PAWTUCKET, R.I. — Like anyone moving out of their home after 50 years, the Pawtucket Red Sox have accumulated a ton of memories, along with a lot of stuff. So on Saturday, the minor league team will hold a major league “yard sale.”
The Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox will be moving into a new stadium in Worcester next year, beginning a new life as the WooSox. But first, the team will hold a virtual “BallYard Sale” at its old home, beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday on the Pawtucket Red Sox Facebook and @Pawsox Twitter channels.
The pandemic wiped out the 2020 minor league season, scuttling the team’s plans for a season-long celebration of a half-century of PawSox baseball. And likewise, the pandemic eliminated the possibility of allowing fans to enter McCoy Stadium one last time to buy souvenirs.
So the memories will come with curbside pickup or delivery available.
“It’s a little bittersweet for us,” said Bill Wanless, the PawSox senior vice president for communications, on Thursday. “This really isn’t a revenue generator, by any means. This is a yard sale, so we are keeping it at yard-sale-type prices.”
Certain items — like a jersey signed by Pedro Martinez — will be sold to the highest bidder via online auction, with proceeds going to the PawSox Foundation, which supports local charities and organizations, he said.
PawSox vice chairman Mike Tamburro, who has been with the club for more than 40 years, said the team will take some memorabilia to Worcester to display at Polar Park, the new home of the WooSox.
“But fortunately for PawSox fans, we still have an abundance of items that can allow fans to keep a piece of PawSox history in their homes,” he said. “We are all filled with emotion, and we thought fans might enjoy having some of these small baseball treasures to cherish, especially in the holiday season.”
There are a lot of treasures to choose from. The yard sale will include some 1,000 player jerseys, game-used helmets, clubhouse chairs, signed player photos, a cluster of caps, and a bounty of bobbleheads.
Also on offer: seven styles of jerseys from the 2020 season that were never worn because the players never took the field, as well as uniforms from past seasons, including the ones with “Fightin’ Quahogs” and “Hot Wieners” logos.
At the auction, collectors can bid on the jersey that Martinez, a Hall of Fame pitcher, signed while working with Eduardo Rodriguez in Pawtucket, Wanless said.
The auction also will include a photo signed by Carlton Fisk, a bobblehead signed by Kevin Youkilis, and baseballs signed by Jim Rice, Wade Boggs, and Roger Clemens.
The sale and auction will continue through Dec. 10.
Cox Communications will televise a one-hour show titled “Last Chance at History — A PawSox Jersey & Memorabilia Sale” on Cox Channel 4 (1004 in HD). The TV-shopping-channel-style show will air Saturday at 10 p.m. It will include tours of the “Hall of History” at McCoy.
Although the 2020 season was a scratch, the PawSox were able to hold a “grand finale” weekend in October, Wanless said. Fans got a chance to run the bases, kids got to take batting practice, and Boy Scouts got to have a sleepover on the field.
“Obviously, it wasn’t what we wanted, with all the things we had planned for the end of 2020 that fans would have enjoyed,” Wanless said. “But like other things we have done, such as ‘Dining on the Diamond,’ it was meant to allow fans to have another McCoy experience before it ended.”
Wanless said no final decisions have been made about what to do with the faded McCoy murals of players like Jason Varitek, Bronson Arroyo, and Juan Beniquez. And he’s not sure of the plans for the display showing the score for all 33 innings of the longest game in professional baseball history (which the PawSox won, 3 to 2, in 1981).
But Wanless said the Polar Park architect, Janet Marie Smith, plans to create a museum at the new ballpark, and it will commemorate 50 years of PawSox baseball in addition to the story of baseball in Worcester. “She wants some of the history to live on in Worcester,” he said.