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Worcester Bravehearts Unveil Brand New Mascot

Friday, April 11, 2014

 

The Worcester Bravehearts welcome the city's newest resident this weekend, and he is not even human.

The Bravehearts will introduce fans to the team’s brand new mascot, Jake the Lion, at the team’s Fan Fest, this Saturday at Hanover Insurance Park from 12 PM – 3 PM.

Jake is a furry, six-foot six-inch, smiling lion whose main responsibilities will include marching in Little League parades, visiting school classrooms, and getting the crowd excited at all of the Bravehearts’ home baseball games this summer.

New best friend

“The wait is over,” said General Manager Dave Peterson. “Fans have been asking me for five months about who my new best friend will be. Well, say hello to Jake.”

Jake has a few distinguishing features that fans will notice upon meeting him. His bright blue nose and blue fingertips match his sparkling blue eyes, and his two and a half foot tail is capped with dark brown fur just like his mane. The mascot wears a navy blue Bravehearts’ jersey with green buttons on the front, and his name and number— “14” to represent the year of his birth— are emblazoned on the back.

Tattooed Mascot

The lion also has a unique feature that is not immediately visible. Fans who ask Jake to roll up his right sleeve will find a tattoo of the City of Worcester’s official seal on his bicep. The three-inch diameter heart and laurels symbol signifies Worcester’s status as the “Heart of the Commonwealth,” a phrase that is also commemorated in the Bravehearts’ name.

“Jake is certainly loveable at first glance, but as with much of the Bravehearts ballclub, there is more than meets the eye,” said John Creedon, Jr., Bravehearts owner. “Jake wears his beaming Worcester pride on his sleeve – or under it – as displayed by the hidden seal on his right bicep. His name, too, also has deeper meaning and significance consistent with the name of the ballclub.”

Homage to heroes

The name “Jake” is particularly meaningful for a team whose name pays homage, in part, to Worcester’s fallen firefighters who epitomized bravery. In New England, the term “Jake” is affectionate slang for a firefighter and is used to bestow great praise and the highest levels of respect. The origins of the term are widely debated, but many believe that it evolved from the use of “J-Keys” in the early 20th century, which firefighters used to send morse code telegraphs to headquarters from street-corner fire alarm box systems. Being a “Good J-Key” referred to a fireman who was cool under pressure and could send clear morse code. “J-Key” was eventually shortened to “Jake.”

Jake the Lion will be embarking on his tour of Central Massachusetts right after his debut at Fan Fest. He already has nearly two dozen stops to make before the Bravehearts’ season begins, including visits to the Worcester Boys & Girls Club, EcoTarium, and Worcester Historical Museum.

Fans interested in requesting Jake at one of their events can visit worcesterbravehearts.com.

 

Related Slideshow: 10 Great Ballparks in New England

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Fitton Field

(Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field)

Worcester Bravehearts

Futures Collegiate Baseball League

Worcester, MA

Built: 1905

Capacity: 3,000

Used primarily by Holy Cross baseball until the mid-2000s, Fitton Field's biggest claim to fame was in 1939, when during an exhibition game between Holy Cross and the Boston Red Sox, Ted Williams hit his first home run in a Red Sox uniform.

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Hadlock Field

Portland Sea Dogs

AA Affiliate of the Boston Red Sox

Portland, ME

Built: 1994

Capacity: 7,368

Jon Lester, Dustin Pedroia, Hanley Ramirez, plus many current and future baseball stars have called Hadlock Field home. In 2003, when the Sea Dogs became affiliated with the Boston Red Sox, Hadlock Field built a replica of Fenway Park's Green Monster in left field.

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Wahconah Park

Pittsfield Suns

Futures Collegiate Baseball League

Pittsfield, MA

Built: 1919

Capacity: 3,500

Though the park was built in 1919, baseball has been played at the site since 1892. Between 1965 and 1970, the Boston Red Sox Eastern League team played here before relocatieng to Pawtucket. Greg Maddux, Bill Lee, Tony Canigliaro, and hundreds more professional ballplayers have experienced Wahconah Park's signature "sun delays" -- resulting from the park facing due west.

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Edward A. LeLacheur Park

Lowell Spinners

NY-Penn League Affiliate of the Boston Red Sox

Lowell, MA

Built: 1998

Capacity: 4,767

Built by the renowned HOK Sports (now Populous) in 1998, LaLacheur Park sits in the heart of Lowell and features sweeping views of the Aiken Street Bridge, Lawrence Mills, Fox Hall, and University Suite. The stadium also features the Giant Hood Milk Jug from Fenway Park and all Red Sox retired numbers.

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Cardines Field

Newport Gulls

New England Collegiate Baseball League

Newport, RI

Built: 1908

Capacity: 3,250

Built for unofficial sandlot baseball games between railroad workers from the adjacent Old Colony Division of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad Line, the field hosted many barnstorming all-stars, including Negro League teams like the Baltimore Elite Giants, Boston Royal Giants and the New York Black Yankees. 

Satchel Paige once played a game at Cardines. The original backstop dates back to as early as 1908, when the city organized its first six-team league at the park.

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McCoy Stadium

Pawtucket Red Sox (PawSox)

AAA Affiliate of the Boston Red Sox

Pawtucket, RI

Built: 1942

Capacity: 11,800

McCoy Stadium has played host to many notable players and historic moments.  But none more significant than on Apriol 18, 1981, when they hosted the Rochester Red Wings in what would become the longest professional baseball game ever played.  The game went on until 4:07 am, when it was suspended, to be resumed on June 23.  19 fans remained in attendence, who all received lifetime passes to the stadium. 

When the game finally did resume--more than a month later--it only lasted 18 minutes, with the PawSox winning on a game winning RBI from Dave Koza in the bottom of the 33rd inning.  Two future Hall of Famers played in that game: Cal Ripken, Jr. (Rochester) and Wade Boggs (Pawtucket)


 

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Centennial Field

Vermont Lake Monsters

NY-Penn League Affiliate of the Oakland A's

Burlington, VT

Built: 1906

Capacity: 4,415

In 2005, Centennial Field was the Vermont stop on ESPN's "50 States in 50 Days" tour. In 2007 it was recognized by ESPN.com's Jim Caple as one of the top 10 ball park destinations in the U.S. It is also featured in the 2008 book, "101 Baseball Places To See Before You Strike Out" by Josh Pahigian.  

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Dodd Stadium

(Senator Thomas J. Dodd Memorial Stadium)

Connecticut Tigers

Norwich, CT

Built: 1995

Capacity: 6,270

Dodd Stadium hosted the 12th and final Double-A All-Star Game on July 10, 2002, in front of a standing-room-only crowd of 8,009. In 2006, the stadium was used as the setting for the ESPN miniseries The Bronx Is Burning, based on a Jonathan Mahler book.

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New Britain Stadium

New Britain Rock Cats

New Britain, CT

Built: 1996

Capacity: 6,146

New Britain Stadium hosted the Eastern League All-Star Game on July 16, 2003, before a then-record crowd of 7,169 fans. On the last day of the 2004 season, it welcomed its two millionth visitor. A new all-time attendance record was set on June 17, 2006, when 7,567 packed the stadium for a regular-season game against the Akron Aeros. The current record is 8,790 fans, for the June 18, 2010 Rock Cats game against the Reading Phillies.

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NE Delta Dental Stadium

New Hampshire Fisher Cats

Manchester, NH

Built: 2005

Capacity: 7,722

In 2008 the stadium hosted a record 8,762 fans for the 2008 Northeast Delta Dental Eastern League All-Star Game. This record was surpassed on May 26, 2009 with 8,903 fans in attendance. Red Sox pitcher John Smoltz started the game for the opposing Portland Sea Dogs in a rehab start.

 
 

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