Though the first few years of the Yawkey era brought significant on-field improvement, the Red Sox took a step backwards in 1936 and the club fell below .500 for the first time in three years. However the seeds of future success were planted in 1936 when the club signed two youngsters named Ted Williams and Bobby Doerr. Before the season, a net was hung above the left-field wall to protect people and property on adjacent Lansdowne Street and in the fall, the Redskins enjoyed a successful final season in Boston.
Record: 74-80, 6th in American League
Manager: Joseph E. Cronin
The Philadelphia Athletics continued to offer talent to the Red Sox in the same way that Boston had assisted the Yankees in the 1920s. In December 1935, the Red Sox picked up slugger Jimmie Foxx and right-hander Johnny Marcum in exchange for $150,000 and a pair of lesser players. By the end of 1936, Pinky Higgins became the 10th player to come to the Red Sox from the Athletics since the end of the 1933 season.
The turnover of Boston's roster was so complete that by July 2, 1936, every regular on the team, as well the entire coaching staff, had come from another team. For the first time in the 20th century, not one Red Sox player was homegrown. Looking to find talent on their own, General Manager Eddie Collins began scouting younger ballplayers that Boston could develop, signing two prospects named Bob Doerr and Ted Williams during a trip to the West Coast in 1936.
Foxx met every expectation and batted .338, collecting a then-franchise record 41 home runs and 143 RBIs, while walking over 100 times and posting a .440 OBP. However, the team's overall hitting wasn't good and though Foxx helped the Red Sox score more runs than the year before, they still ranked second to last in the league with 775 runs scored.
Wes Ferrell won 20 games and Lefty Grove won 17 but no other pitcher won more than 10 games in 1936. Ferrell left the team without permission at least twice and was suspended for the season on August 21 after walking off the field and leaving the park. Though Ferrell insisted there had been a misunderstanding and was ultimately reinstated, 1936 would be Ferrell's last full season in Boston.
One of the bigger changes at Fenway Park in 1936 was that beer was available once again. Even though prohibition was repealed with the December 1933 ratification of the 21st Amendment, the amendment left primary control of setting liquor laws in the hands of the individual states and it had taken a while for state and local officials to set regulations and issue licenses. But by 1936, a patron could once again buy a glass of beer at Boston's ballparks.
In 1936, with the prevalence of home runs increasing, a 23-foot high net was added above the left-field wall to protect pedestrians and property on Lansdowne Street. To retrieve balls hit into the net, a ladder was attached vertically to the top portion of the wall. Located about a third of the way from the left-field foul pole to the center-field bleachers, the ladder stopped 13 feet above the ground and a portable ladder was used to reach it. In 2003, when the Green Monster Seats were added and the net taken down, the use of the ladder became obsolete. However, the ladder remains to this day as one of Fenway Park's quirks and the fixture on the famous wall, which is considered part of fair territory, has caused many interesting plays over the years.
In 1936, Fenway Park continued to host a plethora of non-Red Sox baseball games, including the Massachusetts high school state title game in June and a series of local league games in July.
|1936 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park|
|June 16||Somerville High 10, Milford High 2|
|June 16||Lowell High 6, Watertown High 2|
|June 17||Somerville High 9, Lowell High 8|
|June 20||Templeton High 2, Somerville High 1 (MA State Title Game)|
|July 27||Cottage Court (Waltham) 6, Dorrance A. C. (Worcester) 1|
|July 27||Clarmac A. A. (Franklin) 5, Canton A. A. 2|
|July 28||Miller Oil (Waltham) 12, Newton Independents 5|
|July 28||Baysides (Hull) 11, Smart Oil (Waltham) 6|
|July 29||Firestones (New Bedford) 5, Boston All-Start 2 (Eight Innings)|
|July 29||Hall All-Stars (Somerville) 2, Casey Paper Company (Haverhill) 2 (Tie)|
|July 30||Currans Express (Milford) 15, St. Therese Baseball Club (Everett) 0|
|July 30||Norwood Press 10, Muldoons (Brighton) 5|
In their final season in Boston, the Redskins went 4-3 at Fenway Park before Redskins owner George Preston Marshall moved the team to Washington, D.C. in 1937. While the Redskins played their last season at Fenway Park, Boston College football returned the park for the first time since 1931.
|1936 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park|
|May 17||War Memorial Service*|
|June 25||Jack Sharkey Defeats Phil Brubaker in 10-Round Match (Boxing)|
|October 4||New York Giants 7, Boston Redskins 0 (Football)|
|October 12||Temple 14, Boston College 0 (Football)|
|October 17||Boston University 6, Washington University 0 (Football)|
|October 18||Boston Redskins 17, Philadelphia Eagles 7 (Football)|
|October 31||Boston College 13, Michigan State 13 (Football)|
|November 1||Boston Redskins 13, Chicago Cardinals 10 (Football)|
|November 7||Boston College 7, North Carolina State 3 (Football)|
|November 8||Green Bay Packers 7, Boston Redskins 3 (Football)|
|November 15||Chicago Bears 26, Boston Redskins 0 (Football)|
|November 22||Boston Redskins 30, Brooklyn Dodgers 6 (Football)|
|November 28||Boston College 13, Holy Cross 12 (Football)|
|November 29||Boston Redskins 30, Pittsburgh Steelers 0 (Football)|
*Started in the 1910s, a late May memorial service coinciding with the Memorial Day weekend was often held at Fenway Park through the mid-20th Century.
In the Redskins' final game at Fenway Park before moving to Washington, D.C., Ray Flaherty's men inched closer to clinching a spot in the NFL championship game with a thumping win over the Pittsburgh Pirates by a score of 30-0. However, only 4,000 braved the unseasonably bitter cold weather to attend what would be the last NFL game in Boston until the arrival of the Boston Yanks in 1944. Redskins owner George Preston Marshall not only moved his team to Washington, D.C. the next year, but also moved what would have been the first and only NFL championship game to be played at Fenway Park to the Polo Grounds in New York, where the Redskins lost to the Packers by a score of 21-6 on December 13, 1936.