Though the first few years of the Yawkey era brought significant on-field improvement, the Red Sox took a step backwards in 1936 and the club fell below .500 for the first time in three years. However the seeds of future success were planted in 1936 when the club signed two youngsters named Ted Williams and Bobby Doerr. Before the season, a net was hung above the left-field wall to protect people and property on adjacent Lansdowne Street and in the fall, the Redskins enjoyed a successful final season in Boston.

The Red Sox

Record: 74-80, 6th in American League
Manager: Joseph E. Cronin
Attendance: 626,895

The Philadelphia Athletics continued to offer talent to the Red Sox in the same way that Boston had assisted the Yankees in the 1920s. In December 1935, the Red Sox picked up slugger Jimmie Foxx and right-hander Johnny Marcum in exchange for $150,000 and a pair of lesser players. By the end of 1936, Pinky Higgins became the 10th player to come to the Red Sox from the Athletics since the end of the 1933 season.

The turnover of Boston's roster was so complete that by July 2, 1936, every regular on the team, as well the entire coaching staff, had come from another team. For the first time in the 20th century, not one Red Sox player was homegrown. Looking to find talent on their own, General Manager Eddie Collins began scouting younger ballplayers that Boston could develop, signing two prospects named Bob Doerr and Ted Williams during a trip to the West Coast in 1936.

Foxx met every expectation and batted .338, collecting a then-franchise record 41 home runs and 143 RBIs, while walking over 100 times and posting a .440 OBP. However, the team's overall hitting wasn't good and though Foxx helped the Red Sox score more runs than the year before, they still ranked second to last in the league with 775 runs scored.

Wes Ferrell won 20 games and Lefty Grove won 17 but no other pitcher won more than 10 games in 1936. Ferrell left the team without permission at least twice and was suspended for the season on August 21 after walking off the field and leaving the park. Though Ferrell insisted there had been a misunderstanding and was ultimately reinstated, 1936 would be Ferrell's last full season in Boston.

One of the bigger changes at Fenway Park in 1936 was that beer was available once again. Even though prohibition was repealed with the December 1933 ratification of the 21st Amendment, the amendment left primary control of setting liquor laws in the hands of the individual states and it had taken a while for state and local officials to set regulations and issue licenses. But by 1936, a patron could once again buy a glass of beer at Boston's ballparks.

Renovations

In 1936, with the prevalence of home runs increasing, a 23-foot high net was added above the left-field wall to protect pedestrians and property on Lansdowne Street. To retrieve balls hit into the net, a ladder was attached vertically to the top portion of the wall. Located about a third of the way from the left-field foul pole to the center-field bleachers, the ladder stopped 13 feet above the ground and a portable ladder was used to reach it. In 2003, when the Green Monster Seats were added and the net taken down, the use of the ladder became obsolete. However, the ladder remains to this day as one of Fenway Park's quirks and the fixture on the famous wall, which is considered part of fair territory, has caused many interesting plays over the years.

Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park

In 1936, Fenway Park continued to host a plethora of non-Red Sox baseball games, including the Massachusetts high school state title game in June and a series of local league games in July.

1936 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park
June 16Somerville High 10, Milford High 2
June 16Lowell High 6, Watertown High 2
June 17Somerville High 9, Lowell High 8
June 20Templeton High 2, Somerville High 1 (MA State Title Game)
July 27Cottage Court (Waltham) 6, Dorrance A. C. (Worcester) 1
July 27Clarmac A. A. (Franklin) 5, Canton A. A. 2
July 28Miller Oil (Waltham) 12, Newton Independents 5
July 28Baysides (Hull) 11, Smart Oil (Waltham) 6
July 29Firestones (New Bedford) 5, Boston All-Start 2 (Eight Innings)
July 29Hall All-Stars (Somerville) 2, Casey Paper Company (Haverhill) 2 (Tie)
July 30Currans Express (Milford) 15, St. Therese Baseball Club (Everett) 0
July 30Norwood Press 10, Muldoons (Brighton) 5

More Than a Ballpark™

In their final season in Boston, the Redskins went 4-3 at Fenway Park before Redskins owner George Preston Marshall moved the team to Washington, D.C. in 1937. While the Redskins played their last season at Fenway Park, Boston College football returned the park for the first time since 1931.

1936 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park
May 17War Memorial Service*
June 25Jack Sharkey Defeats Phil Brubaker in 10-Round Match (Boxing)
October 4New York Giants 7, Boston Redskins 0 (Football)
October 12Temple 14, Boston College 0 (Football)
October 17Boston University 6, Washington University 0 (Football)
October 18Boston Redskins 17, Philadelphia Eagles 7 (Football)
October 31Boston College 13, Michigan State 13 (Football)
November 1Boston Redskins 13, Chicago Cardinals 10 (Football)
November 7Boston College 7, North Carolina State 3 (Football)
November 8Green Bay Packers 7, Boston Redskins 3 (Football)
November 15Chicago Bears 26, Boston Redskins 0 (Football)
November 22Boston Redskins 30, Brooklyn Dodgers 6 (Football)
November 28Boston College 13, Holy Cross 12 (Football)
November 29Boston Redskins 30, Pittsburgh Steelers 0 (Football)

*Started in the 1910s, a late May memorial service coinciding with the Memorial Day weekend was often held at Fenway Park through the mid-20th Century.


November 29, 1936
 Redskins Near East Title, Beat Pittsburgh 30-0

In the Redskins' final game at Fenway Park before moving to Washington, D.C., Ray Flaherty's men inched closer to clinching a spot in the NFL championship game with a thumping win over the Pittsburgh Pirates by a score of 30-0. However, only 4,000 braved the unseasonably bitter cold weather to attend what would be the last NFL game in Boston until the arrival of the Boston Yanks in 1944. Redskins owner George Preston Marshall not only moved his team to Washington, D.C. the next year, but also moved what would have been the first and only NFL championship game to be played at Fenway Park to the Polo Grounds in New York, where the Redskins lost to the Packers by a score of 21-6 on December 13, 1936.

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