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2021 marks 71st anniversary of tradition established in 1950 by longtime American League Umpire Hank Soar.
Tim Quitadamo/Worcester Red Sox
WORCESTER, MA – Continuing a Rhode Island tradition that dates back 71 years, the Worcester Red Sox will send a pair of youngsters from the Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket on an all-expense-paid trip to see Games 3 and 4 of the 2021 World Series at Truist Park in Atlanta, GA, this Friday and Saturday night.
Michael Cute, 11, and Jeremy Torres, 13, will be accompanied by their fathers, Matthew Cute and Juan Luis Torres Caquias. Both families are from Pawtucket.
“These kids are going to remember this experience for the rest of their lives,” said Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket CEO, Jim Hoyt. “We’re grateful that the Worcester Red Sox are continuing this tradition that goes back decades, and that they haven’t forgotten about our kids in Pawtucket. It’s one of our favorite traditions.”
“I’ve had the pleasure of carrying on this amazing tradition for over three decades during my time in Pawtucket,” said WooSox Vice Chairman Mike Tamburro, the longtime president of the PawSox. “Now we get to continue this tradition from my hometown in Worcester and give them a proper send-off from our new home at Polar Park.”
The two children were randomly chosen during a Boys & Girls Club group outing at Polar Park this season. This year’s trip marks the 31st year that the franchise has sent two children from the Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket, each accompanied by a parent, to baseball’s Fall Classic.
The tradition began in 1950 when the New York Football Giants’ longtime running back, Hank Soar, became an American League baseball umpire. Soar, who grew up in Pawtucket and graduated from what is now Tolman High School, had been discovered umpiring by Central Mass native Connie Mack, the legendary owner and manager of the Philadelphia Athletics. After Soar established the annual tradition of providing tickets to a pair of children, the City of Pawtucket assumed the responsibility before passing the torch to the Pawtucket Red Sox in 1990. After completing 50 years in Rhode Island in 2020, the club is sending the students this year for the first time as the Worcester Red Sox.
“I am pleased to see this longstanding tradition continue,” said Mayor of Pawtucket Donald R. Grebien. “It means so much for our youth to be able to have this opportunity and I am glad that the WooSox will be continuing to provide this great experience.”