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Showing posts from April, 2014

Irish Patriot John Boyle O'Reilly Helped Form the Boston Athletic Association in 1887

John Boyle O’Reilly (1844-90), known in Boston as an Irish patriot, poet, orator and spokesman for the downtrodden, was one of the founders of the Boston Athletic Association (BAA), in 1887.   In January, 1887, “at the suggestion of the late John Boyle O’Reilly, the first meeting was formed to consider…forming an athletic club in Boston,” wrote The Boston Globe in a March 9, 1912 story on the BAA’s 25th anniversary.  That initial meeting generated excitement and resolve to create an athletic organization, modeled on the popular New York Athletic Club, according to reports. A few months later, on May 9, 1887, the General Court of Massachusetts passed an act to incorporate the BAA, listing O’Reilly as an official, along with other leading Bostonians like Henry Parkman, George Morrison, George W. Beales, Francis L. Higginson, Richard D. Sears and Harrison G. Otis. The first meeting of the BAA took place on June 14, 1887 at the Boston Cadet Armory.   The full membersh

Mayor Curley and Ex-Mayor Fitzgerald Attend Opening Day at Fenway Park, 1914

As the Boston Red Sox faced off the Washington Senators at Fenway Park on April 14, 1914, another battle was going on in the stands between newly-elected Mayor James Michael Curley and his rival, former Mayor John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald . ""Twenty-four thousand, two hundred and seventy-one persons went to Fenway Park yesterday afternoon to see Mayor Curley throw out the first ball....It was an enthusiastic crowd...eager to cheer and ready to use every excuse to the fullest extent," wrote The Boston Globe .   "The first old-time roar of delight came promptly on the handling of (Senator) Eddie Foster's attempt (to steal base).  One minute later John F. Fitzgerald came in and the real thunders broke loose.  Mr. Fitzgerald looked pleased with the world and sat down modestly in a box near the Red Sox dugout." Mayor from 1910-13, Fitzgerald had thrown out the ball when Fenway Park first opened in 1912, and again in 1913.  Fitzge