A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

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Boston Red Sox medal

Boston Red Sox medal Gilt bronze and red enamel medal
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2012 is the 100th anniversary of the opening of Fenway Park, a season that marked Boston's first appearance in the postseason since the inaugural World Series in 1903, when the Boston Pilgrims, who played at the Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds (now the site of Northeastern University), defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates five games to three. The 1912 series pitted the Red Sox against the New York Giants and featured several future Hall of Famers, including pitcher "Smokey" Joe Wood and outfielder Tris Speaker for the Red Sox and pitcher Christy Matthewson for the Giants.

After the Red Sox won the first game, 4-3, at the Polo Grounds in New York, the series moved to Boston. More than 30,000 fans attended the first World Series game at Fenway Park, played on 9 October 1912. The game was notable for the fact that it did not produce a winner. After eleven innings and a score of 6-6, the game had to be called because of darkness. The Giants won three of the next five games, leading to a decisive eighth game in Boston on 16 October. Although only 17,000 people turned out for the final game, it proved to be one of the most exciting of the series. The game was tied 1-1 after nine innings. The Giants scored in the top of the 10th to take the lead, but the Red Sox came back with two runs in the bottom of the inning to win the game 3-2 and claim their second World Series title.

In the years before the first World Series rings were issued in 1922 to the New York Giants, players were awarded medals or money clips for their victories. This 1912 championship medal was made by Frank A. Gendreau, a Boston jeweler who was listed as a watchmaker in the 1912 Boston City Directory. Unlike two other known examples of this medal given to players on the team, the Society's medal does not have a precious stone set into the medal between the crossed bats and is made of bronze, rather than gold. It is unclear whether this medal was a model or was given to someone associated with the team for whom "bling" was unwarranted. It is part of a small subset of sports-related medals in the Society's medal collection. The majority of these medals, issued in the mid to late 19th century, were awards for inter-scholastic and inter-city meets. Please see the MHS website for more information about the collection of numismatics and historical artifacts. These materials can only be viewed by appointment. Researchers can contact the curator, Anne Bentley, at abentley@masshist.org, with any questions.

For Further Reading

Stout, Glenn and Richard A. Johnson. Red Sox Century: One Hundred Years of Red Sox Baseball Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000.

Whalen, Thomas J. When the Red Sox Ruled: Baseball's First Dynasty, 1912-1918 Chicao: Ivan A. Dee, 2011.


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