Normally my baseball stadium visits are to current ballparks, but over the years I have ventured to see historic sites of former ballparks. I made one such visit while in Boston earlier this year.
Just down the street from my hotel was the site of the Huntington Avenue American League Baseball Grounds. The facility was better known as the Huntington Avenue Grounds, which was the first home of the MLB franchise now known as the Boston Red Sox (known as the Boston Americans from 1901 to 1908). The Red Sox played at Huntington Avenue Grounds from 1901 to 1911, and moved into Fenway Park in 1912.
The ballpark was torn down after the Red Sox moved to their new ballpark. The site is now home to Northeastern University’s Cabot Center, which is home to the university’s women’s basketball and volleyball teams. A plaque on the building is the first sign that a Major League Baseball stadium used to be at this site.
|A plaque on the Cabot Center commemorating the former site of the Huntington Avenue Grounds,|
The plaque details what really makes Huntington Avenue Grounds important within American baseball history as site of the first World Series game, which pitted the National League’s Pittsburg Pirates against the American League’s Boston Americans.
Around the corner from the Cabot Center you will see a sign for World Series Way, which directs people to the most important aspects of this site.
|Sign for World Series Way with the Cabot Center in the background.|
The plaque on the Cabot Center was erected in 1956, but it wasn’t until 1993 that a marker commemorated the location home plate. In addition to home plate, a statue of Boston starting pitcher Cy Young on the pitcher’s mound was also dedicated. Those are found in a courtyard just to the left of the World Series Way sign.
|Current sight line from home plate to the pitcher’s mound at Huntington Avenue Grounds.|
|Robert Shure’s statue of Boston Americans starting pitcher Cy Young,
who was the first person to throw a pitch in a World Series games.
|Closeup of text etched into the statue near Cy Young’s foot.|
Unfortunately there is nothing left from Huntington Avenue Grounds because like many ballparks of its era it was built with wood. However, there is a marker providing some detail about the history of the site near the Cy Young statue.
|Marker detailing the importance of Huntington Avenue Grounds within the history of American baseball.|
If you are interested in seeing more photographs of Huntington Avenue Grounds as it appeared in October 1903 during the first World Series and other images during its history, you can check out an online display from the Boston Public Library (see it here).