The history of Fenway Park, in its Voices' words



A Celebration of Fenway Park's Centennial Told Through Red Sox Radio and TV

302 pages; 6" x 9" ; 40 B&W Photos; Appendixes; Sources; Index

$27.50   $22.00
Available: May 2012
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The Green Monster. The Triangle. Pesky’s Pole. They are but a few of the defining features of Fenway Park, home base for legions of devoted Red Sox fans. Now, a hundred years after Fenway first opened its gates, Mercy! tells the park’s history through Red Sox radio and TV announcers recalling and commemorating the American institution.

Mercy! is three history books in one, covering Fenway, the Red Sox, and their Voices on the air. Announcers have become as much a part of Red Sox lore as the park has. Fred Hoey was the team’s first radio announcer. Successor Jim Britt called its first live TV broadcast. Curt Gowdy denoted respectability, courtesy, and pluck. Ken Coleman played his voice like a violin. Ned Martin’s signature exclamation gives Mercy! its title. He called one legendary game after another, including Carlton Fisk waving fair his World Series–tying home run in 1975. Other well-known Voices include Bob Murphy, Jim Woods, Jon Miller, Ken Harrelson, Dick Stockton, Sean McDonough, and Joe Castiglione. In 2004, when the Sox finally won their first World Series since 1918, Castiglione asked the Nation, “Can you believe it?” Many can’t, even now.

Baseball historian Curt Smith’s interviews with many of these beloved broadcasting personalities provide the backbone for this unique celebration of “America’s Most Beloved Ballpark.”

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)

CURT SMITH is a senior lecturer of English at the University of Rochester, a GateHouse Media columnist, and the author of sixteen books, including the classic Voices of the Game. He has written for such publications as Newsweek, the New York Times, and the Washington Post and has been named to the prestigious Judson Welliver Society of former presidential speechwriters.


"My good friend Curt Smith is a marvelous writer, as this terrific centennial salute to Fenway Park shows. Here is the history of Fenway, the Red Sox, players like my hero and dear friend Ted Williams, and great broadcasters like Curt Gowdy—all in one book. Reading Mercy!, you will grasp why baseball, my favorite team sport, is so beloved."—George H. W. Bush

“This is an extraordinary book, and for those of us who grew up with the Red Sox, starting back when Tom Yawkey bought the team, it is more than extraordinary. The Red Sox announcers were THE Voices of the team. We've had lots of books about the Red Sox. This one takes it a whole new level.”—Michael Dukakis

“Firmly established as baseball broadcasting’s top historian and chronicler, Curt Smith has expertly researched and documented those of us entrusted to be the eyes and ears of Red Sox Nation. He beautifully captures the essence of being a Red Sox fan—and why Fenway Park is ‘America’s Most Beloved Ballpark.’”—Joe Castiglione, Radio Voice, Boston Red Sox

Mercy! is a grand evocation of the history of the Red Sox told through the voices that called and amplified the games for us from the broadcasting booth. Smith’s style – punchy and laden with wonderful quotations – is a perfect fit for this truly remarkable broadcast history.”—Paul Dickson, author of Bill Veeck: Baseball’s Greatest Maverick

“Curt Smith is simply one of the best baseball historians ever. This is a must-read for any fan of the Olde Towne Team. Like my Cubs, the Red Sox play in an iconic park, have an immense fan base, and know legendary heartbreak. This book shows why, to some, baseball history is even more sublime than baseball present.”—Pat Hughes, Radio Voice, Chicago Cubs

“Curt Smith displays an amazing awareness of why Sox mikemen are revered as electronic family members, enhancing baseball with their words, tones, and comments. His use of actual play-by-play to complement game action adds a powerful dimension. Terrific insight and research forge absolute can’t-put-down reading.”—Bob Wolff, America’s longest-running sportscaster

“Curt Smith brings two great New England passions alive as only he can: history and Red Sox baseball on radio and television. Mercy! is a wonderful walk down memory lane with each, chronicling the Olde Towne Team’s legacy. An immensely artful and enjoyable book.”—Dave O’Brien, Radio Voice, Boston Red Sox

“Esteemed author Curt Smith has homered again with Mercy! – a poignant and humorous valentine to baseball’s most beloved park. Kudos to the Red Sox for not buckling under the economic pressures to vacate this sacred ground. And kudos to Smith for taking this unique approach to telling the story of the Fens.”—Scott Pitoniak, author of Memories of Yankee Stadium

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