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As the Providence proposal took on water Governor Gina Raimondo reversed field and went from supporter to opponent on the financing structure. Raimondo, who had once chided critics about complaining about the move from Pawtucket to Providence, flipped on the ownership group and ultimately opposed the Providence financing deal.
The implications were two-fold. Second, it did tremendous damage to her already strained relationship with Speaker of the House Nick Mattiello. Her change left him the last official holding the political hot potato. Lucchino, who had built stadiums in Baltimore and San Diego for major league franchises, had a formula.
First, he would not wait until after the election.
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Second, he refused to have the owners take on the final financial backstop. They will give it a Green Monster in order to train their outfielders how to read bounces, but also because they want their fans to experience a simulation of the old days. This will be an aesthetic history, one that elides another lived history, somewhere else.
I wonder which stories will emerge from their historical slumber in the walls of those Worcester Mills, today housing lofts for young professionals to be able commute to less affordable urban enclaves of employment. Who was in attendance that day, or who wrote the story up in the local newspaper. I wonder about Pawtucket, and if the story we remember will be about baseball or that place next to Providence where Woody Allen shot that movie once.
That the city lost something. I had moved to Providence for grad school from the West Coast a year earlier, and missed the opportunity to see the PawSox play the end of their season. The game is your typical late-spring minor league affair: little to write home about, a prospect flashing a bat, another whiffing it with his glove. You start to see the way the game effectively self-organized its rhythms throughout time, its innings rising and falling as waves; fly balls and grounders spatialize this very same song. You wonder why it organizes itself only on the field. It is a good day.
Later that night I read the owner of the Pawtucket Red Sox, Jim Skeffington, had died of a heart attack that very same day. He was planning to move the team one exit down the highway, to Providence. Nothing like stepping into yesterday.
Baseball team shows how not to apologize after Chick-fil-A Pride Day flap
A few points need mentioning here: 1. Boston has always overshadowed Rhode Island and always will. They were the Pawtucket Indians. If I remember correctly, Worcester was deemed too small to house a National League team when it was granted a franchise.
There was a rule in the charter that the city had to be of a minimum size and Worcester was under the limit. However, the NL was so desperate to have Lee Richmond in the league, not to mention they were generally desperate to keep the league at 8 teams after repeatedly hemorrhaging franchises the season victim was Syracuse , that the rule was waived.
I suppose I should also add that the NL had a team in Providence for all three years of the Worcester franchise.
Providence was a good team; Worcester started out mediocre, then plunged into the basement, and then was just awful. This is a great article! I love your blend of regional history, team history, modern business, and personal interest. Not sure that was possible.
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He might have meant the combined price of two tickets. My grandmother was from Central Falls, RI and spent most of the last half of her life in Attleboro, maybe 10 minutes up 95 from Pawtucket. She was from a classic New England working class background — parents immigrants from Eastern Europe, family members working in various mills and factories, carving out a modest but comfortable and proud life with home ownership and two cars and college scholarships.
I hardly ever recall making it to Fenway — in the s, before Stubhub et al. My life, no doubt, will all be downhill from here. He currently writes at Short Relief for Baseball Prospectus. Dennis Bedard. You can flag a comment by clicking its flag icon. Website admin will know that you reported it. Admins may or may not choose to remove the comment or block the author.
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