On March 23, 2005, John Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino announced the formal commitment of the club to remain long-term at Fenway Park. When the Red Sox returned to the 93-year old ballpark to defend their long-awaited 2004 World Series victory, the Red Sox players, coaches and staff received their World Series rings before the 2005 home opener and also found that their clubhouse had been expanded with a new weight room and interview room, along with a batting cage in the tunnel between the locker room and the dugout. The4 expansion of the clubhouse also created the new First Base Deck to offer more space for fans behind the first-base grandstands. Throughout the year Fenway Park hosted numerous events such as the Storybook Ball, the first Hot Stove Cool Music Fenway Sessions concert and two Rolling Stones concert. Though the Red Sox had another strong season under second-year manager Terry Francona, the team couldn't make it past the Chicago White Sox in the ALDS.

The Red Sox

Record: 95-67, Tied for 1st in American League East (Wild Card)
Manager: Terry J. Francona
Attendance: 2,847,888
Postseason: Played in American League Division Series

The Red Sox quickly went to work after winning the 2004 World Series. Matt Clement and David Wells joined the rotation after Pedro Martinez moved onto the Mets. The team also signed Edgar Renteria to play shortstop in lieu of Orlando Cabrera, and committed to taking the 2004 World Series Trophy to every one of the 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts and each of the New England states, as well as dozens of other places across the nation, the Dominican Republic, and Canada.

After the team received their championship rings before the home opener on April 11, Tim Wakefield led the Sox to an 8-1 victory over the Yankees. At 16-12, Wakefield won more games than any other Boston pitcher in 2005 but Curt Schilling and Keith Foulke dealt with health issues and the team ERA rose to 4.74.

David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez hit 47 and 45 home runs, respectively, but the team home run total dropped from 222 to 199.

The team was in and out of first place for much of the season. They wound up tied for first with New York at 95-67 but the Yankees prevailed in the head-to-head tie-breaker. The Red Sox claimed the Wild Card but were abruptly swept in the first round by the eventual world champion Chicago White Sox.

Following protracted contract negotiations, GM Theo Epstein resigned his post on Halloween. Though Epstein would return a few months later, interim General Managers Ben Cherington and Jed Hoyer piloted the team's Baseball Operations staff during much of the winter, which was highlighted by a November deal that brought pitcher Josh Beckett and third baseman Mike Lowell to Boston in exchange for shortstop Hanley Ramirez and other prospects.

Renovations

On March 23, 2005, John Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino announced that the Red Sox were formally committing to remain long-term at Fenway Park. The decision was influenced by the success of the improvements they had already made to the nearly 93-year-old ballpark.

After winning the club's first World Series in 86 years, the team returned to Fenway Park in 2005 to find that their clubhouse had undergone significant improvements. An indoor batting cage was built in the tunnel between the locker room and the home dugout; an expansion of the clubhouse created a full second floor with space for a weight room and new interview room; and the Player's Lot was split into two sections. The clubhouse expansion also greatly benefitted fans sitting in the grandstand seats near first base as the roof of the clubhouse was turned into the First Base Deck and provided fans in the area with more concessions and much needed space.

In the Jeano Bulding, a new restaurant named Game On! opened in the space that previously held the bowling alley and Player's Club and the Player's Club moved to the Laundry Building near the Big Concourse.

In addition to the home clubhouse and First Base Deck improvements, a new field was installed with a sand-based drainage system, which allowed the field to remain playable for far longer than before, and the American League East standings were added to the left-field wall. In the Jeano Bulding, a new restaurant named Game On! opened in the space that previously held the bowling alley and Player's Club and the Player's Club moved to the Laundry Building near the Big Concourse.

On June 13, 2005, the left-field foul pole was dedicated as the Fisk Pole in honor of Carlton Fisk's iconic home run versus the Cincinnati Reds in Game Six of the 1975 World Series. Carlton Fisk participated in the ceremony, which took place before the Red Sox hosted the Reds for the first time since the 1975 Fall Classic.

Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park

After a one year hiatus, the Baseball Beanpot returned home to Fenway Park in 2005 and Harvard won their first Beanpot since the second year of the tournament in 1991.

2005 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park
April 21Harvard 7, Northeastern 3 (Beanpot Championship)*
April 21Boston College 8, University of Massachusetts 6 (Beanpot Consolation)*

*Starting in 1990, Fenway Park has hosted the annual Baseball Beanpot, baseball's version of the longstanding Boston hockey tradition. Originally, the competition featured the same schools that battle for Hockey Beanpot: Boston College, Boston University, Northeastern University and Harvard University. However, when BU dropped their baseball program after the 1995 season, the University of Massachusetts took their place. The Baseball Beanpot has been held at Fenway Park every year since its inception except for in 2004 and 2010, when the tournament was played at Campanelli Stadium in Brockton, MA.

More Than a Ballpark™

Just a few days before the Red Sox 2005 home opener, Fenway Park hosted the red carpet film premiere of the movie "Fever Pitch," part of which was filmed at the park during the previous season. In July, the first "Hot Stove, Cool Music" concert benefiting Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein's "Foundation to Be Named Later" took place. Later in the summer, the Rolling Stones thrilled the ballpark's audience as the group kicked off its worldwide "Bigger Bang Tour." As part of the Stones' festivities, the Black Eyed Peas also performed. In late September, over 400 guests attended a Storybook Ball at the park. The event included appearances by several celebrities, sports figures and politicians. Due to the humid weather, a custom tent was built on the playing field for the first time in the park's history. Also introduced in 2005 was the Great Fenway Park Writers Series, a civic program that has brought some of the biggest names in the literary world to the ballpark over the last few years.

2005 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park
April 6"Fever Pitch" Film Premiere
May 8Mother's Day Walk
June 19Father's Day Catch
July 16Hot Stove, Cool Music Fenway Sessions Concert
August 21 & 23Rolling Stones Concerts
September 4Picnic in the Park
September 23Storybook Ball
December 10Christmas at Fenway

Fenway Park In 2008 (Credit: Boston Red Sox)