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A New York-Boston rivalry from 100 years ago

The World Champion 1912 Red Sox
The World Champion 1912 Red Sox photo

Everyone knows this is the centennial year of Fenway Park, but perhaps the most amazing part of the Red Sox story in 1912 is that they christened the new ballyard with a World Championship over the New York Giants. As they entered Gotham City on October 7, 1912, the New York Times recounted their arrival. When they disembarked at Grand Central Station, cheers went up from onlookers, attesting to the fact that, as the Times said:

"...the visitors were not without friends even in a hostile city."

And proving that some things never change, no matter what the era, Boston's manager Chick Stahl handicapped the series thusly:

"It is difficult to say what the chief factor will be in winning a series of this kind, but, in my opinion, it is good pitching."

But, by far the best tid-bit in the article was the pointed exchange of telegrams between New York Mayor William J. Gaynor and the notorious Boston Mayor J.F. "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald. First, Gaynor's taunting invitation:

"The Mayor asks if you will give him the pleasure of sitting in his box tomorrow to witness the defeat of the Red Sox by the Giants."

Honey Fitz's retort could fit right in to a 2012 Sox-Empire rivalry:

"It will give me pleasure to be your guest as the Red Sox begin their onward march to the world's championship and to congratulate you upon the fact that your city, the greatest in the country and possessing the best ball team in the National League, is to have the distinguished honor of adding to the glory of the best city in the world and to the laurels of the finest ball team ever organized."



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