ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Decades before it became what is today, baseball’s sacred jade bandbox, Fenway Park was a ramshackle dump that often drew crowds below 10,000 to Red Sox games in the early- and mid-’60s.
The pre-Nation Red Sox were bad, their park was worse.
Then came 1967, an astonishing American League pennant, and almost overnight the old park with its dollar bleacher seats and chipped, splintered grandstands was reborn with a mystique, an aura. Today nary a soul dares utter the sheer blasphemy of building a new ballpark for Boston, never mind a New Fenway with a roof, controlled climate, and all the accoutrements one finds here at the enclosed Tropicana Field. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.