In 1952, Ted Williams was recalled to active duty and bid the Fenway Park crowd farewell on April 30, 1952. Though Williams would return to the team after serving in the Korean War, many at the ballpark that day thought it was the star's last game. Earlier in the year, Fenway Park hosted the first annual Junior Goodwill Dinner to help fight juvenile delinquency and on April 12, the ballpark hosted the first annual baseball clinic put together by the Boston Globe with Red Sox and Braves players on hand to help teach 5,000 local youngsters. In the fall, Boston College's football team returned to Fenway Park for the first time since 1945.

The Red Sox

Record: 76-78, 6th in American League
Manager: Louis Boudreau
Attendance: 1,115,750

The 1952 Red Sox lost two of their three starting outfielders, Ted Williams and Jimmy Piersall, though for very different reasons.

With the Korean War underway, Williams was recalled to active duty. He played in five games leading up to "Ted Williams Day" at Fenway Park on April 30, when he was given a new Cadillac and bid farewell to the Fenway Park crowd (Red Sox and Tigers players also held hands while singing "Auld Land Syne" in pre-game ceremonies). In what he thought might be his final at-bat, Williams stepped to the plate in the seventh inning with a tie game and hit a two-run, game-winning home run off Detroit's Dizzy Trout.

On June 28, the Red Sox sent Piersall to their Birmingham farm club because of his behavior. Piersall entered a mental health treatment facility in July 1952 but returned to the team in 1953 and went on to have a successful career.

The club made some major moves, including the trade of two popular Red Sox players, Johnny Pesky and Walt Dropo, to Detroit in a nine-player deal that brought George Kell and Dizzy Trout to Boston.

The 1952 Red Sox were a great team at home with a record of 50-27 but were a disaster on the road at 26-51. The club's losing record was its first in several years, with the inability to score runs a particular issue. Epitomizing the shortage was Dick Gernert's team-leading RBI total of 67.

Early in the year, the Red Sox concluded one Fenway Park tradition and started another. On April 12 and 13, the team played the cross-town Boston Braves in the final two City Series exhibition games. Prior to the game on the 12th, players and coaches from both teams tutored scores of local youngsters as part of a baseball clinic co-hosted by the Boston Globe. After the session, the youth stayed for the afternoon's Red Sox-Braves exhibition. Among those participating in the clinic were Dom DiMaggio, Walt Dropo and Vern Stephens of the Red Sox, along with the Braves' Warren Spahn. The clinic became a regular springtime event known as the Red Sox-Boston Globe Baseball Clinic and lasted into the 1970s.


Red Sox-Boston Globe Baseball Clinic

In the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s, the Red Sox organization and the Boston Globe teamed up to hold a regular baseball clinic at Fenway Park for thousands of local youth ballplayers. The event was initially called a "Spring training camp" for Massachusetts youngsters who had the opportunity to receive instruction from some of the Red Sox biggest names. The full Boston coaching staff and several players often attended, with upwards of ten players taking part in certain years. Among those who provided lessons was Bill Monbouquette, a Medford, Massachusetts native who had previously attended the clinic as an audience member when he was pitching in high school.

Red Sox-Boston Globe Baseball Clinic Dates
April 12, 1952
April 25, 1953
May 1, 1954
April 16, 1955
April 26, 1958
April 22, 1959
May 7, 1960
April 18, 1961
May 5, 1962
April 27, 1963
May 2, 1964
April 21, 1965
May 21, 1966
April 29, 1967
April 20, 1968
May 17, 1969
May 16, 1970
June 17, 1972
May 25, 1974

Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park

Once again, the 1952 Mayor's Charity Field Day featured a baseball game at Fenway Park. This time, the Georgia Chain Gang (a novelty team) and the Valleyfield Chiefs squared off. These games often lasted between three to five innings in length and the score wasn't always recorded during these informal affairs.

1952 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park
July 7Mayor's Charity Field Day: Georgia Chain Gang vs. Valleyfield Chiefs *
July 24William Randolph Hearst Sandlot Tournament: Boston Sandlotters 12, Red Sox Sandlotters 7

*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.

More Than a Ballpark™

On January 30, 1952, Fenway Park hosted its first Junior Goodwill Dinner to help fight juvenile delinquency. The dinner, which was started by Joe Cronin, became a frequent winter affair at the ballpark for several years. In the fall, behind the strong play of Harry Agganis, Boston University went 3-1-1 at Fenway Park in 1952. Their lone lone defeat came at the hands of a powerful University of Maryland team.

1952 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park
January 30Junior Goodwill Dinner*
July 7Mayor's Charity Field Day**
October 10Boston University 9, Miami University 7
October 18Boston University 33, William & Mary 28 (Football)
November 1University of Maryland 34, Boston University 7 (Football)
November 8Boston University 14, Temple 14 (Football)
November 15Boston University 14, New York University 7 (Football)

* For several years, Fenway Park hosted a Junior Goodwill Dinner that brought hundreds of local high school students to the ballpark. The tradition was started by Red Sox legend Joe Cronin and the event typically took place in late January.

** 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.

The Red Sox during the National Anthem in 1951 (Credit: Leslie Jones Collection/Boston Public Library)