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Tuesday, 24 February 2015 04:33

Pawtucket Red Sox Sold, Moving To Providence

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The Pawtucket Red Sox, who are the Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, have officially been sold, with the new owners planning to move the team from Pawtucket to Providence in the near future.

The new ownership group, led by current Boston Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino, purchased the minor league team for more than $20 million last Friday and announced the sale on Monday morning.  During a conference call to announce the transaction, new team president James Skeffington described plans to leave the PawSox' longtime home at McCoy Stadium in favor of a new ballpark in downtown Providence. 

The proposed site would sit along the Providence River, allowing home run balls to splash into the water.  A similar occurrence takes place at AT&T Park in San Francisco, which is home to the Giants.  Home runs balls that are hit into right field splash into McCovey's Cove, making it a destination for many boats during all home games.

Plans for the new stadium are in the preliminary phase, with many hurdles still to be cleared before construction can even begin.  The minor league team will still be residing in Pawtucket for at least another two years, with a new name and mascot needed once the team's tenure at McCoy Stadium is over.  Skeffington stated that he hoped to call the team the Rhode Island Red Sox, but would need approval from Lucchino and the rest of the ownership group before that became official.

The Red Sox' Triple-A squad have called Pawtucket their home since 1973, with owner Ben Mondor saving the team from bankruptcy in 1976.  Mondor remained the owner until his death in 2010, and has been considered one of the best minor league owners in all of baseball.  Mondor was always conscious of keeping the PawSox an affordable option for families, which was evident by the renovations that were done in 1998 at McCoy Stadium.  The stadium currently has two BBQ areas - one down the first base/right field line and one behind the right center wall - and a large picnic area behind left and center field that allows fans to sit in the grass and watch the game.  McCoy will reach its 70th anniversary of its existence in 2016, which could be its last season hosting the PawSox.

Pawtucket mayor Don Grebien said that city officials were notified of the plans to move the team on Sunday evening.  He characterized the news as devastating, and noted that the air came out of the building as soon as they heard the team would be moving away from Pawtucket.

The Pawtucket Red Sox are known for participating in the longest game in professional baseball history, which started on April 18, 1981 against the Rochester Red Wings.  The game was suspended after 32 innings of play, and was resumed on June 23, which was Rochester's next visit to Pawtucket.  The PawSox needed just one inning of play to end the 33-inning game, winning 3-2.  The PawSox have also been to three straight Governors' Cups, which are the championships of the International League, and to the 2012 and 2014 Triple-A Championship games (losing both games).

Adam Belue

My name is Adam Belue, I'm from Fall River, MA, and I'm a sports fanatic.  I'll watch and write about just about any and every sport, even the fringe ones that aren't really sports like bowling, poker, and ultimate frisbee.  I'm a huge Green Bay Packers fan, and a self-proclaimed New England Patriots hater (and proud of it!)... which makes my job in a sporting goods store quite interesting.  I'm a big fan of the other local teams (Bruins, Red Sox, and Celtics), along with the Alabama Crimson Tide and college football as a whole.  I may be a bit obsessed (or a lot obsessed) with Taylor Swift, and I've seen her in concert four times so far... some of the best times I've had by the way her concerts are quite the experience!  I'm also a huge tennis fan, and have played the sport for a good majority of my life.  I wish more people watched and appreciated tennis.  I'm currently a part of the Boston Bruins and Boston Red Sox Beat Team on CLNS Radio, and post a weekly fantasy football and college football column during the season.