The Pawtucket Red Sox (known colloquially as the PawSox) are the minor league baseball Triple-A affiliates of the Boston Red Sox and belong to the International League. They play their home games at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
Eastern League franchise (1970-72)Edit
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. After three seasons as a Double-A Boston affiliate, this 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 pitcher Jim Burton are among the players who toiled for both the Double-A and Triple-A editions of the team. The Bristol franchise played ten seasons in that Connecticut city before moving to New Britain in 1983. The franchise still exists as the New Britain Rock Cats, an affiliate of the Minnesota Twins since 1995.
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 in the late 1940s.
Roots in Toronto and LouisvilleEdit
The Triple-A team that is now the Pawtucket Red Sox was long ago the International League franchise 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, the Triple-A franchise of the Boston Red Sox. 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. However, in 1972 the Kentucky State Fair Board, which operated the stadium where the Colonels played, decided to convert the facility to primary use for football.
Early struggles and bankruptcy (1973-76)Edit
Following the 1972 season the Louisville Colonels moved to Pawtucket and became the Pawtucket Red Sox. The team was an instant 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. 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 a miserable 53-87. Following another sub-.500 season in 1976 the franchise went bankrupt, unable to pay off $2 million worth of debt.
The Ben Mondor era (since 1977)Edit
Template:News release Although it appeared the Red Sox's brief flirtation with the Pawtucket area was about to come to an end, retired businessman Ben Mondor stepped in and made sure the team would remain entrenched in the city. What Mondor wanted, and got, was a new franchise; although to outsiders it would appear as if nothing had changed since the team name remained the same. So it was really in 1977 that the current Pawtucket Red Sox, and PawSox, were born. To his credit, Mondor has turned Pawtucket into a viable baseball market, where so many others had failed before. In his 25 years at the helm of the PawSox, Mondor has seen the average attendance for Pawtucket games go from barely 1,000 fans per game in 1977 to nearly 9,000 in 2000. Mondor has been part of the management that has overseen the transformation of McCoy Stadium from an aging 1942 relic into its currently renovated form. And while keeping the price of tickets at $6 and $10, parking has always been free. The PawSox usually lead the league in attendance, and in 2005 set a franchise record with 688,421 tickets sold during the year. Kevin Youkilis played for the team in 2003, and managed to complete a streak he started while in Portland: he reached base in 71 consecutive games, tying future teammate Kevin Millar's minor-league record 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. Pawtucket has fielded a winning team in 13 seasons since 1983, a span that includes four first place IL finishes and the 1984 team that defeated the now-defunct Maine Guides 3-2 to win the 1984 Governors' Cup trophy for the second championship in Pawtucket Red Sox history.
As for the name PawSox, the origins are traced back to the first season in which Mondor owned the club. Three weeks before the 1977 season began the team lacked uniforms, despite having been rescued from bankruptcy. Former Boston GM 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. Then Pawtucket GM Mike Tamburro, who is currently the organization's president, suggested using the moniker "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, not a clever focus group-based marketing campaign.
As a man who made a career of buying and selling bankrupt business, Mondor turned around the fortunes of Pawtucket baseball, instituting an affordable and friendly atmosphere and giving Pawtucket a baseball tradition in line with what one would expect from an affiliate of the storied Boston Red Sox. Ben Mondor passed away on October 3, 2010, at the age of 85.
"The Longest Game"Edit
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 stars Cal Ripken Jr. and Wade Boggs played in the game.
- Tomokazu 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 balls 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 with the big league club until the 2005 offseason, when the Red Sox traded him to the Cincinnati Reds.
The PawSox have won the Governors' Cup, the championship of the IL, two times, and played in the championship series six times.
- 1973 Defeated Charleston
- 1977 Lost to Charleston
- 1978 Lost to Richmond
- 1984 Defeated Maine
- 1991 Lost to Columbus
- 2003 Lost to Durham
|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||6th International League||-14.5||Ed Nottle|
|1989||62||84||.425||8th International League||-21.5||Ed Nottle|
|1990||62||84||.425||7th International League||-27.5||Ed Nottle (through 6/26)Johnny Pesky (from 6/27)|
|1991||79||64||.552||1st International League||+3.5||Butch Hobson|
|1992||71||72||.497||2nd IL North||-13.5||Rico Petrocelli|
|1993||60||82||.423||4th IL North||-14.5||Buddy Bailey|
|1994||78||64||.549||1st IL North||+7||Buddy Bailey|
|1995||70||71||.492||3rd IL North||-2.5||Buddy Bailey|
|1996||78||64||.549||1st IL North||+5.5||Buddy Bailey|
|1997||81||60||.574||2nd IL North||-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||1nd IL North||-2.5||Ron Johnson|
|2009||61||82||.427||5th IL North||-21||Ron Johnson|
|2010||50||65||.449||4th IL North||-18||Torey Lovullo|
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