On May 19 before the Red Sox game at Fenway Park, the club celebrated Armed Forces Day and 100 New Englanders were inducted into the US Air Force. The Red Sox finished with a losing record again, though two Boston pitchers threw no hitters in 1962, including Earl Wilson's gem at Fenway Park in June, the first by an African-American pitcher in the American League. Fans at the park were able to see the lineup that Wilson faced on the new electronic lineup board that was installed on the left-field wall before the season.
Record: 76-84, 8th in American League
Manager: Michael F. Higgins
Though there were a few individual accomplishments, 1962 was another down year for the Red Sox and attendance at Fenway Park dropped by more than 100,000 fans.
On April 21, the club held Golden Anniversary Day at Fenway Park, as the team celebrated the 50th anniversary of the 1912 World Series-winning Red Sox. Surviving members of the team Hugh Bedient, Bill Carrigan, Ray Collins, Larry Gardner, Olaf Henriksen, Harry Hooper, Duffy Lewis, Joe Wood and Steve Yerkes were in attendance.
Pete Runnels won his second batting title with a .326 average and Carl Yastrzemski improved in his sophomore season, hitting 19 home runs and collecting 94 RBIs with a .296 average. Frank Malzone led the team with 21 home runs and 85 RBIs.
Bill Monbouquette and Gene Conley each won 15 games, while 6'6," 230-pound Dick Radatz led the league in appearances and saves, winning Fireman of the Year honors with a 9-6 record and 2.24 ERA.
On June 26, Earl Wilson became the first African-American to throw a no-hitter in the AL when he no-hit the Angels at Fenway Park. Just over a month later, Bill Monbouquette threw his own no-hitter in Chicago.
Midway through the season, Gene Conley and Pumpsie Green left the team bus while it was stuck in New York traffic and went AWOL. Though Green returned the next day, Conley tried to board a plane for Israel without a passport three days later.
Though the end of the season was anticlimactic, the club made a few important moves in the final months of 196. In September, the Red Sox signed 17-year-old Tony Conigliaro of Swampscott, MA. In early October, Johnny Pesky replaced Pinky Higgins as manager and in late November, the team dealt Runnels to Houston for outfielder Roman Mejias.
In 1962, the lineups of both teams were posted on the left-field scoreboard for the first time. The electronic display showed the number and position of each player and was used through 1975, when a new electronic board was built on top of the bleachers in center field for the 1976 season. In addition, a row of seats was added to the roof boxes and the press room was refurbished after being destroyed by a fire in late March.
The American All-Stars defeated the Record All-Stars in a pair of one-run games in the 1962 William Randolph Hearst Sandlot Tournament at Fenway Park.
|1962 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park|
|July 31||William Randolph Hearst Sandlot Tournament: American All-Stars 8, Record All-Stars 7|
|August 1||William Randolph Hearst Sandlot Tournament: American All-Stars 5, Record All-Stars 4|
Before the Red Sox game on May 19, 100 natives of Massachusetts and Rhode Island were inducted into the United States Air Force as part of Armed Forces Day. Exactly one month later, performers Zsa Zsa Gabor and Dennis Day appeared at the Mayor's Charity Field Day.
|1962 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park|
|January 24||Junior Goodwill Dinner*|
|May 19||Armed Forces Day: 100 New Englanders Inducted Into US Air Force|
|June 19||Mayor'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.