This Is The Oldest MLB Stadium In America

It was a frigid afternoon on April 9, 1912, when the Boston Red Sox inaugurated their brand-new home. At the time of the game, the Titanic hadn't sunk yet, Henry Ford was yet to build his first automobile assembly line, World War I was still two years away and women couldn't legally vote, per Smithsonian. Baseball was becoming hugely popular and the Red Sox had gotten a brand new stadium named Fenway Park.

That day, the Red Sox played an exhibition game against Harvard, and while the college athletes did a fair job against the pros, the game ended after seven innings with Boston winning by a score of 2 to 0, according to a 1912 article in The Boston Globe. More than 100 years later, you can still see the Sox play at the same venue, which is the oldest Major League Baseball stadium still in use, beating out the Chicago Cubs' Wrigley Field by two years, per Ballpark Digest.

No day for baseball

On the day of the game, Fenway Park was far from complete. There was a lot of construction left to do, which meant that both fans and players suffered a little. For the teams, it was the uncompleted clubhouse that was the problem since it meant they had to change into their uniforms elsewhere before the game, according to Harvard Magazine. Meanwhile, workers were still putting in wooden seats in the grandstand. But considering only 3,000 fans braved the weather to come and watch, there were still plenty of seats for the game.

"More than 3,000 dyed-in-the-wool baseball fans sat out in Boston's new baseball park yesterday afternoon, all shivering with the cold, while snow flurries flew everywhere about, to watch the Boston Red Sox play their annual game with the Harvard nine," The Boston Globe reported, adding that it was "no day for baseball." After seven innings, they called the game, and the Red Sox were declared the winners. The Globe grumbled that the game wasn't very exciting, "But it was an opening, and that was something."

Boston's big new ballpark

Nine days later, on April 18, the Red Sox were scheduled to play their first MLB game against New York, which at the time was known as the Highlanders, before changing the name to the Yankees a year later, according to Harvard Magazine. But it was not to be. The game was rained out not only that day but the next as well, per The Boston Globe. Finally, on April 20, the Red Sox played New York at Fenway to a packed house of 24,000 rabid fans who had been waiting for days and weren't disappointed. The Sox came from behind to win 7 to 6. The game lasted more than three hours leaving the fans to return "home for a cold supper but wreathed in smiles," according to The Boston Globe.

Originally designed by the Boston architect James McLaughlin, Fenway has undergone various renovations over the years, including in 1934, and more recently in the 2000s, per Ballpark Digest. It was also one of the first MLB stadiums to get an organic rooftop garden (and is officially the biggest) back in 2015, according to Modern Farmer.