Pawtucket Red Sox
Pawtucket Red Sox|
Founded in 1970
Pawtucket, Rhode Island
|Minor league affiliations|
|Eastern League (1970–1972)|
|Major league affiliations|
|Current||Boston Red Sox (1970–present)|
|Minor league titles|
|League titles (4)||
|Division titles (7)||
|Nickname||Pawtucket Red Sox (1970–1975, 1977–present)|
|Rhode Island Red Sox (1976)|
Navy, red, white, light blue|
|Ballpark||McCoy Stadium (1970–present)|
|Larry Lucchino and partners|
|General Manager||Dan Rea III|
Pawsox Radio Network
The Pawtucket Red Sox (known colloquially as the PawSox) are the minor league baseball Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox and a member, since 1973, of the International League. The team plays its home games at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and is the only professional baseball team in Rhode Island. Its most recent championship win was in 2014.
On February 23, 2015, the franchise was sold by its longtime owners to a group headed by then-Boston Red Sox president and chief executive officer Larry Lucchino and Rhode Island attorney James J. Skeffington. The new owners announced their desire to relocate to a new stadium in downtown Providence, Rhode Island, by April 2017 in spite of significant opposition from fans. Almost seven months later, state officials and PawSox ownership announced that the team's preferred site along the Providence River was not suitable for the stadium project. In November 2015, the club committed to staying in Pawtucket through 2020, although its long-term future in Rhode Island remained uncertain.
Eastern League franchise (1970–72)
The first team to be dubbed the Pawtucket Red Sox debuted at McCoy Stadium in 1970 as a member of the Double-A Eastern League. The franchise, owned by former Major League shortstop Joe Buzas, had spent the previous five seasons (1965–69) as the Pittsfield Red Sox after playing in four different Pennsylvania cities — Allentown, Johnstown, York and Reading — over seven years (1958–64).
After three seasons, Pawtucket's Eastern League franchise moved to Bristol, Connecticut, in 1973 to make room for the Triple-A PawSox. Carlton Fisk, the future Baseball Hall of Fame catcher, played for the Eastern League PawSox in 1970. Shortstop Rick Burleson and first baseman Cecil Cooper are among the players who toiled for both the Double-A and Triple-A versions of the team. This first edition of the PawSox franchise played for ten seasons as the Bristol Red Sox and then spent 33 seasons (1983–2015) in New Britain, Connecticut, the last 21 of them as the Rock Cats. In 2016, the Rock Cats moved to Connecticut's capital city, and were rechristened the Hartford Yard Goats.
The Cleveland Indians had also placed an Eastern League club in Pawtucket, in 1966–67. The Pawtucket Indians moved to Waterbury, Connecticut, in 1968. The Pawtucket Slaters, a Boston Braves farm club in the Class B New England League, represented the city from 1946–49.
Roots in Toronto and Louisville
The Triple-A team that is now the Pawtucket Red Sox began in 1896 as the Toronto Maple Leafs. After the American Association and its Louisville Colonels franchise folded in 1962 and the American League owners voted down Charlie O. Finley's agreement to move the Kansas City A's to Louisville in 1964, Louisville was ready for the return of baseball. In 1968 the Maple Leafs, the Red Sox' top minor league club since 1965, were bought by Walter J. Dilbeck and moved to Louisville where they became the new Louisville Colonels and retained their affiliation with the Red Sox. They played at Fairgrounds Stadium on the Kentucky State Fairgrounds. While in Louisville, star players included Carlton Fisk (1971), Dwight Evans (1972), and Cecil Cooper (1972). The Louisville Colonels made the International League playoffs in 1969 and 1972.
Early struggles and bankruptcy (1973–76)
However, in 1972, the Kentucky State Fair Board remodeled Cardinal Stadium so it could accommodate football. The renovations made the stadium unsuitable for baseball; among other things, it was far too large for a Triple-A team. However, the stadium was later used by the latter-day Louisville Redbirds club, setting minor league attendance records and outdrawing several major league teams. Following the 1972 season, the Louisville Colonels moved to Pawtucket and became the Pawtucket Red Sox. The team was a success on the field, led by future major leaguers Cecil Cooper and Dick Pole, winning the 1973 Governors' Cup Championship in their inaugural year in the league over the Charleston Charlies which they followed up by defeating the Tulsa Oilers of the American Association to win the Junior World Series. The following season the team finished 30 games below .500 and in 1975, while the parent club was on their way to the World Series, the PawSox finished with 53–87. The team changed its name to the Rhode Island Red Sox for the 1976 season, but little changed on the field with a third straight sub-.500 season. After the season, the franchise went bankrupt, unable to pay off $2 million worth of debt.
The Ben Mondor era (1977–2015)
Although it appeared the Red Sox's stay in the Pawtucket area was about to come to an end, retired businessman Ben Mondor stepped in and made sure the team remained in the city. Mondor was granted a brand-new franchise and restored the name to the Pawtucket Red Sox. However, it retained the old team's history and affiliation with the big-league Red Sox. Nonetheless, it was really in 1977 that the current Pawtucket Red Sox, and PawSox, were born.
Mondor's tenure began inauspiciously. While the PawSox rebounded to win the Governors' Cup, they only drew 1,000 fans per game—believed to be the fewest for a league champion in the history of the International League. After several years of playing in a stadium that was barely suitable for a Triple-A team, in 1998 Mondor and team president Mike Tamburro oversaw the transformation of McCoy Stadium from an aging 1942 relic into its renovated form. While they kept the price of tickets at $6 and $10, parking is free. The PawSox usually lead the league in attendance. In 1999, they drew 9,000 fans per game, and in 2005 set a franchise record with 688,421 tickets sold during the year. Kevin Youkilis played for the team in 2003, and completed a streak he started while in Portland: he reached base in 71 consecutive games, tying future teammate Kevin Millar's minor-league records for consecutive games reaching base.
In addition to their success at the box office, the PawSox have excelled in the field. In 2000, Pawtucket set an all-time franchise record for victories with 82, as the team completed their fifth-straight winning season. Three years later the PawSox would top their own record by winning 83 games. In 2008, they won 85 games. The 1984 team defeated the now-defunct Maine Guides 3–2 to win the 1984 Governors' Cup trophy for their second championship in Pawtucket Red Sox history. In 2012, the PawSox defeated the Charlotte Knights to win the Governors' Cup for a third time. A fourth title was won in 2014 when the PawSox took down the Durham Bulls in five games.
The origins of PawSox are traced back to the first season in which Mondor owned the club. Three weeks before the 1977 season began the team lacked uniforms. BoSox vice president Haywood Sullivan stepped in and sent Pawtucket 48 sets of old home and away uniforms from the parent club. Although the home uniforms were fine for the team to use, the road uniforms had "Boston" stitched across the chest, which was a problem. Tamburro suggested using the name "PawSox" across the front, with each unstitched "Boston" letter replaced with one that spelled "PawSox". Thus, the PawSox name was born out of the necessity of a uniform crisis.
Sale and potential move from Pawtucket (2015–)
On November 29, 2014, it was reported that members of the Boston Red Sox' ownership group were in the process of purchasing the PawSox from Madeleine Mondor and two long-time executives who also held stock in the team: president Tamburro and vice president and general manager Lou Schwechheimer.
Nearly three months later, on February 23, the sale to Lucchino, Skeffington and their partners was formally announced. Lucchino added the title of chairman of the PawSox to his Boston responsibilities (from which he announced his retirement on August 1, 2015), and Skeffington became club president. Other partners included Rhode Island businessmen Bernard Cammarata, William P. Egan, Habib Gorgi, J. Terrence Murray and Thomas M. Ryan, as well as Fenway Sports Management (a division of the BoSox' parent company, Fenway Sports Group), and two limited partners in FSG, Arthur E. Nicholas and Frank M. Resnek.
That day, the new owners also announced their intention to move the club out of McCoy Stadium and build a new baseball park six miles (9.65 km) to the south in downtown Providence, and begin play there as early as 2017. Skeffington said the club would be renamed the Rhode Island Red Sox upon the move. That name was previously used by the 1976 edition of the PawSox, before Mondor purchased the team and restored its Pawtucket identity. In the weeks following announcement of the sale, Skeffington led a media tour of the proposed new stadium site on the Providence River and, with Lucchino, served as a point person in negotiations with state and local officials over public financing arrangements for the new park.
However, Skeffington, 73, died from an apparent heart attack while jogging near his Barrington home on May 17, 2015, disrupting the team's efforts to secure an agreement with Rhode Island officials. In September, governor Gina Raimondo told Lucchino that the riverfront parcel, consisting of public land formerly occupied by Interstate 195 and private property owned by Brown University, "was not suitable and there were too many obstacles that remained." In the wake of the setback, Lucchino said that the team preferred to remain in Rhode Island, but neither he nor other PawSox officials immediately commented about possible alternative locations. In the ensuing weeks, reports surfaced that the Massachusetts cities of Worcester, Springfield and Fall River might bid for the team.
On November 5, Skeffington's position was filled when Dr. Charles Steinberg, longtime Lucchino aide and public affairs and PR executive with four big-league teams, including Boston, became club president. Tamburro remained on board as vice chairman, and Dan Rea III became the PawSox' new general manager, after Schwechheimer departed to join an ownership group that purchased the Triple-A New Orleans Zephyrs. Amidst the uncertainty over its longterm home, Steinberg committed the team to remaining in Pawtucket for five seasons, through 2020, and to rebuilding its relationship with its fans. During the summer of 2016, the city, state and team began a feasibility study to determine the extent of needed renovations to McCoy Stadium.
"The Longest Game"
The PawSox played in and won the longest game in professional baseball history, a 33-inning affair against the Rochester Red Wings at McCoy Stadium. The game started on April 18, 1981. Play was suspended at 4:07 a.m. at the end of the 32nd inning. The game did not resume again until June 23 when the Red Wings returned to Pawtucket. Only one inning was needed, with the PawSox winning 3–2 in the bottom of the 33rd when first baseman Dave Koza drove in second baseman Marty Barrett with a bases-loaded single off Cliff Speck. Future Major League Baseball Hall of Famers Cal Ripken, Jr. and Wade Boggs played in the game.
- Tomo Ohka pitched a nine-inning perfect game for the Pawtucket Red Sox on June 1, 2000. Ohka retired all 27 batters he faced in a 2–0 win over the Charlotte Knights, and he needed just 76 pitches to toss the first nine-inning perfect game in the International League since 1952.
- On August 10, 2003, Bronson Arroyo pitched the fourth nine-inning perfect game in the 121-year history of the International League as the PawSox beat the Buffalo Bisons 7–0 at McCoy Stadium. He needed 101 pitches to throw his masterpiece (73 strikes), struck out nine, and got 10 fly outs and eight ground outs from the Buffalo 27 batters. He went to a three-ball count to just three hitters all game. At the end of the month, he was promoted to the majors, and remained with the Red Sox until the 2005-06 offseason, when the Red Sox traded him to the Cincinnati Reds for Wily Mo Pena.
Hall of Fame
Several PawSox players and personnel have been inducted into the International League Hall of Fame. They are owner Ben Mondor, manager Joe Morgan, outfielder Jim Rice, third baseman Wade Boggs, and team president Mike Tamburro. Several former PawSox players have also been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, including Carlton Fisk, Boggs and Rice. On July 29, 2016, Rice, Boggs, and Mondor (represented by his widow Madeleine) became the inaugural class of inductees into the PawSox Hall of Fame.
The PawSox have won the Governors' Cup, the championship of the IL, four times, and played in the championship series nine times. They have also played in the championship of Triple-A baseball on three occasions: in 1973 they defeated the Tulsa Oilers 4 games to 1 in the Junior World Series, in 2012 they fell to the Reno Aces 10–3 in the Triple-A National Championship Game, and in 2014, the team was defeated by the Omaha Storm Chasers 4-2.
Notable former players
- Don Aase 1975–77
- Andy Abad 1997–99, 2003
- Izzy Alcántara 1999–01
- Bronson Arroyo 2003
- Steve Avery 1997–98
- Marty Barrett 1981–83, 1989*
- Rod Beck 2000
- Todd Benzinger 1985–87
- Wade Boggs 1980–81
- Oil Can Boyd 1983–84, 1987, 1989
- Craig Breslow 2006–07, 2013
- Clay Buchholz 2007–09
- Ellis Burks 1987, 1989*
- José Canseco 1995*, 1996*
- John Cerutti 1992
- Roger Clemens 1983–84, 1993*, 1995*
- Tony Conigliaro 1975
- Cecil Cooper 1973
- Wil Cordero 1996
- Jim Corsi 1997–98
- Brian Daubach 1999, 2001, 2004
- Bo Díaz 1976–77
- Gary DiSarcina 2002
- Dennis Eckersley 1998*
- David Eckstein 2000
- Jacoby Ellsbury 2007, 2010*, 2011*
- Mark Fidrych 1982–83
- John Flaherty 1990–93
- Scott Fletcher 1994
- Jeff Frye 1999
- Nomar Garciaparra 1996, 2001*
- Rich Gedman 1980–81, 1988
- Álex González 2006*
- Mike Greenwell 1985–86, 1995*, 1996*
- Mark Guthrie 1999
- Bill Haselman 2003
- Scott Hatteberg 1993–96, 1999
- Dustin Hermanson 2002
- Ken Hill 2001
- Sam Horn 1986–89
- Bruce Hurst 1980–81
- Byung-Hyun Kim 2004
- Gabe Kapler 2005*, 2006*
- Ryan Lavarnway, 2011–13
- Jon Lester 2006, 2007*
- Steve Lyons 1984, 1992–93
- Ramón Martínez 1999*
- Justin Masterson 2008
- Daisuke Matsuzaka 2012*
- Joe McEwing 2007
- Willie McGee 1995*
- Lou Merloni 1996–01
- Wade Miller 2005*
- Kevin Mitchell 1996*
- Bill Mueller 2004*
- Tim Naehring 1989–90, 1992–94*
- Trot Nixon 1997–98, 2004*, 2005*, 2006*
- Alex Ochoa 2007
- Tomo Ohka 1999–01
- Bobby Ojeda 1980–81
- John Olerud 2005*
- Jonathan Papelbon 2005
- Carl Pavano 1997
- Dustin Pedroia 2005–06
- Dick Pole 1973–74
- Arquimedez Pozo 1996–98
- Paul Quantrill 1991–92
- Manny Ramírez 2002*
- Jim Rice 1973–74
- Ken Ryan 1991–93, 1995
- Bret Saberhagen 1997*, 2000*
- Curt Schilling 2005*
- Calvin Schiraldi 1986
- Aaron Sele 1993, 1995–96
- Earl Snyder 2003–04
- Matt Stairs 1995
- Bob Stanley 1988*
- Dave Stapleton 1977–1980, 1985
- Jeff Suppan 1995–97
- Mike Timlin 2007*
- Michael Tucker 2007
- John Valentin 1991–94, 2001*
- Jason Varitek 1997, 2006*
- Mo Vaughn 1990–92
- Tim Wakefield 1995
- David Wells 2006*
- Mark Whiten 1995
- Kevin Youkilis 2003–05
(*) = rehab assignment
|1970||68||70||.493||4th Eastern League||−9.5||Matt Sczesny|
|1971||63||76||.453||7th Eastern League||−16||Billy Gardner|
|1972||61||79||.436||7th Eastern League||−23||Don Lock|
|1973||78||68||.534||2nd International League*||−1||Darrell Johnson|
|1974||57||87||.396||4th International League||−31||Joe Morgan|
|1975||53||87||.379||8th International League||−32.5||Joe Morgan|
|1976||68||70||.493||5th International League||−20||Joe Morgan|
|1977||80||60||.571||1st International League||+2||Joe Morgan|
|1978||81||59||.579||2nd International League||−4||Joe Morgan|
|1979||66||74||.471||5th International League||−19.5||Joe Morgan|
|1980||62||77||.446||7th International League||−20.5||Joe Morgan|
|1981||67||73||.479||6th International League||−21.5||Joe Morgan|
|1982||67||71||.489||5th International League||−14.5||Joe Morgan|
|1983||56||83||.403||8th International League||−26.5||Tony Torchia|
|1984||75||65||.536||4th International League*||−7.5||Tony Torchia|
|1985||48||91||.345||8th International League||−30.5||Rac Slider|
|1986||74||65||.532||3rd International League||−5.5||Ed Nottle|
|1987||73||67||.521||4th International League||−8||Ed Nottle|
|1988||63||79||.444||3rd IL East||−14.5||Ed Nottle|
|1989||62||84||.425||4th IL East||−21.5||Ed Nottle|
|1990||62||84||.425||4th IL East||−27.5|| Ed Nottle (through 6/26)
Johnny Pesky (from 6/27)
|1991||79||64||.552||1st IL East||+3.5||Butch Hobson|
|1992||71||72||.497||2nd IL East||−13.5||Rico Petrocelli|
|1993||60||82||.423||4th IL East||−14.5||Buddy Bailey|
|1994||78||64||.549||1st IL East||+7||Buddy Bailey|
|1995||70||71||.492||3rd IL East||−2.5||Buddy Bailey|
|1996||78||64||.549||1st IL East||+5.5||Buddy Bailey|
|1997||81||60||.574||2nd IL East||−2||Ken Macha|
|1998||77||64||.546||3rd IL North||−3||Ken Macha|
|1999||76||68||.528||2nd IL North||−2||Gary Jones|
|2000||82||61||.573||3rd IL North||−3||Gary Jones|
|2001||60||82||.423||5th IL North||−31||Gary Jones|
|2002||60||84||.417||5th IL North||−31||Buddy Bailey|
|2003||83||61||.576||1st IL North||+4||Buddy Bailey|
|2004||73||71||.507||2nd IL North||−10||Buddy Bailey|
|2005||75||69||.521||2nd IL North||−7||Ron Johnson|
|2006||69||75||.479||5th IL North||−16||Ron Johnson|
|2007||67||75||.472||4th IL North||−16.5||Ron Johnson|
|2008||85||58||.594||2nd IL North||−2.5||Ron Johnson|
|2009||61||82||.427||5th IL North||−21||Ron Johnson|
|2010||66||78||.458||4th IL North||−21.5||Torey Lovullo|
|2011||81||61||.570||1st IL North||+2||Arnie Beyeler|
|2012||79||65||.549||2nd IL North*||−5||Arnie Beyeler|
|2013||80||63||.559||1st IL North||+3.5||Gary DiSarcina|
|2014||79||65||.549||2nd IL North*||−2.5||Kevin Boles|
|2015||59||85||.410||6th IL North||−22||Kevin Boles|
|2016||74||68||.521||4th IL North||−16.5||Kevin Boles|
(*= Won Governors' Cup)
|1973||3||2||Beat Tidewater||1st round of playoffs||3||2||Beat Charleston||Governors' Cup championship||4||1||Beat Tulsa||Junior World Series|
|1977||3||1||Beat Richmond||1st round of playoffs||0||4||Lost to Charleston||Governors' Cup championship||–||–||–||–|
|1978||3||2||Beat Toledo||1st round of playoffs||3||4||Lost to Richmond||Governors' Cup championship||–||–||–||–|
|1984||3||1||Beat Columbus||1st round of playoffs||3||2||Beat Maine||Governors' Cup championship||–||–||–||–|
|1986||1||3||Lost to Rochester||1st round of playoffs||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|1987||1||3||Lost to Tidewater||1st round of playoffs||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|1991||–||–||–||–||0||3||Lost to Columbus||Governors' Cup championship||–||–||–||–|
|1992||1||3||Lost to Scranton||IL East championship||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|1994||1||3||Lost to Syracuse||IL East championship||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|1996||1||3||Lost to Rochester||IL East championship||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|1997||1||3||Lost to Rochester||IL East championship||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|2003||3||2||Beat Ottawa||1st round of playoffs||0||3||Lost to Durham||Governors' Cup championship||–||–||–||–|
|2008||1||3||Lost to Scranton||1st round of playoffs||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|2011||0||3||Lost to Lehigh||1st round of playoffs||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|2012||3||1||Beat Scranton||1st round of playoffs||3||0||Beat Charlotte||Governors' Cup championship||0||1||Lost to Reno||Triple-A National Championship|
|2013||3||2||Beat Rochester||1st round of playoffs||1||3||Lost to Durham||Governors' Cup championship||–||–||–||–|
|2014||3||0||Beat Syracuse||1st round of playoffs||3||2||Beat Durham||Governors' Cup championship||0||1||Lost to Omaha||Triple-A National Championship|
Pawtucket Red Sox roster
AAA managerial history
|Ed Nottle||302–338||.472||1986–90 (June 26)|
|Johnny Pesky||32–41||.438||1990 (June 27 – September 3)|
Pawtucket is a springboard for Major League Baseball broadcasters. As of 2015, there are six former PawSox radio and two television announcers broadcasting for Major League Baseball teams. First are the years with the teams they have broadcast for, and second are the years the broadcaster was with the Red Sox.
- Gary Cohen (New York Mets) (1989–present); MLB on CBS Radio (1986, 1991–1997); MLB on ESPN Radio (1998–present); (1987–88)
- Dave Flemming (San Francisco Giants) (fill-in 2003, regular 2004–present) (2001–03)
- Andy Freed (Tampa Bay Rays) (2005–present) (2001–04)
- Dave Jageler (Washington Nationals) (2006–present) (2005)
- Don Orsillo (Boston Red Sox) (2001–2015); San Diego Padres (2016-present) (1996–2000)
- Glenn Geffner (Miami Marlins) (2008–present); fill-in for San Diego Padres (1996–2002) and Boston Red Sox broadcaster (2005–07) (2006–07)
- Aaron Goldsmith (Seattle Mariners) (2013–present) (2012)
- Jeff Levering (Milwaukee Brewers) (2015–present) (2013–14)
In addition, Dan Hoard is now the broadcaster for the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals. He was with the PawSox from 2006–2011. On April 24, 2013, it was announced that current broadcaster Bob Socci would become the New England Patriots play-by-play broadcaster starting with the 2013 season.
The announcers for the Pawsox Radio Network are Josh Maurer and Will Flemming.
- Sources:New Paw Sox Owners Want to Leave Pawtucket For Providence. WPRI.com. Published on February 23, 2015.
- Bramson, Kate (September 20, 2015). "PawSox riverfront site is off; no word about alternative Providence site". The Providence Journal. Retrieved 2015-09-20.
- The Associated Press, 2015-11-09
- Kostrzewa, John (April 4, 2016). "PawSox will play where it pays". The Providence Journal. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
- PawSox.com – PawSox Tickets
- The Providence Journal, 2011-5-16
- Some Red Sox owners poised to purchase PawSox Boston Globe 2014-11-29
- Pawtucket Red Sox official website
- WJAR-TV, 2015-2-23
- Bramson, Kate, "PawSox owners want state lease, 30 years of property tax abatements for new Providence stadium," Providence Journal, 2015-04-15
- "PawSox Seek Meeting with Raimondo," Rhode Island Public Radio, 2015-04-25
- "PawSox owner Jim Skeffington dies," Providence Journal, 2015-05-18
- Bramson, Kate (June 2, 2015). "Lucchino says PawSox stadium proposal will take more time". Providence Journal. Retrieved 2015-06-03.
- Kinney, Jim (October 6, 2015). "Fall River makes first pitch for Pawtucket Red Sox". MassLive.com. Retrieved 2015-10-22.
- MiLB.com, November 30, 2015
- Young, Ryan. "Johnson, PawSox Blank Scranton on Hall of Fame Night". www.milb.com. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
- Socci Named Patriots Radio Play-By-Play Announcer On 98.5 The Sports Hub
- PawSox.com – The Pawtucket Red Sox Front Office
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pawtucket Red Sox.|
- Pawtucket Red Sox official website
- Minor League Baseball.com PawSox team site
- Boston Red Sox prospects
- Roster, splits, and situational stats
- PawSox all-time roster
Pittsfield Red Sox
|Boston Red Sox
| Succeeded by|
Bristol Red Sox
|Boston Red Sox
| Succeeded by|