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Bravehearts Named 2017 Futures League Organization of the Year

Saturday, November 04, 2017

 

The Worcester Bravehearts have been named the Futures League’s 2017 Organization of the Year for the third time in their four years of existence.

The Bravehearts also won the Futures League Organization of the Year Award in 2014 and 2016.

“It’s exciting to see what we’ve accomplished in four seasons. In the fall of 2013 we were a two-person staff working out of a tiny electrical closet, and now we have a full sales team and employ 40 people each summer who have one common goal: to make sure fans leave our ballpark with smiles on their faces. Each night I think about how lucky we are that the City of Worcester has embraced this team since its inception. We don’t win this award without that kind of support from our city,” said Bravehearts General Manager Dave Peterson.

The Bravehearts Over the Years

Since 2014, the Bravehearts have continually ranked at the top of the Futures League and near the top of the country in attendance. In the 2017 season, the Bravehearts’ average attendance of 2,356 fans per game was good for first in the Futures League, first among all New England collegiate teams, and seventh in the country among 153 summer collegiate baseball teams.

The team’s overall attendance of 65,957 was also first in New England and eighth in the country, according to Ballpark Digest.

On the field, the team advanced to the championship series for the fourth-consecutive season before falling to the Nashua Silver Knights.

"The Worcester Bravehearts have proven to be one of the best franchises— not just in New England but the entire country. They continually provide their fans with outstanding customer service, excellent food, fun music and just an overall wonderful family experience,” said Futures League Commissioner, Chris Hall.

 

Related Slideshow: The History of Baseball in Central Massachusetts

Baseball and Central Mass. go way back - to the 1860s. The local historical landmarks range from  Mudville to Hotel Vernon to Fitton Field. A version of these highlights is posted on the site of the new, yet-to-be-formally-named Worcester Baseballteam of the three-year-old Futures Collegiate Baseball League.

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Casey At The Bat

Casey at the Bat was written on August 14, 1863 on Chatham Street in Worcester by Ernest Thayer under the penname “Phineas.” The 150th anniversary of the poem is being celebrated in 2013.

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First Perfect Game

The first perfect game in the history of Major League Baseball was pitched in Worcester, on June 12, 1880, by J. Lee Richmond for the Worcester Worcesters – also known at various times as the Brown Stockings and the Ruby Legs - versus the Cleveland Blues at the Worcester Driving Park Grounds, located in the Worcester Agricultural Fairgrounds near Elm Park. Worcester joined the National League in 1880, replacing the failed Syracuse Stars.

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Industrial League

In Greater Worcester, there was a deep history of participation in Industrial League Baseball. Locally, teams included Norton Co., Town Talk Baking Co. and Whitin Machine Works (shown here).

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Honorary NL Membership

Worcester’s National League team was suspended in 1882 and replaced by the Philadelphia Quakers, who later became the Philadelphia Phillies. Worcester maintains an honorary lifetime NL membership.

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NE Collegiate Baseball

A New England Collegiate Baseball League team played in Leominster from 1995 to 1999. Called the Central Mass. Collegians, they won the NECBL Championship in both 1995 and 1996, and During the 1995 season, they played a game against the Cuban National Youth Team in Worcester.

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Worcester Tornadoes

The now-defunct Worcester Tornadoes of the Can-Am League played for eight seasons, from 2005 through 2012. Former Tornadoes emcee Dave Peterson is general manager of Worcester’s new team in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League.

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Wachusett Dirt Dawgs

The Wachusett Dirt Dawgs, who play at historic, and newly renovated, Doyle Field in Leominster, are a 2012 expansion franchise in the now-three-year-old Futures Collegiate Baseball League.The Dirt Dawgs’ 2013 season swung into action on June 5 with big expectations, but ended on August 8 with those hopes being dashed. They finished in the basement, with a record of 20-31 - 14 games behind first-place the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks (38-18). The team is owned by prominent Leominster businessman John Morrison, who also founded, owns and operates Fosta-Tek Optics in Leominster.

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Worcester Baseball

Last month, the Futures Collegiate Baseball League announced the formation of the Worcester Baseball franchise, which will play its first season next summer. The team is owned by the family that owns and operates Creedon and Co. The prominent Worcester catering service will be the food-and-beverage vendor at home games at Fitton Field, at the College of the Holy Cross. Through Octobert 25, Worcester Baseball is conducting a name-the-team competition.

 
 

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