While Fenway Park's attendance for Red Sox games took a sharp turn downward in 1921, the park continued to open its gates for amateur football after the Red Sox season ended.

The Red Sox

Record: 75-79, 5th in American League
Manager: Hugh Duffy
Attendance: 279,273

As the 1920 calendar year was ending, Harry Frazee pulled off his fourth trade with the Yankees in 24 months. In December 1920, the Red Sox sent pitcher Waite Hoyt (a future Hall of Famer) and three others to New York for only one player who would excel, second baseman Del Pratt. In addition, Frazee decided to let manager Ed Barrow escape to the Yankees, where he became business manager, the equivalent of the modern-day general manager.

Over the 1920-21 offseason, Frazee hired longtime Boston baseball man Hugh Duffy as field manager. In early March 1921, popular 12-year veteran right fielder Harry Hooper was traded to the White Sox for Shano Collins and Nemo Leibold. Some members of the press began to pile on Frazee, and Boston Evening American sportswriter Nick Flately called for a fan boycott of Fenway Park. By the end of the year, attendance at Fenway Park ranked last in the American League.

As the newcomer, Pratt led the team with a .324 batting average, 102 RBIs and five home runs. Judged by ERA, the two best pitchers were Sad Sam Jones and Bullet Joe Bush, who combined for 39 wins and 25 losses.

The team continued to tread water and finished in fifth place for the second consecutive year. The trades between the Red Sox and Yankees seemed to be working out in New York's favor as the Yankees won the first pennant in their history while the Red Sox finished 23 ½ games behind.

Renovations

In 1921, the distances from home plate to each foul pole were first recorded as 324 feet down the left-field line and 313.5 feet down the right-field line.

Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park

The Boston vs. New York rivalry in the 1920's wouldn't be a kind one to the team from Massachusetts, though Boston's All-Interscholastic team did defeat New York's squad at Fenway Park by a 2-1 score on July 16, 1921.

1921 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park
July 16Boston All-Interscholastic 2, New York All-Interscholastic 1

More Than a Ballpark™

Fenway Park hosted its second Columbus Day football doubleheader in as many years on October 12, 1921, with Boston English and Boston Latin taking home victories. The next month, High School of Commerce defeated Brooklyn Commercial High School and Dartmouth's freshman team shut out Dean Academy

1921 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park
October 12Boston English 27, Dorchester 0 (Football)
October 12Boston Latin 6, Mechanics Arts High School 0 (Football)
November 12High School of Commerce 27, Brooklyn Commercial
High School 5 (Football)
November 18Dartmouth Freshman Team 21, Dean Academy 0 (Football)


November 18, 1921
 Dartmouth Freshmen Defeat Dean Academy, 21-0

In a game that press accounts described as both disappointing and penalty-marred, Dartmouth's freshman football team showcased their talent against a strong Dean Academy squad before a Fenway Park crowd that featured many Dartmouth alumni and former players. At the time, Dartmouth was building a national collegiate powerhouse and within four seasons they would secure lasting fame by capturing the 1925 National Championship. Dartmouth's rare trips to Fenway Park served as a great recruiting vehicle as well as a rallying point for Boston alumni.

Fenway Park In 1929 (Credit: Leslie Jones/Boston Public Library)