After the letdown of the previous year, the Red Sox rode a strong offense to an 80-72 record in 1937. Although the Red Sox record wasn't good enough to qualify for the postseason, Fenway Park was busy in other ways during the fall. The Boston Redskins had left town but Boston College, Boston University, Holy Cross and the AFL's Boston Shamrocks all played home football games at Fenway Park in 1937.

The Red Sox

Record: 80-72, 5th in American League
Manager: Joseph E. Cronin
Attendance: 559,659

The 1937 Red Sox finished fifth in the American League and though they improved in a few offensive categories, they once again suffered from lackluster pitching. Lefty Grove won 17 games (17-9) with a 3.02 ERA and Jack Wilson, who had also come over from Philadelphia, went 16-10. Bobo Newsom and Johnny Marcum each won 13 but the team ERA rose to 4.48.

Jimmie Foxx drove in 127 runs and hit 36 home runs, while Joe Cronin and third baseman Pinky Higgins amassed 110 and 106 RBIs, respectively. The aforementioned Bobo Newsom joined the team in mid-June, along with right fielder Ben Chapman, in a trade from Washington. The Red Sox sent Mel Almada and the two Ferrell brothers, Rick and Wes, to the Senators in the deal. When asked for his feelings on Wes specifically, Cronin summed up his feelings, "I sure hated to lose Rick - good ball player, hard worker, easy to get along with."

There were some interesting personalities on the 1937 Red Sox, including Moe Berg, who worked for the U.S. Government as a World War II-era spy and had his best year as a backup in Boston. The "Pulverizing Pole," Fabian Gaffke, was a backup outfielder and the team's starting left fielder had the given name of Colonel Buster Mills.

Future Hall of Famer Bobby Doerr made his Fenway Park debut on April 18 in the annual City Series game against the Boston Braves. He played second base behind Boob McNair in 1937, hitting .224 in 55 games as a teenager. The team faded in the second half but showed potential that boded well for the future.

Renovations

Though 1937 was a quiet year on the construction front, owner Tom Yawkey did make one important decision that altered the look of Fenway Park's playing field. While there had previously been a roped-off, on-field standing area in deep right and center field where fans had been able to watch the team play, Yawkey did away with this section and stopped permitting fans on the field during games.

Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park

Once again, Fenway Park hosted high school tournament baseball in 1937 with Lynn English beating Lowell High on June 11. In early August, a team of Fenway Park employees defeated a group of Boston baseball writers.

1937 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park
June 9Watertown High 8, Belmont High 0
June 9Lynn English 3, Medford High 1
June 10Lynn English 4, Watertown High 3 (14 Innings)
June 10Lowell High 12, Braintree High 2
June 11Lynn English 12, Lowell High 3
August 6Fenway Park Clubhouse Boys 3, Earache Alley Unit of the Boston Baseball Writers 2

More Than a Ballpark™

Dan O'Mahoney returned to Fenway Park in 1937 to fight for the Celtic Wrestling Championship. However O'Mahoney lost to Steve "Crusher" Casey, who also won a match at Fenway the previous month. Later in the year, the Boston Shamrocks filled the professional football void left by the Boston Redskins' departure. The Shamrocks' home opener at Fenway Park on October 13 was played at night under temporary lighting, almost 10 years before the Red Sox played their first night game at home. In addition, Boston College and Boston University each played numerous games at Fenway in 1937, including a scoreless tie on Columbus Day between BC and Temple which marked Coach Pop Warner's 400th game.

1937 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park
June 6Mayo F.C. 17, Massachusetts All-Stars 8 (Gaelic Football)
June 17Al McCoy Defeats Natie Brown (Boxing)
June 29Steve Casey Tosses Ed Don George (Wrestling)
July 13Natie Brown Beats Tony Shucco (Boxing)
July 20Steve Casey Downs Dan O'Mahoney (Wrestling)
October 12Boston College 0, Temple 0 (Football)
October 13Los Angeles Bulldogs 14, Boston Shamrocks 0 (Football)
October 16Holy Cross 7, University of Georgia 6 (Football)
October 17Rochester Tigers 6, Boston Shamrocks 0 (Football)
October 23Western Reserve 7, Boston University 0 (Football)
October 24Boston Shamrocks 27, Pittsburgh Americans 7 (Football)
November 7Boston Shamrocks 50, Collegiate All-Stars 0 (Football)
November 11Villanova 12, Boston University 0 (Football)
November 13Boston College 13, Kentucky 0 (Football)
November 20Boston University 13, Boston College 13 (Football)
November 27Holy Cross 20, Boston College 0 (Football)


October 13, 1937
 Los Angeles Bulldogs Top Boston Shamrocks, 14-0

In a rare night game at Fenway Park (temporary lighting had to be brought to the park) the American Professional League's Boston Shamrocks finally played their season home opener on an evening they were assured was free of competition from the World Series or college football. Members of the media speculated the Shamrocks' night game was nothing less than a referendum on whether Boston could support pro football in the wake of the Redskins' recent departure.

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