Thanks in large part to Jimmie Foxx's season for the ages, the Red Sox finished 27 games above .500 in 1938 but still fell short of their first pennant since 1918. In the fall, the Boston Shamrocks played a few games at Fenway Park but soon went out of business. Local collegiate teams fared better and Boston College's football team went 4-1 at the Fenway Park in 1938.

The Red Sox

Record: 88-61, 2nd in American League
Manager: Joseph E. Cronin
Attendance: 646,459

A brash California kid named Ted Williams thought he would make the ballclub in 1938 but Joe Cronin shipped the youngster to the Minneapolis Millers for a year of seasoning. On leaving big-league camp, Williams declared to one of the remaining outfielders, "I'll be back, and I'll be making more money than the three of you put together." Williams went on to win the 1938 American Association Triple Crown.

In the majors, Jimmie Foxx almost won the American League Triple Crown in 1938. He ranked first in the league with 175 RBIs, led the league in batting average with a .349 mark, and his 50 home runs trailed only Hank Greenberg's 58. Foxx held the franchise's single-season home run record until David Ortiz hit 54 in 2006 and his RBI total from the 1938 season is still the franchise record (104 of them were collected at Fenway Park). With 19 of 22 first-place votes, Foxx was named MVP for the third time in seven years.

Joe Vosmik's 201 hits for the Red Sox led the league and Doc Cramer came in second with 198. It's the only time Red Sox batters have finished 1-2 in that category. As a team, the Red Sox batted .299 with Cramer, Foxx, and Vosmik each scoring over 100 runs.

The Red Sox ended the season 9 1/2 games behind the Yankees but their second place finish in the league was their best since 1918.

Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park

On May 10, 1938, before the Red Sox played the Indians, the Harvard baseball team took the Fenway Park field against a group of out-of-town firemen. However, the game was postponed just before the first inning due to rain. Later that year, on August 1, Fenway Park hosted three three-inning games featuring teams from the Boston Police Department, Boston Fire Department, Boston City Hall, and the Massachusetts State House. The Boston Fire Department edged the Boston Police in one of the games and the team from City Hall, with Boston Mayor Maurice Tobin dressed in Red Sox uniform, defeated the State House in another.

1938 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park
May 10Out-of Town Firemen vs. Harvard Varsity Team Postponed
August 1West Division/Police Department 4, East Division/Police Department 3 (Three Innings)
August 1Boston Fire Department 5, Boston Police Department 2 (Three Innings)
August 1Boston City Hall Team 7, State House Team 3 (Three Innings)

More Than a Ballpark™

The Boston Shamrocks played a pair of games at Fenway Park in 1938, losing to a team of collegiate stars in the second annual College All-Star Game in Boston before a defeat at the hands of the Pittsburgh Pirates (the football version), whose roster included future Supreme Court Justice Byron "Whizzer" White. Unfortunately, the Shamrocks soon went out of business but Boston College and Boston University's football teams would also take the Fenway field often in 1938; BC went 4-1 at the ballpark, while BU went 2-2.

1938 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park
July 26Steve Casey Retains Championship Over Richard Shikat (Wrestling)
August 1Mayor's Field Day Benefit for Special Welfare Fund*
September 14College All-Stars 7, Boston Shamrocks 6 (Football)
September 26Pittsburgh Pirates 16, Boston Shamrocks 6 (Football)
October 8Boston University 19, St. Lawrence University 14 (Football)
October 12Boston College 9, University of Detroit 6 (Football)
October 15Boston University 25, Upsala College 0 (Football)
October 29Boston College 33, University of Florida 0 (Football)
November 5Boston College 14, University of Indiana 0 (Football)
November 11Boston College 21, Boston University 14 (Football)
November 19Villanova 39, Boston University 6 (Football)
November 26Holy Cross 29, Boston College 7 (Football)

*For many years, the City of Boston regularly held a summertime Mayor's Charity Field Day. Many of these field days took place at Fenway Park, with a variety of sports, games, activities and other amusements for the crowds. In certain years, the Mayor's Charity Field Day even included an abbreviated baseball game at Fenway Park that was usually played between local teams.

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