With Season Canceled, Its truly the End of an Era
Minor League baseball has been a staple in Pawtucket, Rhode Island since 1946. The very first baseball team to call McCoy home were the Pawtucket Slaters from 1946-1949. Pawtucket also hosted a minor league football team in 1966 called the Rhode Island Steelers, who only lasted one season. The stadium eventually welcomed back minor league baseball in 1966 when the Pawtucket Indians; the Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. The Indians played in Pawtucket for two seasons until leaving. In 1970, the city of Pawtucket welcomed the first version of the Paw Sox. At the time they were the Double-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. In 1973, the city retained their ball club a s they were awarded as the Red Sox Triple-A affiliate. It has been perfect harmony of Pawtucket Red Sox baseball, up until now.
In August of 2018, the team announced that after the 2020 Season, the team would be moving to Worcester, Massachusetts with a new ballpark, projected to be completed by April 2021.
The 2020 minor league was going to be the Paw Sox final season in Rhode Island after 50 years. However, when the Coronavirius outbreak occured, the MiLB decided to delay the start of their season. Pawtucket fans were hoping that they could get at least one last chance to see their beloved baseball team before they made the move north. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be.
On June 30, Minor League Baseball announced that the 2020 season would not happen due to the pandemic. With the entire season now wiped out completely, the final official game for the Pawtucket Red Sox was Monday September 2nd. A 5-4 victory over the Leigh Valley Iron Pigs.
The Paw Sox have produced many Red Sox stars from the past and present. Guys like Trot Nixon, Jason Varitek, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Rafael Devers, former Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts and many others. The Paw Sox also had the luxury of hosting star players such as Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz for rehab assignments over the years.
The Pawtucket red Sox won the International League championship back in 2014, but ended up losing to the Omaha Storm Chasers in the Triple-A National Championship. That was the last time the Paw Sox qualified for the playoffs in their existence.
The Paw Sox had been looking for a new home since 2015, but at the time wanted to stay in Rhode Island. However, when plans fell through and no other agreements could be reached, the team looked outside of Rhode Island and decided to that their destination was Worcester, MA.
With the cancellation of the minor league season, the city of Pawtucket can only look back and remember the good times, from their early success, to making professional baseball history and to their final International League Championship six years ago.
This is a tough pill to swallow for not only the city of Pawtucket, but for the state of Rhode Island as whole. Now if they want to see the future of the Boston red Sox, they are going to have take the one hour drive up through Interstate 290, to Worcester and Polar Park.
It's an extremely disappoint end to an era.