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A Yankee Fan's History of Fenway Park

  • September 23, 1955 The Yankees clinch the AL Pennant with a 3-2 win over the Red Sox, although the winning pitcher isn't there to see it. Relieved in the eighth inning by Whitey Ford, Don Larsen turns on all the showers in the visiting clubhouse to drown out the crowd noise and the clubhouse radio, and hides in an adjacent utility room. His teammates find him still in his uniform, sitting on a block of ice, with his fingers in his ears, drinking a beer.

  • July 7, 1956 After muffing a windblown flyball hit by Mickey Mantle in the top of the 11th inning, Ted Williams spits on Boston fans, who had booed him for the error. The Red Sox win the game anyway on Williams's bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the inning. He is fined $5000 for what is his third spitting incident in three weeks. Before the game, Boston right fielder Jackie Jensen has to be restrained from going into the stands after a heckler.

  • September 23, 1956 "If I could run like that son of a bitch, I'd hit .400 every year," says Ted Williams about Mantle, who takes the lead in the batting race during this season-ending clash at Fenway. Mantle would take the Triple Crown with a .353 average, 52 HRs, and 130 RBI. His one Fenway Park shot was a 480-footer that lands inches from the top of the centerfield bleachers.

  • April 20, 1957 Yankee great Moose Skowron, so named because of his resemblance to Mussolini, hits a ball clear out of Fenway. His homer is one of only six balls ever hit out of the park to the right of the center field flagpole.

  • August 1, 1973 Taking a page from Bruno Sammartino, Carlton Fisk body-slams Thurmon Munson to the Fenway turf after a home plate collision following a botched suicide squeeze. Fisk and Munson are both ejected, but Yankee shortstop Gene Michael— who coldcocked the gloating Fisk— was allowed to stay in the game. Asked why, umpire Joe Brinkman told Michael, "When I go to a three-ring circus I always watch the wrong ring."

  • June 18, 1977 "You don't know what you're doing, old man. You showed me up in front of 50 million people." The words of Reggie Jackson, who nearly comes to blows with Billy Martin in Fenway's visiting dugout in front of a national TV audience. Martin had just pulled Jackson for loafing after a fly ball in the Red Sox 10-4 victory. Martin, for his part, shouts at Jimmy Wynn, who's restraining him, "Let me go, I'm gonna break his fucking ass."

  • September 7, 1978 Martin— upset at Boston pitcher Bill Lee for writing an article that said the Yankees were a "bunch of derelicts and has-beens" and called Steinbrenner "Hitler" and Billy Martin "Hermann Göring" and described the Yankees as their "storm troopers"— has a dead mackerel hung in Lee's locker. The Yanks would pull off a three-game sweep, dubbed the Boston Massacre. New York would outhit the Red Sox by 67-21, outscore them 42-9, and move into a tie for first place— after trailing by 14 games earlier in the season.

  • October 2, 1978 "Bucky Fucking Dent!" The words of then­Red Sox manager Don Zimmer as he stopped suddenly during his drive from Boston to Tampa following the Red Sox loss to the Yanks in a one-game divisional playoff at Fenway. The light-hitting shortstop had hit a three-run homer— into that net placed atop the Green Monster in 1936— that turned the tide in New York's 5-4 victory. The Yankees hold on for the dramatic win when Lou Pinella makes one of the greatest-ever defensive nonplays. In the ninth inning, the left fielder loses Jerry Remy's line drive in the late afternoon sun, but by feigning that he had it, deked base runner Rick Burleson, who stayed at second base.

  • October 5, 1986 Wade Boggs sits out his fourth game in a row— all in a season-ending series with the Yankees— as Don Mattingly attempts to catch him in the AL batting race. Boggs claims to be nursing a sore hamstring, but one New York tabloid blares CHICKENED OUT. The Yankee first baseman bats in the leadoff position, needing to go 6 for 6. He goes 2 for 5 and ends up at .352, five points behind Boggs.
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