The Boston Red Sox and Pawtucket Red Sox today announced the extension of their Player Development Contract (PDC) for an additional two years. The deal extends the Red Sox/PawSox partnership meaning the PawSox will continue to be Boston's International League Triple-A affiliate through at least the 2020 season. Red Sox Vice President of Player Development Ben Crockett and PawSox Executive Vice President/General Manager Dan Rea made the announcement.
"All of us in the Red Sox Family are proud that this affiliation is the longest in the International League," Rea said. "PawSox fans are Red Sox fans and Red Sox fans are PawSox fans. The PawSox organization looks forward to continuing its legacy of affordable family entertainment while preparing young stars for the bright lights of Fenway Park."
The PawSox and Red Sox affiliation, which began in 1973 and will continue for its 46th consecutive year in 2018, is the second longest in all of Triple-A Baseball behind only the Kansas City Royals and the Omaha Storm Chasers of the Pacific Coast League (since 1969). Pawtucket's affiliation with Boston actually began in 1970 when the Pawtucket Red Sox were then the Double-A Eastern League affiliate of the Red Sox (1970-72).
Five Major League Hall of Famers have played for the PawSox including Boston stars Carlton Fisk, Dennis Eckersley, Wade Boggs, and Jim Rice, along with John Smoltz (who pitched for Pawtucket in 2009 after spending most of his career with Atlanta). Furthermore, Boston Red Sox Hall of Famers such as Fred Lynn, Roger Clemens, Bruce Hurst, Mo Vaughn, Nomar Garciaparra, Tim Wakefield, and Jason Varitek all played for Pawtucket before heading to Fenway Park in Boston. Current big league standouts Dustin Pedroia, Jon Lester, Andrew Miller, Rich Hill, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley, Jr., Mookie Betts, and Rafael Devers have also played for Pawtucket.
On the field, the PawSox have won four International League Championships capturing the Governors' Cup in 1973, 1984, and twice in recent years (2012 & 2014). The PawSox have also played a pivotal role in helping the Boston Red Sox win three World Series titles in the last 14 years as the PawSox have sent an average of 20 different players from McCoy Stadium to Fenway Park each of those seasons.
Pawtucket alumni who are currently members of the Red Sox 40-man roster, and who have appeared in the majors with the Red Sox, include Matt Barnes, Betts, Bogaerts, Bradley Jr., Bryce Brentz, Devers, Heath Hembree, Marco Hernandez, Brock Holt, Brian Johnson, Joe Kelly, Sandy Leon, Tzu-Wei Lin, Austin Maddox, Deven Marrero, Pedroia, Eduardo Rodriguez, Robby Scott, Blake Swihart, Ben Taylor, Sam Travis, Christian Vazquez, Hector Velazquez, Brandon Workman, and Steven Wright.
The PawSox play at McCoy Stadium, which opened in 1942 and is the oldest ballpark in all of Triple-A. The PawSox celebrated McCoy's 75th anniversary in 2017.
The "Longest Game in Professional Baseball History" took place at McCoy beginning on April 18, 1981 and continuing on April 19 (until 4:09 am) before finally being suspended with the game tied at 2-2 after 32-innings. The game was eventually resumed later that season on June 23 with the PawSox needing just one more inning to beat the Rochester Red Wings, 3-2, in 33-innings.
Pawtucket is one of Boston's six domestic minor league affiliates along with Double-A Portland, ME (Eastern League), High-A Salem, VA (Carolina League), Single-A Greenville, SC (South Atlantic League), Short-A Lowell, MA (New York-Penn League) and the Rookie Gulf Coast Red Sox in Fort Myers, FL.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.