clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

80 Years on the Warpath: The Boston Years

It's hard to believe that Fenway Park was once the home of our beloved Redskins.
It's hard to believe that Fenway Park was once the home of our beloved Redskins.

On June 9, 1932 George Preston Marshall, other investors, and the city of Boston were awarded an NFL team. The team was given a group of players from a defunct NFL franchise, the Newark Tornadoes, but none of those players made the opening roster for the team's first game. That team was the Boston Braves, who played at Braves Field in Boston which was home to the more famous baseball team. The Braves went 4-4-2 that opening year defeating the Giants, Cardinals, Staten Island Stapletons, and the Brooklyn Dodgers. Despite decent success for an expansion franchise the team lost $46,000 in 1932 and all the investors dropped out except Marshall.

Following the 1932 season, Marshall moved the team to Fenway Park and changed the team name to the Redskins. The team struggled the next three years, missing the playoffs, and going 13-19-3 from 1932 to 1935. The Redskins fate would change in 1936 when Marshall would hire a former New York Giants player, Ray Flaherty, to coach his squad. The Redskins also added key players Riley Smith and Wayne Millner to help turnaround their offense.

The Skins started out the 1936 season the Skins started the season 4-5, but then went on a three game win streak to capture the Eastern Division and catapult themselves to the NFL Championship game. Fullback, Cliff Battles was the clear cut MVP for the Skins that year gaining nearly 900 all-purpose yards and scoring seven touchdowns. The Skins lost the NFL Championship to the Packers in a 21-6 defeat at New York's Polo Grounds. Why was it at the Polo Grounds? Well in the Skins '36 home finale against the Pittsburgh Pirates only 4,000 fans came to Fenway to root on the team. Marshall became enraged and forfeited the team's home-field advantage for the championship game.

Marshall was so upset he decided to move the team to Washington and draft a player that would change the franchise forever.