner Taylor changed the club's name from the Pilgrims to the Red Sox. In 1910, tired of the leasing arrangement for the Huntington Avenue Grounds, Taylor made a big announcement: he would build a new ballpark for his Red Sox. Taylor dubbed the new ballpark Fenway Park because of its location in the Fenway section of Boston.
Fenway Park's Early Years
Its opening in 1912 was not mentioned on top page in the newspaper, happening, as it did five days after the sinking of the Titanic. Fenway Park is one of the few remaining classic parks in major league baseball to have a significant number of obstructed view seats. These are sold as such, and are a reminder of the architectural limitations of older ballparks.
On May 8, 1926, Fenway Park caught fire, destroying bleacher seats down the left field line. Yet nothing was done until Tom Yawkey bought the Red Sox in 1933. Yawkey, a rich man devoted to getting the Red Sox a championship, re-did the stadium in 1934. He put concrete bleachers in center to replace the old wood ones, "Duffy's Cliff" was leveled off (not completely), and the 37' wooden left field wall was replaced by a more durable, 37' sheet metal structure. This would later be known as the "Green Monster". However, the screen was replaced after the 2002 season with more seating atop the Green Monster (in an attempt to fit as many seats as possible in Fenway).
Modern Day Fenway
In 1940, bullpens were constructed in right field bringing the fence 23' closer to home plate. This was done for second year player Ted Williams, a natural left-handed pull hitter. Sky-view seats were put in during 1946, followed by lights in 1947, and Diamond Vision over the center field bleachers in 1976. Private suites were added to the roof in 1983, and a glassed-in seating section called the 600 Club was built behind home plate in 1988. Scientists and studies have showed that the installation on the 600 Club has affected the wind currents in Fenway, creating swirling winds around the field instead of a direct wind towards the outfield often times.