Years from now, the chair that came directly from the clubhouse or the game-worn jersey that possibly could have been worn by a star ballplayer, might lead to a simple, direct question.
How on earth did you get your hands on such a cool memento that in essence will help keep alive the memory of a popular Triple-A franchise that was a Rhode Island staple for five decades?
The answer is a simple one. It was during the near week-long period the Pawtucket Red Sox staged a ballyard sale.
Recognizing that you can’t take everything with you when the moving trucks arrive, the PawSox have come up with a solution. Individuals with an infinity for baseball collectables figure to have a field day. For the baseball fan on your holiday shopping list, your prayers stand a pretty good chance of being answered.
Hailed as the fifth and final Ballyard Sale in PawSox history, the buyers and bidders will want to tune in starting Saturday (Dec. 5) at 10 am. via the team’s Facebook and Twitter outlets. For those unable to tune into this live virtual production that will also include a behind-the-scenes look at McCoy Stadium, fear not.
Beginning Sunday, Dec. 6 at 10 p.m., Cox Communications will take Saturday’s program and repackage it as a one-hour show titled “Last Chance at History – A PawSox Jersey & Memorabilia Sale” on Yurview Channel 4 and 1004 in HD.
The consumer will find no shortage of fix-priced items – the possibilities ranging from an estimated 1,000 jerseys, to a plethora of bobbleheads, to helmets and hats worn on gamedays, and to clubhouse artifacts with the old-school PawSox logo emblazoned on them.
For a point of reference, the PawSox were planning to wear nine different jerseys throughout the 2020 minor league season that ultimately were never worn due to the pandemic. Each jersey will be available for purchase.
When it came to casting a wide net of securing a vast selection of PawSox-related jerseys, clubhouse manager Josh Liebenow collaborated with Hannah Butler, the team’s director of special events. Some jerseys were already available for purchase in the team store, while others became outdated and stored for safe keeping in a closet that’s located in the PawSox clubhouse.
“If you’re a fan of the team going back 20 years or more, you probably want an older jersey. You may not want to wear it. Maybe you frame it,” said Liebenow. “One of the jerseys we were planning to wear this year was a throwback … taking elements from past jerseys.”
The full list of novelty items that can be immediately purchased were broken down into the following categories:
Autographed Memorabilia, Bats, Balls, Bobbleheads, Caps, Clubhouse Equipment (including Clubhouse Chairs), Concessions Memorabilia, Drinkware, Photos, Printed Materials, School Supplies, T-Shirt Jerseys, and T-Shirts. Since it’s being hailed as a yard sale, expect yard sale-type prices.
For those itching to get into a bidding war, the PawSox came up with 20 auction items where there’s no shortage of marquee names involved. McCoy Stadium has seen its fair share of recognizable Red Sox stars pass through over the years, many of whom obliged when asked by a team official to sign.
At the auction, which opens Saturday and concludes next Thursday, collectors can bid on a Red Sox No. 45 jersey that Hall of Fame pitcher Pedro Martinez signed in Pawtucket while tutoring Eduardo Rodriguez. There’s also a signed photo of Carlton Fisk and autographed baseballs featuring the signatures of Jim Rice, Wade Boggs, and Roger Clemens.
The proceeds from purchasing an auction item will go directly to the PawSox Foundation that the club is adamant about sustaining in Pawtucket and Rhode Island even though the players moving forward will be hitting the field in Worcester.
The relationship between the PawSox and Cox Communications has been a prosperous one where both sides have mutually benefited. When the idea of getting the word out there about an all-encompassing ballyard sale was first hatched, Cox officials quickly jumped at the chance to team up for possibly the final time with arguably one of the most recognizable sporting brands in the Ocean State.
“The partnership between the PawSox and Cox stretches back years and represents a proud affiliation with one of Rhode Island’s most loved and storied pastimes,” said Jay Allbaugh, senior vice president and region manager for Cox Communications Northeast. “In what can only be described as a year of great change, we are honored to once again support this Ocean State institution as it embarks on the next chapter of its celebrated history.”
The satisfaction with working with Cox throughout the years is just as genuine and heartfelt in the PawSox’ camp.
“The PawSox and Cox Communications have enjoyed such a special relationship for over 20 years. As our attendance grew year after year, we needed a partner like Cox to assist the team in providing the most updated services to our great fans. Having PawSox games available to the great number of customers that Cox has in Rhode Island was invaluable,” said Michael Gwynn, Senior Vice President/Corporate Partnerships.
“We will miss seeing and interacting with the countless number of Cox employees who came to PawSox games with their families. It has been a real joy to get to meet so many of them over the years.”
Bill Wanless, longtime PawSox Senior Vice President/Communications, expressed his appreciation of the role that Cox played in helping to promote the franchise’s stable of talented broadcasters, many of whom parlayed their time at McCoy into gigs at the pro level.
“About a dozen former PawSox broadcasters are now currently in the major leagues and many of them spent time calling PawSox games on Cox telecasts from McCoy.
The list includes Don Orsillo back in the mid ‘90’s before he went on to TV with the Boston Red Sox, Dave Flemming [now with the San Francisco Giants and ESPN football & basketball), Andy Freed (Tampa Bay Rays), Dave Jageler (Washington Nationals), Dan Hoard (Cincinnati Bengals), and Will Flemming (Boston Red Sox), among many others.
We’ve also benefited from the spot-on analysis provided by color analysts Mike Stenhouse, Bob Montgomery, and Ken Ryan along with the play-by-play contributions of local personalities Steve McDonald and John Rooke,” said Wanless.
“PawSox telecasts on Cox were a production in every professional sense. The ‘Wired Segment’ where PawSox managers – most notably the colorful Ron Johnson – wore a wired microphone to speak live with the broadcast booth while coaching third base was a clever, award-winning innovation that fans truly enjoyed.”
After Sunday, Yurview will present additional airings of “Last Chance at History – A PawSox Jersey & Memorabilia Sale” on Monday, Dec. 7 at 5 pm, Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 6 pm, Wednesday, Dec. 9 at 8 pm, and Thursday, Dec. 10 at 9 pm