In the summer of 1939, more than 70 former players gathered at Fenway to celebrate baseball's 100th birthday. Included were six recent inductees to the Hall of Fame: Pete Alexander, Eddie Collins, Walter Johnson, Tris Speaker, Honus Wagner, and Cy Young. The Veterans of Foreign Wars sponsored this historic game pitting the Nationals against the Americans. The crowd of almost 7,000 enjoyed a nostalgic day of watching the stars of yesterday make new memories on the field. All of the players moved a bit slower now, but the pride and passion of these legends was a thrill to see. Greats of the game from seasons past like "Smokey" Joe Wood, Frank "Home Run" Baker, Albert "Chief" Bender, Herbie Pennock, including the Red Sox great outfield of Hooper, Speaker and Lewis. Even Connie Mack's $100,000 "Stone Wall" infield of McInnis, Baker, Collins and Barry were all there playing the game they loved.
Rain delayed the first inning for about 20 minutes and then, Play Ball was announced. The pitching was outstanding with Joe Wood hitting a drive over the left field wall for a home run proving pitchers can hit. The Americans lost 8 - 4 even with great pitching stars Wood, Johnson, Young, Walsh, Bender, and Pennock. It was the good singles hitting that won the game for the Nationals. A standing ovation from the fans at game's end marked another great day at Fenway Park.
Players were treated to a banquet at the Hotel Statler by their host, the V.F.W. Everything was perfect but reminiscing ballplayers' stories must have been wonderful. The room hushed when VFW's Col. Joseph Hawken announced a $1,000 donation to establish a fund to benefit Old Major Leaguers who needed a hand in their later years.
The evening closed with a toast to the late John Taylor former owner of the Red Sox 1903-1911