WORCESTER, Mass. (WPRI) — The Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox has not only been renamed, but it has also been revamped.
Now officially the Worcester Red Sox, nicknamed “WooSox,” the team has begun its transition ahead of its move from Rhode Island to Massachusetts.
The new logo pays homage to the original Smiley Face, which was drawn for the first time by Worcester advertising executive Harvey Ball.
“Our game is for children and the child that flourishes in all of us,” Worcester Red Sox President Dr. Charles Steinberg said. “What a gift Harvey Ball gave to the world by his uplifting drawing. May it inspire children for generations to come, to fall in the love with the game our nation and our world have been blessed to love for centuries.”
In the logo, the Smiley Face is seen wearing red socks and swinging a bat with a “W” on it.
The team, currently known as the Pawtucket Red Sox, or PawSox, will play one more season in Rhode Island before moving to a new $100 million, 10,000-seat ballpark in Worcester starting in the 2021 season.
The team received 218 name suggestions from more than 1,000 people, with submissions ranging from the Diggers, Diners and Duck Boats to the Heart Sox, Hot Sox, and Holy Sox.
Ultimately, the team decided on the fans’ longtime frontrunner, which the team was dubbed soon after it announced its ultimate move to Worcester.
“We love that the fans actually named the team,” Club Chairman and owner Larry Lucchino said. “We asked everyone from kids in kindergarten to octogenarians at senior centers to give suggestions and reactions, and while many suggestions and debates were clever, in the end, we discovered what Worcester already knew: nobody beats the WooSox.”
WooSox launched its new social media accounts soon after the announcement, which aired live on New England Sports Network (NESN).
New fan apparel is now on sale on the team’s new website and at a pop-up shop now located inside Mercantile Center lobby.
The city broke ground on the team’s new ballpark, already named Polar Park, back in July. The stadium costs roughly $100 million and city leaders hope it will encourage downtown development.
Below are some of the new renderings of Polar Park: