BOSTON (CBS) — The Red Sox’ Triple-A affiliate is officially moving to Worcester.
Pawtucket, Rhode Island will no longer be home to Boston’s top minor league team, as the soon-to-be Worcester Red Sox are set to move into a newly constructed stadium in the city’s Canal District in Kelley Square in 2021.
“We are eager to build an innovative, family-friendly ballpark that reflects the love and appreciation of baseball and that unifies Central Massachusetts and the Blackstone Valley Corridor,” PawSox Chairman Larry Lucchino said Friday.
As you can see, the new stadium has a big wall in left field, similar to Fenway Park’s Green Monster.
The multi-use ballpark, is part of a multi-million dollar redevelopment in the Canal District, which will also include new apartments, two hotels (one of which will overlook the ballpark), and 65,000 square feet of retail and restaurant spaces. The completion date is expected to be sometime in March 2021. Lucchino said it will be named “Polar Park” and sponsored by the Polar beverage company.
It’s not yet known if the team’s official nickname will be the “WooSox” as many on social media have assumed, but Lucchino said it is indeed “one of the candidates.”
The PawSox have called McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket their home since their inception in 1970, originally starting as Boston’s Double-A affiliate for their first two years of existence. There is a lot of history surrounding the PawSox, who have won four Governers’ Cups to claim the International League title. Their most recent championship came in 2014.
Such Red Sox greats as Carlton Fisk, Jim Rice and Wade Boggs started their Hall of Fame careers in Pawtucket, and all three are in the team’s Hall of Fame as well as the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Other famous Boston prospects to spend time in Pawtucket include Roger Clemens, Mo Vaughn, Nomar Garciaparra, Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia.
Pawtucket was also the site of the longest professional baseball game ever played, a 33-inning PawSox win over the Rochester Red Wins in 1981. Boggs and fellow Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. played in the record tilt, which started on April 18. Play was suspended at 4:07 a.m., and did not resume until June 23 when the Red Wings returned to Pawtucket. The PawSox won the game 3-2 in the bottom of the 33rd inning when Dave Koza drove in Marty Barrett with a bases-loaded single.
Watch: One-On-One With Larry Lucchino
Many Red Sox stars made brief appearances for the PawSox on rehab assignments, from Curt Schilling to David Ortiz to, most recently, Mookie Betts.
Rhode Island officials made a strong push to keep the team in Rhode Island, and in June lawmakers passed a bill to forfeit up to $38 million in city and state taxes on a new stadium and its surrounding area. But they couldn’t seal the deal, and in a few years, Boston’s top minor league team will leave the Ocean State for central Mass.