Tuesday, February 21, 2006

February 21st, 1929

Red Sox Announce Game Location

Although it seems a wildly absurd concept these days, it was only a bit over seventy-five years ago that baseball games--and a good deal else--was prohibited on Sundays. That was (and is) the Sabbath so laws were in place to encourage players and fans to keep it holy, rather than head off to the ballpark. These laws were slowly relaxed around the country; the one in Boston finally removed prior to the 1929 season, granting both the Red Sox and Braves the chance to play there.

Despite being able to play on Sundays, all was not well in Red Sox nation. It was observed that
Fenway Park stood rather close to a church. (From what I can remember, these days it's only near a few bars and a McDonald's.) Fearing that the sort-of ruffians who might attend a baseball game on a Sunday would trouble the good, God-fearing people who had chosen to attend church on that day, the Sox announced that their Sunday games would instead be played at Braves' Field, which presumably was in a church-free area.

These days, of course, the Red Sox play their Sunday home games at Fenway--they have little choice; Braves' Field has been renamed and remodeled and now hosts Boston University's soccer games. But it is hardly ancient history that Sunday baseball was a new concept and one of baseball's most notable franchises was forced to play their home games elsewhere in deference to church goers.

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