On July 31, 1961, Fenway Park hosted its second Major League Baseball All-Star Game, which ended in a 1-1 tie. Absent from the AL roster was Ted Williams, who had retired the after the previous season. Williams was gone but an able replacement named Carl Yastrzemski took his place in front of the Green Monster in 1961.

The Red Sox

Record: 76-86, 6th in American League
Manager: Michael F. Higgins
Attendance: 850,589

Though it took a while to right the ship, 1961 was the dawn of a new era. A rookie named Carl Yastrzemski took over for Ted Williams in left field. The thought of replacing a legend caused Yaz anxiety at the start, but Fenway Park became his home for the next 23 years of a Hall of Fame career.

Gene Conley, who'd won a third consecutive world championship ring for the Boston Celtics, rushed to join the Red Sox for a late spring training and won 11 games during the 1961 season. Don Schwall's 15 wins led the staff and Monbouquette recorded 14 victories.

On April 18, the club hosted the annual Red Sox-Boston Globe Baseball Clinic on. A particularly large number of Red Sox players offered tips and advice as part of the year's event, including Gary Geiger, Pumpsie Green, Jackie Jensen, Frank Malzone, Bill Monbouquette, Chet Nichols, Jim Pagliaroni, Pete Runnels, Chuck Schilling, Vic Wertz and Yastrzemski, as well as team manager Mike Higgins and members of his coaching staff.

Runnels had a team-leading .317 batting average and Geiger topped the club with 18 home runs, including an August 8 inside-the-park grand slam at Fenway Park. On June 18, the Red Sox played an exciting Father's Day doubleheader against the Washington Senators. Though the Boston trailed 12-5 in the bottom of the ninth of the first game, catcher Pagliaroni hit a game-tying grand slam and Russ Nixon's single won it. In the nightcap, Pagliaroni hit a home run in the 13th to win the game.

On July 30, 1961, Fenway Park hosted the MLB All-Star Game for the first time since 1946. During this era, baseball held two All-Star Games each season, and Fenway Park hosted the second game of 1961. Ted Williams returned to the ballpark to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the game.

The Red Sox finished with a record of 76-86, as two expansion franchises debuted and the league changed to a 162-game schedule.


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


July 31, 1961
 Fenway Park Hosts 2nd All-Star Game of 1961 Season

Fenway Park hosted the second All-Star game in the ballpark's history in 1961. The game was also the second one played that summer, as baseball tried holding two midsummer classics per season for a five year period. Under this short-lived set-up, the first game customarily took place on the second Tuesday of July, while the second one was held at the end of the same month.

Even with 21 future Hall of Famers on the rosters, Fenway Park didn't sell out and only 31,851 showed up to watch the festivities. Recently-retired Red Sox legend Ted Williams threw out the ceremonial first pitch, which he also had the honor of doing before the 1953 All-Star Game (right after he had returned from serving in the Korean War).

The American League got on the board quickly thanks to Detroit's Rocky Colavito, who hit a change-up off NL starting pitcher Bob Purkey over the Green Monster in the first inning. The AL used just a trio of pitchers in the game, as Jim Bunning, Don Schwall and Camilio Pascual each tossed three innings. The lone representative of the Red Sox, Don Schwall surrendered the National League's lone run on an infield hit by Bill White that scored Eddie Matthews. At the end of the season, Schwall earned American League Rookie of the Year honors.

The National League pitching staff matched the excellence of the AL hurlers. Art Mahaffey and Sandy Koufax followed Purkey and each tossed two shutout innings, while Stu Miller pitched the latter three frames and recorded five strikeouts.

Practically at the same time as the ninth inning's final out was recorded the skies opened up. The tarp was placed on the field and Commissioner Ford Frick called the game a tie after just 30 minutes of waiting. Half an hour later, the sun was shining and many believed that Frick had acted too quickly. However, the game was already in the books as a 1-1 nine-inning draw.

Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park

From 1959 to 1962, Major League Baseball held two All-Star games each summer. Fenway Park hosted the second All-Star Game of 1961 on July 31 but the game was called after nine innings due to rain. This midsummer classic was the first such game to end in a tie.

1961 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park
July 31MLB All-Star Game: American League 1, National League 1 (Tie)
August 11William Randolph Hearst Sandlot Tournament: Record All-Stars 1, American All-Stars 0
August 12William Randolph Hearst Sandlot Tournament: American All-Stars 5, Record All-Stars 3


July 31, 1961
 Fenway Park Hosts 2nd All-Star Game of 1961 Season

Fenway Park hosted the second All-Star game in the ballpark's history in 1961. The game was also the second one played that summer, as baseball tried holding two midsummer classics per season for a five year period. Under this short-lived set-up, the first game customarily took place on the second Tuesday of July, while the second one was held at the end of the same month.

Even with 21 future Hall of Famers on the rosters, Fenway Park didn't sell out and only 31,851 showed up to watch the festivities. Recently-retired Red Sox legend Ted Williams threw out the ceremonial first pitch, which he also had the honor of doing before the 1953 All-Star Game (right after he had returned from serving in the Korean War).

The American League got on the board quickly thanks to Detroit's Rocky Colavito, who hit a change-up off NL starting pitcher Bob Purkey over the Green Monster in the first inning. The AL used just a trio of pitchers in the game, as Jim Bunning, Don Schwall and Camilio Pascual each tossed three innings. The lone representative of the Red Sox, Don Schwall surrendered the National League's lone run on an infield hit by Bill White that scored Eddie Matthews. At the end of the season, Schwall earned American League Rookie of the Year honors.

The National League pitching staff matched the excellence of the AL hurlers. Art Mahaffey and Sandy Koufax followed Purkey and each tossed two shutout innings, while Stu Miller pitched the latter three frames and recorded five strikeouts.

Practically at the same time as the ninth inning's final out was recorded the skies opened up. The tarp was placed on the field and Commissioner Ford Frick called the game a tie after just 30 minutes of waiting. Half an hour later, the sun was shining and many believed that Frick had acted too quickly. However, the game was already in the books as a 1-1 nine-inning draw.

More Than a Ballpark™

The Junior Goodwill Dinner (an annual treat for local high school youths) and Mayor's Charity Field Day returned to Fenway Park in 1961, with the second event including a dog show, jugglers, dance teams and performances by entertainers Cab Calloway, Jerry Vale and Frankie Laine.

1961 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park
January 25Junior Goodwill Dinner*
June 20Mayor's Charity Field Day**

*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 1961 MLB All-Star Game at Fenway Park (Credit: Boston Red Sox)