|Construction of a new ballpark for the Worcester Red Sox is up and running again. Here’s an update from Ballpark Digest. (Above photo credit: Worcester Business Journal.) – KC|
Polar Park still on schedule; development terms change
By Kevin Reichard
Work continues on Polar Park , future home of the Worcester Red Sox (Class AAA; International League), but the development surrounding the downtown facility has changed in the face of the current COVID-19 economy.
Polar Park is scheduled to open in April 2021, with construction approximately 50 percent completed. Despite some construction hiccups due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that opening date still holds. The team announced last week that capacity for Polar Park would be 9,508—echoing the 508 area code assigned to the Worcester area. Capacity is an arbitrary number, of course: there is a specific number of fixed seats at any ballpark, but capacity just mean how many fans you can cram into a facility. In this case, assigning a 9,508 capacity is just inspired marketing. Also announced: a Fan Dugout holding groups up to 20 fans, situated next to the WooSox dugout, in a move that appears to an homage to the dugout seating at the team’s former home, McCoy Stadium.
The other news related to Polar Park last week, however, related to development outside the ballpark, as the ballpark is just one part of a larger $240-million redevelopment. There have been other adjustments since the initial redevelopment plan was unveiled , and the news this past week had to do with the downsizing of a hotel and a parking lot, along with an adjustment of competition dates for private development.
We’re not talking huge delays in the completion of private development: one to two years. But in this round no private development has been canceled—but the delays do affect when the city can expect revenue from delayed projects. Potential delays were already built into the $130-million ballpark financing plan, and as of now there will be no need for Worcester to dip into general funds to cover shortfalls. From the Worcester Telegram :
“The North Star for which this project has continually been premised, that the ballpark will pay for itself, continues with this recommendation,” said [City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr.]. “The city’s pro forma for the District Improvement Financing District has been updated to reflect these changes. “The biggest impact of the amendment on the pro forma is in the first few years due to the delay development schedule,” he added. “However, through updates to the debt repayment schedule, grant funds and new development, the city has sufficient funding to offset any delays in the early years. Overall, the pro forma is still healthy and shows a considerable return on investment for the city of Worcester over the 30-year life of the (ballpark) bond.”
The city also took a proactive step in selling properties in the ballpark area for $5 million, building up a reserve to cover shortfalls and delays. Eventually the development of these properties will contribute to the area tax base, as will a newly planned development in the area.
The lesson: big development projects have plenty of moving parts, and these parts won’t always work together smoothly. But with careful planning and conservative revenue estimates, the impact of major events like the COVID-19 pandemic can be minimized.
Photo of Polar Park construction courtesy Worcester Red Sox.
Kevin Reichard is founder and publisher of Ballpark Digest .
Baseball is happening at Dunkin Donuts Park this Monday, Aug. 3. Mike Mont (World Series Club) sent along this message about the Twilight League games that will help honor Johnny Schoolboy Taylor, a man of color, and one of the best professional ballplayers in Hartford’s history.
I hope you are all doing well, staying safe and healthy, in this difficult time. I’m sure many of you are disappointed that you will not be able to visit our local Dunkin Donuts Park to cheer on the hometown Yard Goats this season, but here’s an interesting opportunity for a great cause that may be of some interest to you.
The Greater Hartford Twilight Baseball League has made it a new tradition to play some games at Dunkin Donuts Park each summer to support many local great causes. In the past, they have donated the gate revenue for these games to Camp Courant, MS 4 MS, and Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. This year, the revenue from the games played will benefit something we all do at every meeting of the World Series Club, remember the past and celebrate the history of baseball.
In recent years, the GHTBL has made it their mission to acknowledge and pay tribute to Johnny “Schoolboy” Taylor, Hartford’s first professional black athlete. They have worked tirelessly, and successfully, to urge City Council members to rename Colt Park Public Field #9 after Johnny Taylor. This year, all of the money raised at the games will go towards the field renovations for the soon to be named Johnny “Schoolboy” Taylor Field. This will be an outstanding way to pay tribute to a man who many say is the best baseball player to come out of Connecticut.
Because of the fact that the games will raise money to help the new field, the city has offered free parking on Trumbull Street (across from the Main Entrance) for the games, which will be played this Monday, August 3rd. First game starts at 6pm, with the second game starting a half hour after its completion. One half of the stadium will be open for the first game, while the other half will be open for the second game, to allow for proper cleaning and distancing. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $10 each with no cost for those that are 14 years or younger. Masks are required for entry, but can be removed once seated.
Below is a link to a 2011 SABR article about Johnny Taylor. I encourage all of you to read up on the history of this great player and attend Monday night’s games, if you are able to and comfortable doing so. To show the importance of this cause and how much we support the GHTBL in their efforts, the World Series Club has agreed to donate $500 to help them get started. We hope to have many more in the stands so they can raise the money needed to get this field cleaned up. Please visit the GHTBL website ( www.ghtbl.org) for more info, and also check up on their social media accounts for more info and updates. See you at the park!
The summer edition of The Wood Pile, wrangled by new Editor Stan Osowiecki, is ready for your reading pleasure! Here’s the link:
The Hartford Yard Goats sent out an email yesterday confirming there will be no 2020 season. Thank you, Paul Hensler, for passing along…
It is with a heavy heart we announce the 2020 Yard Goats season has been cancelled due to ongoing concerns over the Coronavirus. Following CDC guidelines and medical recommendations, Minor League Baseball and the Eastern League of Professional baseball determined it would be impossible to guarantee the safety of players, coaches, staff and fans during this unprecedented health crisis. While this is the correct decision at this time, it doesn’t hurt any less. We’ll miss our ticket holders and partners who visit day in and day out, our fans who fill the seats with family & friends, and our dedicated game day staff. Most of all we’ll miss the cheers, and the smiles, and the looks of amazement on the faces of our littlest fans.
Fans who purchased tickets for a 2020 Hartford Yard Goats home game will soon be contacted by a Yard Goats representative.
Rest assured we’ve already begun planning the 2021 season, one that will feature the Eastern League All Star Game at Dunkin’ Donuts Park. Our promise to you is that 2021 will be more than just a “return to normal”. It will be the biggest, best, most entertaining season to date. It’s not a “goodbye”, it’s a “see you later in April”.
Hartford Yard Goats
Mitch Nathanson had access to Jim Bouton and his family while writing the newly released Bouton, The Life of a Baseball Original. He even had use of the 900+ pages of notes on napkins and plane tickets Bouton made during the 1969 season as he wrote Ball Four with Leonard Shecter.
Mitch, who also wrote God Almighty Hisself, the Life and Legacy of Dick Allen, among other books, will talk about Bouton at the virtual Zoom meeting of the Smoky Joe Wood Chapter of SABR on June 25 at 7 pm.
Here are the meeting details:
SABR Virtual is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: CT Smoky Joe Wood Chapter meeting
Time: Jun 25, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern
Meeting ID: 810 0401 2444
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The date of the award dinner at which Steve K will be honored has been moved to June 14.
Here is the event info with the new date:
In recognition of 20 years of service to our SABR chapter, Steve K. will receive a Good Sport Award at the 79th CT Sports Writers’ Alliance Gold Key Dinner on Sunday, June 14, at 2 pm at the Aqua Turf Club, Southington, CT. Tickets are $75 and dinner is included. This is a 3 to 3.5 hour event, FYI. We already have several members attending and you can join us. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a seat at the SABR table. Checks should be made out to CSWA, and sent to CSWA, P.O. Box 70, Unionville CT 06085. Please indicate your name as attendee on the check, as well as the honoree you are supporting –Steve
THIS MEETING WILL BE POSTPONED OR CANCELLED. INFO TO COME SOON.
The ’69 Mets and 19th Century Base Ball will be featured at the next general meeting of CT SABR on Sat. March 28 at Middlesex Community College in Middletown.
Wes Ulbrich will talk about Stephen Brady, one of CT’s greatest 19th Century players. Wes is on the Executive Committee of the Greater Hartford Baseball League and GM of the Ulbrich Steel ballclub.
Author Erik Sherman will talk about his recent book, After the Miracle: The Lasting Brotherhood of the ’69 Mets. Erik’s other books are on Davey Johnson, the ’86 Mets, Mookie Wilson and Steve Blass.
More program details to come. There will be a pre-loved baseball book sale and refreshments. A $5 donation is requested.
We will start at
11 am on Sat. March 28 in Chapman Hall, Room 605, Middlesex Community College, 100 Training Hill Rd., Middletown, CT 06457.
For more information contact Steve at SKrevisky@mxcc.commnet.edu.
Hi, SABR Friends.
In recognition of 20 years of service to our SABR chapter, Steve K. will receive a Good Sport Award at the 79th CT Sports Writers’ Alliance Gold Key Dinner on Sunday, April 26, at 3 pm at the Aqua Turf Club, Southington, CT. Tickets are $75 and dinner is included. This is a 3 to 3.5 hour event, FYI. Five of us expressed interest in attending when we discussed this at the Holiday Luncheon. Please contact me at email@example.com to reserve a seat at the SABR table. Checks should be made out to CSWA, and sent to CSWA, P.O. Box 70, Unionville CT 06085. Please indicate Your name as attendee on the check, as well as the honoree you are supporting -Steve
Mark your calendar: March 28 will be the date for our next general meeting at Middlesex Community College. 11 am start. More details to come from Steve.
And as Steve previously announced, there will be a CT SABR Breakfast on Feb. 15 at 10 am at the Cromwell Diner.
In the January issue of The Wood Pile, an email address was provided to access Ken Matinale’s Radical Baseball Blog. You can actually go directly to the blog at this url:
Lastly, if you are attending the World Series Club event (Feb. 17) with Steve Garvey, you can warm up for the event by listening to the Garvey’s SABR Oral History interview from SABR 49. Just use this link:
For info on attending the Garvey dinner go to https://worldseriesclub.com/
Published in The Hartford Courant, Jan. 12, 2020
Frank W. McNulty passed away on January 9, 2020 in Bloomfield, CT. He is survived by his wife of 63 years Audrey, 3 children Lindsay (Glenn), Paul (Julie), and Tracy (Dean) and 5 cherished grandchildren Alexis, Allison, Meghan, Ella and Dylan. Frank was born in Waltham, MA on June 15,1931 to William Frank and Marion McNulty. He was predeceased by his parents and sister, Kay. Frank was a “double Eagle” graduating from Boston College HS and Boston College. He received his Master degree in Finance at NYU. Frank enlisted in the US Marine Corps in 1949 and served in the Korean War as a First Lieutenant. A special time in Frank’s life was his stint as bat boy for the Boston Braves where he earned a World Series ring in 1948 when the Braves played the Cleveland Indians. That year Frank was the bat boy model for the iconic September 4, 1948 Saturday Evening Post cover ‘The Dugout” illustrated by Norman Rockwell. Frank was employed at General Motors for 11 years before holding several senior executive positions at Norton Simon, Inc., a holding company that included among many others, several well known businesses including McCall Publishing, Canada Dry Corporation, Max Factor Cosmetics and Avis Car Rental. He considered himself lucky to end his career at its height presiding as president of Parade Publications for over 10 years – this included Parade Magazine, the national Sunday newspaper supplement that was distributed in over 700 newspapers and had a weekly circulation of 32 million. During his retirement, Frank led the fundraiser to rebuild Our Lady of Fatima Church in New London, NH and served 2 terms as mayor of Seabrook Island, SC where he oversaw the creation of a bike path that connected Seabrook and Kiawah Islands. Frank moved back to New England in 2011 and enjoyed several wonderful years with new and very special friends at Seabury Retirement Community in Bloomfield. Frank’s family is so grateful for the care and comfort offered by the staff and residents at Seabury over the past several months. Frank was known for his amazing ability to get along with all people and his great humor. Frank was a devout Catholic and lived his life according to his faith. He never forgot his humble beginnings and contributed to many charities over the years. Despite all his life achievements his most cherished roles were as “Pops” to his children and grandchildren whom he adored and as a very devoted husband to Audrey whom he met on a blind date 71 years ago. A Memorial Service will be held at 11 am on Friday, January 17 at Sacred Heart Church, 26 Wintonbury Avenue, Bloomfield, CT. There are no calling hours. Memorial contributions can be made in Frank’s name to two of his favorite charities: St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital 501 St Jude Place Memphis, TN 38105 or Wounded Warrior Project P.O. Box 758516 Topeka, Kansas 66675-8516. For online condolences please visit wwww.carmonfuneralhome.com
The new Woodpile is out! Where else would you find a 139-line holiday poem about the Yankees & Twins in the ALDS? You can read six new book capsules, CT vintage base ball news, Around the Horn (chapter news), Quotable BB, Ezra Count puzzlers, two BB travel journals — Stan Dziurgot in St. Louis and Ray Sikora in 7 ballparks — plus a book review (Paul Hensler), Cleveland in the minors (Alan Cohen), Frank Observations (M Frank), and Stan Osowiecki on the Polar Bear, and more.
Click this link to download… SABR Newsletter Winter 2020 v3 20200106 (1)