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Friday, April 4, 2014

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.  Fitzgerald opted not to run for reelection in 1914 when Curley threatened to reveal Fitzgerald's "well-known dalliance with a blond cigarette girl named 'Toodles' Ryan, who worked at the Ferncroft Inn," according to author Thomas H. O'Connor.

The Senators defeated the Red Sox 3-0 that day.

For more about Boston's Irish heritage, visit