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Worcester Red Sox commemorative magazine the go-to guide for team's inaugural season

Worcester Telegram logo Worcester Telegram 5/2/2021 Joe McDonald, Telegram & Gazette
WooSox magazine cover. © Ashley Green/Telegram & Gazette WooSox magazine cover.

WORCESTER — Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

The Worcester Red Sox inaugural 2021 season is upon us. Before the first pitch is thrown between the WooSox and Buffalo Bisons on Tuesday at Arm & Hammer Park in Trenton, New Jersey, fans will have an opportunity for an inside look at the historic moment, when the Telegram & Gazette publishes a WooSox commemorative magazine Sunday.

The 52-page issue is loaded with stories, photos, illustrations, graphics and advertisements. Basically, it’s a one-stop shop for all things WooSox. Fans will learn about the team, Polar Park, and those folks working hard behind the scenes to create a memorable baseball experience.

At first glance, you’ll notice a baseball player on the warning track in center field, standing under a sunset sky. There’s no name or number on the WooSox jersey, but the city’s seal is the focal point on his left sleeve. It’s poignant with the American flag stitched into the side of his WooSox cap.

The cover illustration, taken by T&G photojournalist Ashley Green, makes one wonder about the player’s future. You can see the goosebumps on his left arm as he grips the wooden bat in his hand. The best part of the cover model is he’s not a WooSox player — yet.

Introducing Doherty High School baseball player David Pedanou.

He's a senior third baseman/shortstop and will attend the University of Dayton in the fall and will play baseball. When he participated in the photo shoot, he couldn't help but think that maybe one day he could wear a WooSox uniform for his hometown team. 

"It definitley pops in your head," he said. "You're thinking and hoping one day if you work hard enough that you can put yourself into a position where you have that opportunity to play at a stadium like that." 

As you open the magazine, there’s a story about how this dream of bringing the Boston Red Sox’ Triple-A affiliate to Worcester after it spent the last 50 seasons in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. It’s a story of sadness that ultimately results in hope for Worcester, the team and its fans.

a sign on the side of a building: The Worcester Red Sox scoreboard at Polar Park. © Ashley Green / Telegram & Gazette The Worcester Red Sox scoreboard at Polar Park.

Oh, don’t skip past the WooSox season schedule as you see Pedanou’s smiling face. It’ll be tough to also stifle a craving for Table Talk Pies.

Polar Park has been the center of attention since the team announced its relocation and the facility will not disappoint. Architect Janet Marie Smith takes you on a tour of the state-of-the-art ballpark, while owner Larry Lucchino explains how Polar Park will become the jewel of the Canal District.

Smith describes the ballpark as adding a huge spark to an already organic and vibrant area in Worcester. The goal is to complete the entire project by the Fourth of July, and once finished, it will be a family-friendly environment.

On the field, the WooSox have an opportunity to build a roster of future Red Sox players, and the team should be successful, while also developing those prospects. We give you a scouting report on all the players fans should see at Polar Park this season.

Spoiler alert: Outfielder Jarren Duran is the real deal. He’s a dynamic player and might not be in Worcester long, so get to an early-season game for a glimpse of the future.

Cartoonist Don Landgren is spot-on with his map of the Canal District on page 22. He draws 26 different attractions, including restaurants and bars for fans to enjoy before and after WooSox games. It’s a solid to-do list for this summer.

a group of baseball players standing on top of a grass covered field: WooSox players run drills during the first day of training on April 1 at Polar Park in Worcester. © Ashley Green / Telegram & Gazette WooSox players run drills during the first day of training on April 1 at Polar Park in Worcester.

Sarah Connell Sanders also takes us on an Instagram-worthy tour around the ballpark to other must-see spots.

Worcester has a deep passion for its baseball roots and there’s no one better to tell that story than legendary T&G sportswriter, Bill Ballou. Want to know more about the Busters or Rosebuds? Or, how the WooSox landed on Madison Street? Ballou has you covered.

There’s more to a baseball team than its players. WooSox fans certainly know Lucchino, Dr. Charles Steinberg and Mike Tamburro. Well, we introduce you to the rest of the people behind the team’s success, and when you see any one of them at the ballpark, make sure to stop and introduce yourself.

Finally, the back cover has a message for the WooSox organization and its fans, but you’ll have to read that one for yourself.

It should be a wonderful season. Enjoy!

Contact Joe McDonald at JMcDonald2@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter @JoeyMacHockey

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