For the first time in its history, Fenway Park welcomed more than 2,000,000 fans to the park for Red Sox games in 1977. Most of the fans entered from the street previously called Jersey Street, whose section adjacent the ballpark was renamed Yawkey Way in 1977 to honor Tom Yawkey, the longtime Red Sox owner who passed away the year before. When Red Sox fan took their seats inside the park in 1977, they saw a team that had no shortage of offensive firepower but Boston's 97 wins weren't enough to clinch a playoff spot. During the season, minor league and college baseball games were also played at Fenway Park, including an all-star game between the Cape Cod Baseball League and Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League.
Record: 97-64, Tied for 2nd in American League East
Manager: Donald W. Zimmer
The Red Sox hit a league-leading 213 home runs in 1977 and seven of the nine Boston regulars hit 15 or more round-trippers. Leading the charge were Jim Rice, George Scott and Butch Hobson, who each reached the 30-homer plateau on the season.
On June 19, the Red Sox completed a three-game sweep of the Yankees at Fenway Park, belting a major-league record 16 homers in the series. The day before, New York manager Billy Martin and star player Reggie Jackson had to be separated in the visitors' dugout.
The Red Sox kicked off the season with a 10-2 exhibition victory over Northeastern at Fenway Park on April 11. The club stayed in the hunt all year long and never trailed the division leader by more than 4 ½ games. They ended the year by winning 10 of their last 13 games, but fell 2 ½ games short of the Yankees. However, for the first time in Fenway Park history, Red Sox home attendance passed the 2,000,000 mark.
With all the home runs that they hit, Red Sox players picked up RBIs in droves. Jim Rice led the club with 114, one of four Boston players who passed the century mark for runs batted in. Rice also collected 206 base hits, the first time a Red Sox batter had reached 200 since Johnny Pesky did so in 1947. A 100-plus RBI man himself, Carl Yastrzemski had a great season in the field and went the entire year without committing an error despite shuffling between the outfield and first base. His 16 outfield assists also led the league. A more obscure player by the name of Ted Cox put his name in the trivia books in 1977 by knocking a base hit in every one of his first six at-bats.
Reliever Bill "Soup" Campbell won 13 games and saved 31, eclipsing Dick Radatz's record 29 saves in 1964. Campbell led the team in wins on a staff that had six other pitchers win 10 games or more.
The year after Red Sox Owner Tom Yawkey passed away, the portion of Jersey Street bordering Fenway Park was officially renamed Yawkey Way in his honor. The street would later become part of the ballpark during games when it was opened as the Yawkey Way Concourse in 2002 but it has always been the main entrance and gathering spot for fans coming to Fenway Park.
In 1977, Fenway Park hosted the Cape Cod Baseball League and Atlantic Collegiate League all-star teams for the second time, having held the event for the first time in 1975. Just like in their first Fenway match-up, the Cape League defeated the Atlantic Collegiate team in 1977. On August 11, a team of Eastern League (Double-A) All-Stars defeated the Bristol Red Sox, Boston's minor league affiliate in the Eastern League, by a 5-3 margin at Fenway Park.
|1977 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park|
|August 1||Cape Cod Baseball League 8, Atlantic Collegiate League 3*|
|August 11||Eastern League All-Stars 5, Bristol Red Sox 3|
* From 1975 to 1987, on a biennial basis, Fenway Park hosted an all-star game between the Cape Code Baseball League and the Atlantic Collegiate League. The all-star game alternated between Fenway Park and sites closer to the ACL's teams, such as Yankee Stadium and Veterans Stadium. In 1988, the Cape Cod Baseball League returned to an intra-league format for their annual all-star game and in 2009, Cape Code League All-Stars returned to Fenway Park for the Cape Cod League All-Star Game, which was played again in 2010.