Gibson House Museum Presents Program on Early Baseball in Boston

May 11, 2018
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On Monday, May 21, the Gibson House Museum presents “Honoring and Memorializing the World Champion 1918 Red Sox” with Red Sox Team Historian Gordon Edes and Skip Desjardin, author of the forthcoming book “September 1918: War, Plague, and the World Series.”

The year 1918 represents a watershed period in the history of the nation, the Commonwealth and the Boston Red Sox. The world was at war, and a division of Massachusetts militia volunteers led the first unified American fighting force into battle in France, turning the tide in what we now call World War I. But death was not confined to the battlefield. The world’s deadliest pandemic, the Spanish Flu, swept across Boston and its suburbs, leaving in its wake unimaginable loss and sorrow beyond that already inflicted by war.

Meanwhile, the Red Sox were cementing their place as baseball’s first great dynasty and in 1918 would win their fifth World Series in 16 seasons—and their last in 86 years. Their star pitcher, Babe Ruth, would soon be sparring with the club’s new owner, a theater impresario named Harry Frazee. A little more than a year following the 1918 World Series win, Frazee would sell the Babe to the New York Yankees in a deal that would define two franchises for the better part of a century.

Joining to tell the story of that momentous year will be Red Sox Team Historian Gordon Edes, a former sports journalist for the Boston Globe and ESPN, and Skip Desjardin, author of the forthcoming book “September 1918: War, Plague, and the World Series.” Desjardin, a 30-year media veteran, has worked as a journalist, television anchor, producer and programming executive.

Prior to the program, Edes will offer a special tour of Fenway Park at 3:30 p.m. The tour is limited to 30. This is a unique opportunity to get a special, behind-the-scenes look at the park from the perspective of asports journalist and historian who has covered the team for decades.

Festivities begin at 5:30 p.m. in the courtyard of the Gibson House Museum at 137 Beacon St., with a “Ballpark Cocktail Hour” featuring beer, hot dogs, and crackerjacks. The program gets underway at 6:30 p.m. at the Trustees Reading Room at Fisher College (across the street at 118 Beacon St.) Gibson House Museum supporter Robert Goodof will moderate, leading a “fireside chat” with Edes and Desjardin.

Pre-registration for the program and the Fenway Park tour is necessary at http://www.thegibsonhouse.org/events.html.

Tickets for the 5:30 p.m. program are $30, with a special $25 admission for members of the Gibson House Museum, the Boston Braves Historical Association, the BoSox Club, the Boston Preservation Alliance, the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay, the Society for American Baseball Research, and the Victorian Society. Tickets for the 3:30 p.m. tour of Fenway Park are $10. Registrants should bring their e-mail receipt to the meeting point of 4 Yawkey Way.

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