In 1970, the Red Sox regularly closed off a section in the center-field bleachers to help hitters see the ball as the pitcher released it. The section took on the nickname, "Conig's Corner," after Tony Conigliaro, who was hit by a pitch in the eye in 1967. The club also enclosed Fenway Park's center field flag pole, which had been in play on the warning track since 1934. The Red Sox had a new manager in Eddie Kasko but the same third place result in 1970 and in July, a group of Jehovah's Witnesses flocked to the park.
Record: 87-75, 3rd in American League East
Manager: Edward M. Kasko
Under new manager Eddie Kasko, the 1970 Red Sox finished 87-75. Though they placed third in the league standings, they ranked first in attendance, at 1,595,278.
Carl Yastrzemski led the league in both on-base percentage and slugging, and matched the 40 home runs he'd hit in 1969. His May 16 home run was one of the longest ever hit at Fenway Park. The ball traveled all the way out of the park to straightaway center, passing to the right of the flagpole, which had been enclosed and taken out of play before the season.
Tony Conigliaro led the team with 116 RBIs and combined with his brother Billy to hit 54 home runs, which still stands as a single-season record for two relatives playing for the same team. Seven Boston players hit at least 16 homers, and the Red Sox hit a then-club record 203 home runs.
The pitching staff was led by Ray Culp (17-14), Gary Peters (16-11) and Sonny Siebert (15-8). The trio accounted for 48 of the team's 87 victories. Yastrzemski almost won another batting title but lost out by fractions of a point after playing through a twisted ankle.
In 1970, the Red Sox regularly closed off a triangular section in the center-field bleachers (the area the batter sees directly behind the pitcher's release point). This area came to be known as "Conig's Corner," since it gave Tony Conigliaro a better background for hitting and perhaps protected him against another beaning. However, after the season, GM Dick O'Connell announced that he had traded Conigliaro to California for Doug Griffin.
For almost 60 years, Fenway Park's flagpole in center field was a quirky part of the field of play. However, in 1970, the flag pole was enclosed when an extension, which is used as a location for television cameras today, was built on the left side of the bleachers.
The Sunday Advertisers defeated the Record Americans for the third straight year in 1970.
|1970 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park|
|August 3||William Randolph Hearst Sandlot Tournament: Sunday Advertisers 7, Record Americans 2|
A decade after their last venture to Fenway Park, the Jehovah's Witnesses returned for another four-day event at the ballpark in 1970. They called the gathering the "Men of Good Will Assembly" and drew 20,000 participants.
|1970 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park|
|January 20||Junior Goodwill Dinner*|
|July 9-12||Jehovah's Witnesses Gathering|
*For several years, Fenway Park hosted a Junior Goodwill Dinner that brought hundreds of local high school students to the ballpark. The tradition was started by Red Sox legend Joe Cronin and the event typically took place in late January.