On Friday, August 17, the Paw Sox officially announced they were signing a letter of intent to relocate the team to Worcester. This announcement marks a truly sad day for the good people and the state of Rhode Island. Paw Sox baseball has been a staple of southern New England since 1970. Originally as a Double-A team, and then a Triple-A team in 1973. During that time, the Paw Sox have been awarded Baseball America’s Bob Freitas Award. The award is given to the team that exemplifies as the best Triple-A operation in baseball.
Paw Sox Announcing Move to Worcester
The Paw Sox are also four-time Governor’s Cup Champions, winning in 1973, 1984, 2012, and 2014. The Paw Sox and Boston Red Sox relationship has been one of the longest and most successful baseball relationships in history. It is truly sad that Larry Lucchino and the State of Rhode Island could not come to a deal that is good for everyone.
One of the biggest parts of the tremendous history the Paw Sox have is the legendary players that have had the opportunity to call McCoy Stadium their home. Hall of Famers like Carlton Fisk, Wade Boggs, and Jim Rice all spent time with the Paw Sox. Boggs is even part of baseball history with the Paw Sox. The longest game in baseball history took place between the Paw Sox and Rochester Red Wings at McCoy Stadium. The 33-Inning game also featured Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. on the opposing team.
The threat of relocation to Worcester seemed imminent to the minor-league affiliate once before in their history. If it were not for the legendary Ben Mondor, late owner of the Paw Sox, the Woo Sox would be well established. Mondor, two-time executive of the year and Providence College honorary degree holder, transformed baseball in Rhode Island from a bankrupt empty field into a proud tradition. McCoy Stadium was a desolate wasteland before Ben Mondor. Mondor took the field and made it a landmark. There is a reason why it has become the longest used field in minor league baseball. McCoy is celebrating its 76th season in use.
Ben Mondor took on the expensive reconstruction of the field while keeping ticket prices cheap and free parking. It is unlikely another owner would do something quite as remarkable as that. His statue remains outside the field. Many Paw Sox fans are left wondering what Mondor would think about this move. Ben Mondor is in both the Red Sox and Paw Sox Hall of Fame. This interview shows his love for his city and his team.
Larry Lucchino and many Rhode Island politicians are doing the good people of Rhode Island a great disservice. When Lucchino and his ownership group bought the team from the widow of Ben Mondor, they immediately expressed interest in moving the team out of McCoy. Is McCoy Stadium in need of an update? Sure, but the longevity is part of what made it so great. Larry Lucchino and the Red Sox owners fought so hard to preserve Fenway, but he could not do the same for McCoy. This is truly a heartbreaking day in Rhode Island.
“And somewhere men are laughing. And somewhere children shout. But there is no joy in Rhode Island. For Larry Lucchino screwed us over.”