In 1933, Tom Yawkey purchased the Red Sox and brought with him the much needed capital to turn the ballclub around. Though the team's record in 1933 didn't show it, Yawkey and his general manager, Eddie Collins, immediately began to reshape the team and by the end of December 1933, there were no Red Sox players left from the 1931 Opening Day roster. Following the Red Sox season, the Boston Redskins began playing their home football games at Fenway Park and Yawkey began a massive reconstruction of the ballpark, which dramatically upgraded Fenway Park for the start of the 1934 season.

The Red Sox

Record: 63-86, 7th in American League Manager: Martin J. McManus Attendance: 268,715

In February 1933, Tom Yawkey bought the Red Sox from the financially-strapped Bob Quinn for a reported $1,500,000. Having just turned 30, Yawkey began making plans to build a winning ballclub. However, before the season, those plans nearly came to a halt. On April 2, 1933, the team came close to being wiped out in a deadly nighttime train wreck. No players were seriously injured but the train's engineer and fireman were killed.

Having survived the near-death experience, the 1933 Red Sox began their Fenway Park season on April 8 with their annual exhibition game against the Braves, followed two days later by a 9-2 tune-up victory over Boston College.

On April 20, Yawkey formally took control of the team and named Eddie Collins General Manager. The two began to rebuild the club but even they could not fix the team overnight. Boston finished seventh in the American League with a 63-86 record and only one Red Sox pitcher, Gordon Rhodes, won more than nine games.

However, there was progress for the club on a series of fronts. In May, the Red Sox sent the Yankees $100,000 to buy pitcher George Pipgras (a 24-game winner in 1928) and infielder Billy Werber. In June, the Red Sox won four games in a row against visiting New York and, as the story goes, Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert was so incensed that he called the mortgage that he'd held on Fenway Park since 1920. Yawkey paid the amount in full the following day.

On December 12, the only two remaining members from the 1931 Red Sox squad, Bob Kline and Rabbit Warstler, were sent to the Athletics (along with $125,000) to acquire Lefty Grove, Max Bishop, and Rube Walberg. The Red Sox also bought a Reading, Pennsylvania team in the New York-Penn League, the first step in the building of a modern farm system.

Renovations

After purchasing the Boston Red Sox in February, new Owner Tom Yawkey wasted little time putting his mark on Fenway Park in 1933. In late July, the team installed a buffet lunch area offering beer and sandwiches to writers in the press room.

After the 1933 baseball season ended, Yawkey undertook even grander plans and started one of the most ambitious renovation campaigns in Fenway Park's history. The 10-foot incline known as Duffy's Cliff was leveled to make room for a more substantial wall to replace the 25-foot high left-field fence that had been above the embankment. Yawkey also began to replace the two wooden bleacher seating areas in right and center field with remodeled steel and concrete sections. Several other areas of the ballpark (including concession areas, employee rooms, the press box, and the entrance to the team's offices on Jersey Street) were remodeled or introduced as part of this massive construction project. By the end of 1933, the facelift of Fenway Park was humming along at furious pace.

Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park

In August 1933, Fenway Park hosted four non-Red Sox baseball games. In early August, a pair of American Legion playoff games was played at the park and a Boston Park League doubleheader was played at Fenway Park at the end of the month.

1933 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park
August 5New Bedford 6, Springfield 2 (Junior American Legion Semi-Final)
August 10New Bedford 5, Lowell 4 (American Legion State Final)
August 31Ivy Cubs of Roxbury 4, Savin Hill Pirates 0
August 31Tuskaroras Cubs (Roslindale) 4, Savin Hill All-Stars 3

More Than a Ballpark™

The Boston Redskins played their first of four seasons at Fenway Park in 1933. That year, they won four of their six home games en route to a 5-5-2 record for the season. Several amateur football games were also played at the park during the fall months of 1933.

1933 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park
August 9Ed Don George Defeats the Black Secret (Wrestling)
October 3Boston English 12, East Boston 0 (Football)
October 3High School of Commerce 14, Charlestown 0 (Football)
October 4Memorial High of Roxbury 6, Jamaica Plain High 0 (Football)
October 4Brighton High 0, South Boston 0 (Football)
October 8Boston Redskins 21, New York Giants 10 (Football)
October 10Hyde Park High 8, Memorial High 7 (Football)
October 10South Boston High 15, Charlestown 0 (Football)
October 11Brighton High 7, Jamaica Plain High 0 (Football)
October 11East Boston High 0, High School of Commerce 0 (Football)
October 12Boston English 19, Boston Trade 0 (Football)
October 12Mechanical Arts 6, Dorchester High 0 (Football)
October 15Portsmouth Spartans 13, Boston Redskins 0 (Football)
October 17Brighton High 12, East Boston High 6 (Football)
October 17Memorial High 13, Charleston High 0 (Football)
October 18Mechanic Arts 6, Jamaica Plain High 0 (Football)
October 18South Boston High 7, Dorchester High 0 (Football)
October 20Hyde Park High 15, Boston Trade 7 (Football)
October 22Boston Redskins 10, Chicago Cardinals 0 (Football)
October 23Brighton High 7, Mechanical Arts 6 (Football)
October 25Dorchester High 13, Memorial High 0 (Football)
October 26East Boston High 13, Charlestown 0 (Football)
October 27Boston College High 7, Boston Latin 6 (Football)
October 29Pittsburgh Pirates 16, Boston Redskins 14 (Football)
October 30Hyde Park High 14, Brighton High 6 (Football)
October 30South Boston High 13, Memorial High 0 (Football)
November 1Mechanical Arts 14, High School of Commerce 2 (Football)
November 2Boston Latin 7, Boston Trade 0 (Football)
November 3Boston College High 14, Boston English 13 (Football)
November 5Boston Redskins 10, Chicago Bears 0 (Football)
November 7Memorial High 0, East Boston High 0 (Football)
November 9Boston Trade 9, High School of Commerce 0 (Football)
November 10Jamaica Plain High 33, Charleston High 0 (Football)
November 11Boston English 13, Mechanical Arts 0 (Football)
November 12Pere Marquette 0, Fitton A.C. 0 (Football)
November 13Memorial High 9, Boston Trade 6 (Football)
November 14Jamaica Plain High 12, South Boston High 6 (Football)
November 15Hyde Park High 13, East Boston High 6 (Football)
November 17Boston English 13, Dorchester 0 (Football)
November 19Boston Redskins 20, Green Bay Packers 7 (Football)
November 20Brighton High 27, Charlestown 0 (Football)
November 21Jamaica Plain High 0, Hyde Park High 0 (Football)
November 22Boston English 6, High School of Commerce 0 (Football)
November 23Boston Latin 21, Mechanical Arts 7 (Football)
November 24Boston Trade 7, Dorchester High 6 (Football)
November 26Fitton A.C. 13, Pere Marquette 12 (Football)
November 27South Boston High 0, East Boston High 0 (Football)
November 28Mechanical Arts 20, Boston Trade 6 (Football)
November 30Boston English 20, Boston Latin 7 (Football)
November 30Dorchester High 6, High School of Commerce 0 (Football)


October 8, 1933
 In Their First Game at Fenway Park,
 Boston Redskins Defeat New York Giants, 21-10

In their first game at Fenway Park, the Boston red Sox defeated the New York Giants before 15,000 fans. The victory was marked by a Turk Edwards block of Harry Newman's point-after attempt following a Giants third-quarter touchdown. The game was also the Redskins' first under their new name, having played as the Boston Braves at Braves Field during the 1932 season, which was their first in the National Football League.

Opening Day Preparations In 1934 (Credit: The Brearley Collection)