FENtennial opens in Cooperstown

By Craig Muder

The lady wearing the Red Sox jersey ducked under the stanchions and hurried over to the new exhibit – getting a sneak peek at history.

“Carlton Fisk used Rick Burleson’s bat to hit his home run in the 1975 World Series? I had no idea!” she said before the official opening of the Hall of Fame’s new Fenway Park exhibit. “What a story!”

It’s just one of hundreds told by FENtennial: Fenway Park’s First 100 Years – which officially opened to the public on Tuesday at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

The new 'FENtennial' exhibit opened on the second floor of the Museum. Fenway Park opened on April 20, 1912. (Milo Stewart Jr./National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)

The exhibit, located on the Museum’s second floor and included with admission to the Hall of Fame, uses artifacts like the bat Fisk used to end Game 6 of the 1975 Fall Classic – a bat he sought due to its light weight after Fisk had already caught all 12 innings of that iconic game.

It’s all part of the history of Fenway Park, the major leagues’ oldest cathedral which hosted its first American League game on April 20, 1912. The exhibit will remain on display through the 2012 season.

“That’s a Ted Williams jersey,” said a fan wearing a Yankees cap and jersey emblazoned with Don Mattingly’s signature No. 23. “That’s history right there.”

That’s history at the home of baseball history – in Cooperstown.

Craig Muder is the director of communications at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

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