Ah, the million-dollar question. Make that the multi-million-dollar question for the Worcester Red Sox and city officials, who are joined at the hip on a mega-deal involving a brand-spanking new ballpark opening in 2021 in Worcester and business development around it. We’ve known that for a while now – what, you missed the news?
What we haven’t known, what we don’t know yet, is just what the heck the team that officially calls themselves the Worcester Red Sox will be nicknamed. Or have we known all along?
We will find out for real Monday night, as the team finally announces whether they will, in fact, be the WooSox, or whether some other long-shot pulled off the upset. The big reveal is set for 7 p.m. Monday night as part of a program titled, ahem, “Who Beats the WooSox?” at the Mercantile Center at 100 Front St. Along with the nickname, the team is expected to unveil branding as well as holiday merchandise. The event will be broadcast on NESN.
A big deal? Nah. It’s not like there’s been any interest in it or anything.
The Sox, currently playing out the string at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, R.I. as the PawSox, have latched onto Worcester in a big way – and they have milked every ounce of drama possible since it was announced last year that City Manager Ed Augustus Jr. had pulled off the seemingly impossible: convincing team Chair Larry Lucchino and co. to pack up their cars and trucks and make the short drive up north on Route 146 into Massachusetts.
From the “Grand and Glorious Celebration” last year after the initial announcement, to a ceremonial groundbreaking in the giant parking lots off of Kelley Square that will soon give way to a 10,000-capacity minor league ballpark, to the demolition of buildings to make way for the project, to a ceremonial running of the bases, to partnering with local colleges, and unveiling innovative moves such as an autonomous store that will allow customers to grab snacks and souvenirs without ever having to stand in line at a register – well, you get the picture.
This club knows how to build suspense. And they have attempted to do so when it comes to the new nickname of the Boston Red Sox’ Triple-A minor league affiliate. Come Monday, the public wait will be over. But is there any doubt that the nickname will be the Woo Sox?
You never know, right? After all, there were 200-plus unique suggestions tossed around when the team opened it up for public debate. All sorts of interesting names, many of which were never destined to see the light of day. Some caught some traction, like the Ruby Legs, the Worcesters and the Wicked Worms. There was some talk of the Rocket Sox, in honor of Robert Goddard, the founder of modern rocketry, of the Heart Sox.
Through it all however, as team officials chewed on all the offerings, there was one name that just wouldn’t fade. Team President Charles Steinberg turned it into a running gag, teasing the WooSox moniker at just about every public appearance.
Indeed, internally, there has been but one front-runner all along: the WooSox.
Could the team pull a late-innings substitution? Could we be about to usher in the era of the Ruby Legs? The Worcesters? The Wicked Worms? Ah, the marketing possibilities on that one. Could they announced a nickname other than the WooSox come Monday night? Sure they could. Then again, look at what they’re calling the event.
Who beats the WooSox, indeed.