Here is a bold statement. I found a tangible piece of American history that is better than any webpage I could find on the world wide web of information on that particular subject matter. Better in the sense of not only capturing the information on the subject matter, but also the advertising of the times, the catch phrases, the hair styles, the economic state – all captured in a magazine. This magazine, the 1962 Yearbook for the Boston Red Sox.
The 1962 Boston Red Sox were not the powerhouse of the American League. They finished 19 games back of the very powerful New York Yankees, who would in fact win the World Series that year, defeating the San Francisco Giants. The Red Sox featured young talent in the field and on the mound. Led by a 23 year old outfielder from Long Island, one Carl Yastrzemski, who is listed as “the most natural batsman who has come into baseball in years.” Promising Pitcher and newcomer Richard (Dick) Radatz was listed as “a teacher in the off season.” All Star Pitcher Bill Monbouquette was local star from nearby Medford, MA and was a star in both hockey and baseball as well as “a good will representative in the Red Sox ticket office in the off season.” Can you imagine David Ortiz hanging out on Yawkey Way during the Red Sox off season as the good will representative in the ticket office? Or how about Dustin Pedroia as a substitute teacher in your classroom?
The advertising sections of this yearbook are classic. The wording, the photos, the cartoons, the captions, the products. All point to the early 1960’s. Check out this ad for a cigarette company, in a baseball magazine! This would never fly today but somehow it worked in 1962. In fact, of the only 5 or 6 advertisements in this yearbook, 2 are for cigarette companies, one for Coca-Cola, and one for Hood Milk. This yearbook is mostly information, with very few ads mixed in. A far cry from magazines now, where advertising dominates the majority of the pages in a modern day magazine.
Fenway Park has been rumored to be shut down, moved, demolitioned for decades. Just about every Major League baseball team has a newer stadium, with modern amenities that rival 5 star hotels. Fenway Park has sat on the same parcel of land since it opened in 1912 and has over the years been renovated to keep up with the rest of the league’s stadiums. Here is a shot of Fenway Park from the center pages of this yearbook. Shot appears to be from the right field bleachers seats. If you were to walk up from this spot to section 42, row 37, seat 21, you would notice a red seat painted in the sea of green seats at Fenway. For Boston Red Sox fans, you know what that seat means.
Ticket prices for a 2016 game at Fenway Park are available for viewing on www.redsox.com. As a comparison, in 1962, ticket prices for the game started at $1.00 for bleacher and grandstand admission, with the box seats topping out at $3.00/seat. Here is the section showing tickets, games, and other information about purchasing your ticket.
This 1962 Boston Red Sox Yearbook is an incredible piece of history. I have read through it a number of times and always find something really cool that makes me smile. For example, it states that outfielder Carroll Hardy had the “distinction in 1960 of becoming the only player ever to pinch hit for Ted Williams” mostly because Williams injured himself during an at-bat. Or that a Schilling (Charles) was on the team in 1962. Or how about “Nun’s Day” with a photo of a group of nuns crocheting? Priceless.
For more information about this 1962 Boston Red Sox Yearbook, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.