WooSox prepare to play first home game at Polar Park
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WooSox prepare to play first home game at Polar Park

The Worcester Red Sox are coming home to inaugurate their brand new ballpark in the heart of the city. Polar Park — the newly completed, $118 million ballpark — opens Tuesday for a 3:05 p.m. game against the Syracuse Mets. It’s the start of a 12-game homestand that stretches through May 23. The WooSox originally planned to have their Polar Park debut on April 13 against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs before the Triple-A season was delayed.The Worcester Red Sox are now scheduled to play 60 games at Polar Park this season. The home of the WooSox has a 22-foot Worcester Wall, modeled after Fenway’s Green Monster, but the park only has half the foul territory of Fenway — bringing fans closer to the players and eliminating many rally-killing foul popups. Tickets start at $8 and $9. The new ballpark also features local foods and local beer, spacious clubhouses for the teams and even a designated changing room for the new mascot, Smiley Ball, named after the iconic smiley face image created by Worcester artist Harvey Ball in 1963.All series during the 2021 season are six games in length. All start on Tuesdays and conclude on Sundays. Mondays will be off days throughout the season. The schedule is still subject to adjustment due to potential future health precautions.Some business owners in Kelly Square and the Canal District told NewsCenter 5’s Ted Wayman that the night before Tuesday’s home opener felt like Christmas Eve.”(People) want to come out, they want to relax, they want something different, and I think Worcester is just in that spot right now,” said Jay Midwood, owner of Pasta Mani at Worcester Public Market.”We’re the second-largest city in New England and it’s about damn time we started acting like it,” said Dom Mercurio, executive director of Worcester Public Market, which is a block away from Polar Park.The Worcester Red Sox were formerly the Pawtucket Red Sox, but the team was moved this year after a disappointing 2020 where the team’s final season in Rhode Island was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.The PawSox played 50 seasons at McCoy Stadium, where dozens of Boston Red Sox stars made a stop along the way to the major leagues. The list includes Baseball Hall of Famers Carlton Fisk, Wade Boggs and Jim Rice, as well as former American League MVPs Fred Lynn, Roger Clemens, Mo Vaughn, Dustin Pedroia and Mookie Betts. The organization captured league titles in 1973, 1984, 2012 and 2014 after it became Boston’s Triple-A affiliate in 1970.McCoy Stadium did serve as the Boston Red Sox’s alternate training site, where the club’s top minor leaguers would practice and play scrimmage games, throughout the 2020 season.

The Worcester Red Sox are coming home to inaugurate their brand new ballpark in the heart of the city.

Polar Park — the newly completed, $118 million ballpark — opens Tuesday for a 3:05 p.m. game against the Syracuse Mets. It’s the start of a 12-game homestand that stretches through May 23.

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The WooSox originally planned to have their Polar Park debut on April 13 against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs before the Triple-A season was delayed.

The Worcester Red Sox are now scheduled to play 60 games at Polar Park this season.

The home of the WooSox has a 22-foot Worcester Wall, modeled after Fenway’s Green Monster, but the park only has half the foul territory of Fenway — bringing fans closer to the players and eliminating many rally-killing foul popups. Tickets start at $8 and $9.

The new ballpark also features local foods and local beer, spacious clubhouses for the teams and even a designated changing room for the new mascot, Smiley Ball, named after the iconic smiley face image created by Worcester artist Harvey Ball in 1963.

All series during the 2021 season are six games in length. All start on Tuesdays and conclude on Sundays. Mondays will be off days throughout the season. The schedule is still subject to adjustment due to potential future health precautions.

Some business owners in Kelly Square and the Canal District told NewsCenter 5’s Ted Wayman that the night before Tuesday’s home opener felt like Christmas Eve.

“(People) want to come out, they want to relax, they want something different, and I think Worcester is just in that spot right now,” said Jay Midwood, owner of Pasta Mani at Worcester Public Market.

“We’re the second-largest city in New England and it’s about damn time we started acting like it,” said Dom Mercurio, executive director of Worcester Public Market, which is a block away from Polar Park.

The Worcester Red Sox were formerly the Pawtucket Red Sox, but the team was moved this year after a disappointing 2020 where the team’s final season in Rhode Island was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The PawSox played 50 seasons at McCoy Stadium, where dozens of Boston Red Sox stars made a stop along the way to the major leagues. The list includes Baseball Hall of Famers Carlton Fisk, Wade Boggs and Jim Rice, as well as former American League MVPs Fred Lynn, Roger Clemens, Mo Vaughn, Dustin Pedroia and Mookie Betts. The organization captured league titles in 1973, 1984, 2012 and 2014 after it became Boston’s Triple-A affiliate in 1970.

McCoy Stadium did serve as the Boston Red Sox’s alternate training site, where the club’s top minor leaguers would practice and play scrimmage games, throughout the 2020 season.

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