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Installation of "WooBlue" seats and "end standards" begins at Polar Park; Worcester Worcesters' logo from 1880 inspires art on the end of each row

January 12, 2021

WORCESTER, MA – Fulfilling a commitment to celebrate Worcester’s rich baseball heritage, designers of Polar Park are adorning the end of each row with a design inspired by the logo of the 1880 Worcester Worcesters of the National League. The art on the “End Standard” of each row comprises the

WORCESTER, MA – Fulfilling a commitment to celebrate Worcester’s rich baseball heritage, designers of Polar Park are adorning the end of each row with a design inspired by the logo of the 1880 Worcester Worcesters of the National League. The art on the “End Standard” of each row comprises the 1880 Worcester Worcesters’ distinctive “W” on a heart overlaying crossed bats. The expression, “Heart of the Commonwealth,” follows the curves inside the heart and is flanked below by the official name of the franchise, the “Worcester Baseball Club,” on a banner.

Installation of more than 6,000 of Polar Park’s fixed seats, and the aisle’s End Standards, begins today. The rows of seats will end with the cast-iron design on each side of each aisle.

The End Standards are part of the cast iron risers to which Polar Park’s seats will be attached. The seats and End Standards will be Worcester Blue—or “WooBlue,” as coined by a fan during a December, 2020, Zoom chat with the Worcester Red Sox Booster Club.

“One of the many enjoyable lessons we have learned from City Manager Ed Augustus is what an exceptionally artistic city Worcester is,” said Red Sox Hall of Famer Larry Lucchino, Chairman and Principal Owner of the WooSox. “We had an opportunity to add a touch of art while showcasing the city’s baseball heritage. These conversation pieces may help remind the baseball world what an extensive history Worcester has played in our National Pastime, and what a high value the city places on art.”

“We are thrilled when art and history come together in a ballpark,” said Janet Marie Smith, the club’s Ballpark Design Consultant who has worked with Lucchino over the past 32 years on such ballparks as Oriole Park at Camden Yards and the 10-year renovation of Fenway Park. “Our design team and architects at DAIQ recognized both the artistic and historical value of bringing these iconic elements from 140 years ago back to life.”

Designers of the WooSox’ iconography also drew inspiration from the font style of the Worcesters when creating the club’s heart-shaped W in 2019. The letter’s lateral legs are inspired by the W from 1880.

The Worcester Worcesters' 1880s “W” featured in a heart with crossed bats, “Heart of the Commonwealth” and “Worcester Baseball Club” Joe Jacobs/Worcester Red Sox

The Worcesters in 1880 joined the National League, which formed in 1876. In that inaugural season, on June 12, 1880, the Worcesters’ J. Lee Richmond hurled Major League Baseball’s first “Perfect Game” at the Worcester Agricultural Fairgrounds, where Becker College now stands. A monument at the site on the campus marks the historic occasion. Richmond, who was President of his class at Brown University, had taken the train from Providence to Worcester the morning of the afternoon game. The southpaw graduated four days after the perfect game.

Incidentally, Cleveland’s ninth hitter, who made the last of the 27 consecutive outs, was future Baseball Hall of Famer Ned Hanlon, enshrined in Cooperstown more than 100 years later (1996) in acknowledgement of his legendary managerial career with the National League Baltimore Orioles of the 1890s. Their BBC logo, representing the Baltimore Baseball Club, adorns the End Standards of the rows at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Larry Lucchino and Janet Marie Smith oversaw the design of that ballpark as well.

“We look forward to telling the stories that have been locked in Worcester’s treasure chest for so many generations,” said WooSox President Dr. Charles Steinberg. “Just imagine the education that visiting broadcasters will receive and transmit throughout the nation. Worcester’s wealth of historical nuggets will have these new windows to be visually displayed and orally conveyed to the world.”