McCoy’s grand finale moved to this weekend

McCoy’s grand finale moved to this weekend

Status of stadium’s treasures up in the air

PAWTUCKET – The grand finale event at McCoy Stadium has been moved to this weekend, Oct. 15-18, but the fate of many of the stadium’s treasured old memorabilia and recognizable other items will take some more time to be decided.

Pawtucket Red Sox Executive Vice President Kim Miner, answering questions from City Council members last week, said that late PawSox owner Ben Mondor was “basically a museum curator,” keeping everything he possibly could and displaying it beautifully.

Miner said the team plans “to keep and treasure all those things,” though exactly how and where they'll end up will be determined. A new stadium in Worcester will have a museum of team history, she said, and many of the treasures will be moved there. The team would also be fine with some items staying behind as some sort of tribute to the team’s decades in Pawtucket, she said, though leadership doesn’t want anything to be in the way of what happens next at McCoy. Some items could also go to City Hall if desired, she said.

Team staffers said some items might be auctioned off to benefit the PawSox Foundation, and owner Mike Tamburro and season ticket-holders will probably want some of the items. In the end, Miner said, she expects “PawSox love all over New England,” with more than enough items to go around.

Longtime PawSox fan and City Council President David Moran said he’d be particularly interested in a big red blanket hanging inside the stadium, laughing as he explained how much his wife loves it, and Miner said the team could certainly try to accommodate that request.

The discussion came after Councilor Albert Vitali Jr. asked what will happen to the large wooden mascots at the stadium's entrance.

The PawSox will host their 50th anniversary “Final Weekend Celebration” this Thursday, Oct. 15, through Sunday, Oct. 18. The weekend full of events was previously scheduled for Columbus Day weekend but pushed back a week.

The nonstop finale, which has been programmed in accordance with the city and state COVID-19 guidelines, features children running the bases, a Scout sleepover, batting practice for high school seniors and Pawtucket Slaterettes, and a Unity Fest to wrap up the weekend and the 50th anniversary season. CVS Health is sponsoring the event, and PawSox broadcast partner iHeart Media is also a sponsor of the celebration.

This Saturday and Sunday, October 17-18, the club will pay tribute to the longest game in professional baseball history, the 33-inning marathon in 1981, with a “Grand Finale: A 33-Hour Marathon presented by CVS Health” that includes favorite PawSox pastimes.

Events run Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a “Never Can Say Goodbye” visit in which PawSox fans can walk the warning track, receive free PawSox gifts, say hello to mascots Paws and Sox, and reminisce on 50 years of PawSox baseball at 78-year-old McCoy. As required by COVID-19 guidelines, fans must pre-register on in order to participate and receive a time slot.

The celebration concludes with a community Unity Fest in partnership with Black Lives Matter Rhode Island. The event will promote racial justice and equality, and will bring awareness to the future creation of Pawtucket’s African-American Innovation Center, the first African-American Charter School in New England. Attendees will enjoy Dining on the Diamond paired with community entertainment featuring local speakers and gospel artists.

The Breeze reported in late September that a study found that the McCoy site has some challenges to redevelopment for either sports or some new use, but none that are insurmountable.