Rutledge Homers in PawSox Series Opener

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — On a star-studded night at BB&T Ballpark, the Pawtucket Red PawSox Series OpenerSox fell to the Charlotte Knights in the series opener, 3-1, on Tuesday.

In a game that featured a pair of big leaguers on rehab assignments (including a 2016 All-Star), a consensus top-5 prospect and a former first-round pick, the Knights (5-7) used a pair of first-inning home runs to coast by the PawSox (6-6) to kick off the three-game set. Pawtucket has now lost three in a row.

Before Tuesday’s series opener, the PawSox added a pair of players on MLB rehab assignments. Jackie Bradley Jr., who suffered a right knee sprain with the Red Sox in Detroit on April 8, batted second and played center field before leaving after his five scheduled innings. In the first inning, he grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. Two innings later, Bradley struck out looking against Charlotte starter and 2015 first-round pick Carson Fulmer. Bradley tracked down two fly balls in center — one moving back and one jogging in during the third inning.

Rutledge, meanwhile, batted third as the designated hitter. The 27-year old, who suffered a left hamstring strain in late March during spring training, clocked a solo home run in the first inning. He later struck out swinging and grounded out to short.

Fulmer (W, 2-1) allowed just one run on five hits and a walk in six innings and outdueled PawSox starter Shawn Haviland (L, 2-1), who settled in after the first frame and logged seven innings. Haviland ceded just the three runs on nine hits and a walk to go along with eight punchouts.

Pawtucket, however, only mustered three singles after the second inning and hit into a pair of double plays. Flame-throwing Knights righty Zack Burdi (S, 2) secured the save in the ninth by striking out three consecutive PawSox hitters after allowing back-to-back singles to start the stanza.

PawSox center fielder Rusney Castillo (2-for-4) and left fielder Junior Lake (2-for-2, BB) each posted multi-hit nights.

In the top of the first inning, Rutledge lifted an opposite-field home run to right to crack open a 1-0 lead.

But, the Knights countered in the bottom of the first. Leadoff man and former Red Sox top prospect Yoan Moncada mashed a home run to right field. Two batters later, center fielder Willy Garcia pulled a two-run shot to left to vault Charlotte in front, 3-1.

The PawSox continue their three-game series in Charlotte against the Knights on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. Pawtucket right-hander Héctor Velázquez (0-0, 5.79) is scheduled to oppose Charlotte righty Lucas Giolito (0-1, 7.56). Radio coverage on WHJJ (920 AM) and throughout the PawSox Radio Network begins with the PawSox Pre-Game Show at 6:35 p.m.

The PawSox return home to McCoy Stadium April 25-30. Good seats are available, and fans can visit the McCoy Stadium box office, which is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. through 5 p.m., and during all home games. Fans can also call (401) 724-7300 or log on to PawSox.com for tickets.

Sea Dogs Opening Day Postponed Due to Rain

Portland, Maine- Thursday’s Portland Sea Dogs Opening Day game against the Reading Fightin Phils at Hadlock Field has been postponed due to rain.  The Sea Dogs are now set to open the season on Friday, April 7th at 6:00 PM against Reading.
Thursday’s postponed game will be made-up as part of a single admission doubleheaderPortland Sea Dogs Opening Day on Friday, May 5th at 5:00 PM.  The doubleheader will consist of two seven inning games.
Tickets for the April 6th postponed game, can be exchanged for tickets of equal or lesser value to any 2017 Sea Dogs home game, subject to availability.  Any questions regarding rained out tickets can be directed towards the Sea Dogs Ticket Office at 207-879-9500 or tickets@seadogs.com.
This is the fifth time in the Sea Dogs 24-year history that Opening Day has been postponed but the first time due to rain.  The previous four postponements (2001, 2003, 2007, & 2015) have been due to snow or field conditions due to melting snow.
“It’s disappointing to have Opening Day postponed,” stated Sea Dogs General Manager Geoff Iacuessa.  “However, I’m very proud of the job that our grounds crew and front staff did preparing the field and stadium to open.  We were ready, despite having eight inches of snow on the field on Sunday morning.”
Kevin Youkilis was scheduled to throw-out the ceremonial first-pitch in honor of the Sea Dogs’ 15th season as a Red Sox affiliate.  His appearance at Hadlock Field will be rescheduled for a date later this season.
Tickets are available for all 2017 Sea Dogs home games.  Book your nine inning vacation by calling the Sea Dogs ticket office at 207-879-9500 or online at www.seadogs.com.

Portland Sea Dogs: Kevin Youkilis to Throw Out the Ceremonial First Pitch

Portland, Maine – The Portland Sea Dogs have announced the details of the Opening Day ceremonies set for Thursday, April 6th at 6:00 PM when the Sea Dogs host the Portland Sea Dogs Opening DayReading Fightin Phils.  The 2017 season marks the Sea Dogs 15th season as an affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, to commemorate the occasion, former Sea Dog Kevin Youkilis will throw out the ceremonial first-pitch.
On his way to a nine-year career with the Boston Red Sox, Kevin Youkilis made stops in the minor leagues, including the Portland Sea Dogs. In 2003, Youkilis appeared in 94 games with the Sea Dogs, hitting .327 with 6 homers and 37 RBI.  The Cincinnati native managed to complete a streak he started while in Portland, reaching base in 71 consecutive games, tying future teammate Kevin Millar’s minor-league record for consecutive games reaching base. In 2004, Youkilis made his Major League debut and was part of Red Sox history. Youkilis appeared in 1,061 games in his Major League career with Boston, Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees.
Youkilis will be available to sign free autographs from 6:00 to 7:00 PM in the concourse.
The Bellamy Jazz Band will perform on the front plaza at Hadlock Field prior to the game.  The Falmouth High School Concert Choir will perform the National Anthem. The Sea Dogs will also host Portland Recreation students in a “Read Your Way to Opening Day” parade.
The Hadlock Field gates will open at 4:00 PM with the Opening Ceremonies tentatively scheduled to get underway at 5:40 PM complete with team introductions.
Tickets for all Sea Dogs home games in 2017 are on sale and available at the Sea Dogs ticket office at Hadlock Field, by phone at 207-879-9500, and online at seadogs.com.  Advance tickets range in price from $9.00 to $11.00 for adults and $6.00 to $10.00 for children (16 and under) and seniors (62 and over), with group rates available. Book your nine-inning vacation today!

PawSox Foundation to Present “A VETERANS HOME RUN: 5K WALK ‘N RUN”

Pawtucket, RI – The Pawtucket Red Sox and the PawSox/Skeffington Charitable Foundation today announced exciting changes to their annual 5K Walk ‘N Run, which thisPawSox fans year will take place on Saturday, May 20th at 9:30 am with the route both starting and finishing at McCoy Stadium.  An earlier time of year (the race was held Labor Day weekend the past five years), a revamped course which will now take runners by downtown Pawtucket, and an enhanced partnership with area veterans are among the new highlights for this popular event.

The revitalized PawSox Foundation, now in its 18th year, has worked closely with both Operation Stand Down RI and 21 Heroes among other veterans organizations. Proceeds from the race will benefit the Foundation’s veterans initiatives.  Operation Stand Down serves the Ocean State’s 67,800 veterans and their families while 21 Heroes was established to honor the 21 soldiers from Pawtucket who lost their lives in the Vietnam War.  A 21 Heroes memorial dedication will take place the day after the 5K on Sunday, May 21 at Slater Park capping off an historic weekend for veterans causes in Pawtucket.

“We are so pleased to work with the wonderful people from Operation Stand Down and with Terry Nau of 21 Heroes to honor and give something back to the many amazing Rhode Island veterans and their families,” said PawSox Senior Vice President/Club Counsel Kim Miner, who also runs the PawSox Foundation.  “In our ongoing effort to build on the PawSox legacy of celebrating our veterans, we were especially pleased to introduce a nightly ‘In Debt to a Vet’ salute during each game at McCoy Stadium last year and that tradition will continue this season.”

One of the premier road races in the area, the PawSox Foundation 5K will start from the McCoy Stadium parking lot, weave through the streets of downtown Pawtucket, and eventually finish at home plate on the McCoy playing field.  This new and improved route will help showcase the beautiful riverfront and other reinvigorated areas of the Pawtucket downtown.

“Our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services give so much to us to ensure that our freedom and the American Dream endure,” said Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien. “Partnering to promote causes to support our veterans is the least that we can do. Thank you to the PawSox Foundation for working with our local organizations and investing in our community. And thank you to Operation Stand Down and Heroes 21 for ensuring that our veterans are never left behind.”

The race is sponsored by National Grid, Planet Fitness, W.B. Mason, and Coast 93.3.  The first 500 participants who register on pawsox.com will receive a free race t-shirt.  Pre-registration is $25 per person, and teams of 10 or more will be just $20 per person.  On the day of the race, registration will open at 7:30 am and the cost will be $30.

Cash prizes will be awarded to the winners.  Festivities will continue after the race with food and entertainment in the PawSox Party Tent area at McCoy.  All participants will also receive tickets to the PawSox game on May 23 vs. Louisville at 6:05 pm, and will be invited to take part in a pre-game on-field parade and award ceremony that evening.

PawSox Hall of Fame Class of 2017 Announced

Former Pawtucket Red Sox and Boston Red Sox players Carlton Fisk and Mo Vaughn, along with former PawSox and Red Sox manager Joe Morgan, have been selected asPawSox Hall of Fame 2017 PawSox Hall of Fame inductees.

The second-ever PawSox Hall of Fame class was once again chosen by a 15-person panel, which includes club executives, print and broadcast media members, long-time fans, and historians.

Ben Mondor, the late long-time PawSox owner, along with former Pawtucket Red Sox and Boston Red Sox legends Wade Boggs and Jim Rice, both National Baseball Hall of Fame players, comprised the inaugural 2016 PawSox Hall of Fame inductees.

Details on events surrounding this season’s PawSox Hall of Fame ceremonies will be announced early in the 2017 season.

“The PawSox Hall of Fame recognizes the most impactful figures in club history,” said PawSox Executive Vice President/General Manager Dan Rea.  “We are especially pleased that our fans have the opportunity to celebrate some of our franchise’s greatest names, and we look forward to another special event this season.”

Carlton Fisk played just one season with the Pawtucket Red Sox in 1970 when the club was the Double-A Eastern League affiliate of the Red Sox.  However, once Fisk arrived in Boston for his first full season in 1972 he earned American League Rookie of the Year honors and went on to play 24 seasons in the majors with the Red Sox (1969, 1971-80) and the White Sox (1981-93).  He retired with the most games caught (2,226) and most HR (351 of career 376) of any catcher in MLB history and he is one of only three catchers with more than 300 HR, 1,000 runs scored, and 1,000 RBI.

Fisk became the 13th catcher to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000 and was selected for the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 1997.  He was the all-time Red Sox leader in games caught (990), until that mark was broken by Jason Varitek in 2006. A 7-time All-Star for Boston (1972-74, 76-78, 80), he appeared in 11 All-Star Games overall including his last in 1991 with the White Sox at the age of 43.  His 12th-inning, game-winning home run in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series at Fenway Park is remembered as one of the most dramatic moments in baseball history.

Fisk, who will turn 70 this December, was born in Bellows Falls, Vermont and went to the University of New Hampshire on a basketball scholarship.  He committed to baseball after being selected in the 1st round of the 1967 draft by the Red Sox.

Mo Vaughn was a popular player for the PawSox for parts of three seasons (1990-92) and went on to a stellar 12-year Major League career with Boston (1991-98), Anaheim (1999-2000), and the New York Mets (2002-03).  He finished his big league career with a .293 average along with 328 HR & 1064 RBI in 1512 games.  Mo was a three-time American League All-Star with the Red Sox (1995, ’96 and ’98) and the American League MVP in 1995 when he hit .300 with 39 HR & 126 RBI.  The “Hit Dog” followed that up with a sensational 1996 campaign for Boston batting .326 with career-highs of 44 HR & 143 RBI.

Vaughn, who will turn 50 this December, was born in Norwalk, CT and starred at Seton Hall University.  He was chosen by the Red Sox in the 1st round of the 1989 draft and began his pro career with Double-A Portland that year.  He spent all of 1990, at the age of 22, with the PawSox posting a .295 average with 22 HR & 72 RBI in 108 games.  He would split the 1991 season between Pawtucket and Boston, returned briefly to Pawtucket in 1992 for 39 games, but then spent the rest of his career in the majors.

From 1996-98 with the Red Sox he hit .315 or higher and averaged 40 homers and 118 RBI.  After the ’98 season he signed a free agent contract with the Anaheim Angels where he hit 30-plus homers and knocked in over 100 runs in both 1999 & 2000.  He missed the entire 2001 season due to injury and was traded to the New York Mets that off-season.  A knee injury ended his career just 27 games into the 2003 season.

Since he left baseball, Vaughn has found a niche in business across a variety of platforms.  In 2004 he founded a real estate company (OMNI New York LLC) that, among other things, rehabilitates distressed housing in the New York City boroughs.  In 2010 he launched a trucking company called Mo Vaughn Transport in Ohio.  Mo most recently became the face of a big-and-tall clothing company called MVP Collections.

Joe Morgan is the dean of PawSox managers spending nine years as PawSox skipper from 1974-1982 while compiling a franchise-most 601 career managerial victories.  He is the only man to win the International League’s Most Valuable Player and Manager of the Year Awards.  His MVP came in 1964 with Jacksonville (the IL affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals) and his Manager of the Year came with Pawtucket in 1977.

Morgan was an infielder with three different IL clubs…Charleston in 1961, Atlanta in 1962-63, and Jacksonville in 1964-65.  He managed three different IL affiliates as well with Columbus in 1970, Charleston in 1971 & ’73, and Pawtucket from 1974-82 posting 845 wins as an IL skipper.

Morgan, now 86, is a native and lifelong resident of Walpole, MA who attended Boston College where he played both hockey (an All-American while leading the Eagles in scoring his junior year) and baseball (elected team captain his junior year).  His first professional baseball contract came with the Boston Braves and the lefty hitting infielder/outfielder played parts of four seasons in the majors with five different clubs.

 

After his 9th and final season as PawSox skipper in 1982, Joe was a Red Sox scout (1983-84) and then a Red Sox coach (1985-88).  During the 1988 All-Star break, with Boston hovering around the .500 mark under John McNamara, Morgan was promoted to interim manager on July 14, 1988.  The Red Sox promptly won their first 12 games under Morgan (and their first 20 home games in a row) and rode “Morgan’s Magic” to the 1988 AL East pennant.  From 1988-1991 with Boston, “Walpole Joe” posted a 301-262 record along with two AL East Division titles (1988 & 1990).

Morgan was inducted into the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2006 and the International League Hall of Fame in 2008.

 

Sea Dogs Unveil Two New Hats For 2017

Portland, Maine–  The Portland Sea Dogs are proud to announce two new game day hats for the 2017 season at Hadlock Field. On Saturday, the team will wear State of Maine hats and Sunday will feature a kid friendly Slugger hat.

 The State of Maine hat will cater to our tourist population, featuring slugger over the state Portland Sea Dogs hatof Maine logo.  The hat features a red brim and backing, with blue on the front.
The kid-friendly hat for Sunday home games, features a larger slugger, blue brim and a blue backing, with a red front.
Both hats compliment our primary logo, which has stayed the same since the Sea Dogs first season (1994).
Portland has 11 Saturday games this season featuring some returning promotions and portland sea dogs hatnew concepts for 2017. Our first Saturday (April 8th) is Kids Opening Day featuring appearances by Nickelodeon characters Dora the Explorer, Sponge Bob, and Skye and Marshall from Paw Patrol.  In addition, the Sea Dogs Mascot Band the Kastaways performs every pre-game. Other Saturday games include Star Wars Night on August 5th and Fireworks on June 24th.
The Hoods Kid’s Club has a special outing in 6 of 11 Sunday home games this season.  Additionally, kids can run the bases following every Sunday home game.
The official Saturday and Sunday hats can be purchased at the Sea Dogs Souvenir Store online at www.seadogs.com and at (207) 879-9501.