On October 4, 1948 Fenway Park hosted the first playoff game in American League history when the Red Sox faced off against the Indians to decide the pennant. Led by new manager Joe McCarthy, the 1948 Red Sox won 96 games in the regular season but lost to Cleveland in the one-game playoff. Boston University's football team and the Boston Yanks also shared the Fenway Park field in 1948, the last year the Yanks called the ballpark their home.

The Red Sox

Record: 96-59, 2nd in American League
Manager: Joseph V. McCarthy
Attendance: 1,558,798

The Red Sox finished the 1948 regular season tied for first place with Cleveland and the first playoff game in American League history was played at Fenway Park to decide who would advance to the World Series. Earlier in the season, the first television broadcast of a Red Sox game at Fenway Park took place on May 12.

It was Boston's first season under new manager Joe McCarthy, who had managed the Yankees to eight pennants in 16 seasons. Ted Williams helped lead the charge again with a .369 batting average and 127 RBIs. Johnny Pesky was shifted to third base and his average dropped below .300 for the first time in his career. Pesky still scored 124 run, just below Dom DiMaggio's club-leading 127. Vern Stephens, who had taken Pesky's shortstop slot, led the team with 29 home runs and 137 RBIs.

Southpaw Mel Parnell made his debut in 1948 and won 15 games with a 3.14 ERA. Joe Dobson went 16-10 with a 3.56 ERA and Jack Kramer, who'd come over with Vern Stephens in a trade with the Browns the previous winter, went 18-5.

At the end of the regular season, the Red Sox stood tied with the Indians atop the AL with 96 wins. to decide the pennant, a one -game playoff was played at Fenway Park on October 4. . Cleveland player/manager Lou Boudreau started a rookie, 19-game winner Gene Bearden, while McCarthy handed the ball to veteran Galehouse instead of the well-rested Parnell. Galehouse, who had been pounded by Cleveland in a late August game, didn't make it out of the fourth inning, while Bearden won his 20th game for the Indians. Cleveland's win eliminated the Red Sox and prevented what would have been the only cross-town World Series in Boston history. Instead, the Indians went on to defeat the Braves in six games.

Renovations

Over the 1947-48 offseason, both clubhouses, which were located next to each other on the first-base side of the park, received improvements to their walls and plumbing fixtures. In addition, a steel staircase was built to a new one-room level for the umpires and on the grandstand roof, the club added restrooms for patrons in the premium "sky-view" seating on each side of the press box.

Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park

As part of the Mayor's Charity Field Day on July 13, 1948, the New England Hoboes (a novelty team) defeated the Dick Casey Club of Dorchester, 2-0.

1948 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park
June 16Brockton High 4, Lynn Classical 2
June 16Milford 13, Case 3
July 13Mayor's Charity Field Day: New England Hoboes 2, Dick Casey Club 0*

*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.

More Than a Ballpark™

In their final season at Fenway Park, the Boston Yanks finished with a disappointing 2-4 home record, though they went out in style with an upset of the powerful Philadelphia Eagles. Boston University's football team won its first two games at Fenway Park in 1948 but was trounced by the University of Iowa in their final game at the ballpark that fall.

1948 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park
July 13Mayor's Charity Field Day*
September 17Green Bay Packers 31, Boston Yanks 0 (Football)
September 23New York Giants 27, Boston Yanks 7 (Football)
October 17Boston Yanks 13, Pittsburgh Steelers 7 (Football)
October 22Boston University 28, New York University 7 (Football)
October 30Boston University 12, Syracuse 7 (Football)
November 7Washington Redskins 23, Boston Yanks 7 (Football)
November 20University of Iowa 34, Boston University 14 (Football)
November 21Chicago Bears 51, Boston Yanks 17 (Football)
December 5Boston Yanks 37, Philadelphia Eagles 14 (Football)

*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.


December 5, 1948
 Philadelphia Eagles Upset By Last-Place Yanks, 37-14

A crowd of 9,652 saw both the greatest and last game in the short history of the Boston Yanks, as the underdogs upset the NFL East Champion Philadelphia Eagles by a score of 37-14. Following the game, Yanks owner Ted Collins remarked, "I guess we'll move," but added, "I don't know for sure yet and I may be back again next season. It's strictly an economic situation." Collins moved the team to New York the next year, where they played as the New York Bulldogs. Later, the franchise shifted to Dallas, where they became the Dallas Texans in 1952. Ultimately they moved to Baltimore and became known as the Colts, who now play in Indianapolis after their infamous move in 1983.

The 1946 World Series at Fenway Park (Credit: The Brearley Collection)