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Polar Park Slated to Feature Museum

Polar Park

museum is being planned for Worcester’s upcoming Polar Park, with the space to showcase the storied baseball history of Central Massachusetts. 

The current Pawtucket Red Sox (Class AAA; International League) are slated to relocate to Worcester in 2021, which is expected to be the first season of operation for the upcoming Polar Park. As the planning process unfolds, details on the ballpark project–from surrounding mixed-use development, to the facility’s capacity–have been taking shape, and PawSox are now discussing another notable amenity that is in the works.

Polar Park is slated to include a museum that is dedicated to the region’s baseball history. Among the highlights are expected to be a collection on loan from local auctioneer and appraiser Wayne A. Tuiskula, which includes numerous items from the area’s rich baseball heritage. More from the Telegram & Gazette:

Mr. Tuiskula, 60, of Leicester, owner of Central Mass. Auctions Inc. in Worcester, was invited by City Councilor Moe Bergman to show pieces from the collection of baseball memorabilia he has been building over the decades, and which now approaches some 100 items.

The display included a flannel jersey from the old Spencer semi-pro team, from the days when the Blackstone Valley was a hotbed of industrial league baseball, and a program from 1933 exhibition between the Worcester Chiefs and the major-league Philadelphia Phillies.

Other pieces of ephemera included a program from exhibition game in Douglas in 1946 between Ted Williams’ Red Sox and Joe Dimaggio’s Yankees; a caricature of Worcester’s Jack Barry, Red Sox player of the Deadball Era and later College of the Holy Cross manager; and a baseball card of turn-of-the-century Hall of Famer Jesse Burkett, namesake of the Worcester Little League team whose 2002 trip to the Little League World Series Dr. [Charles] Steinberg suggested might be commemorated at Polar Park in 2022.

A program from Connie Mack Day in Brookfield in 1934 recalled the special day for native son and celebrated Philadelphia Athletics manager that was attended by another local celebrity, Broadway showman and “Yankee Doodle Dandy” composer George M. Cohan.

There are several examples around professional baseball of how a museum can be incorporated into a ballpark. The most recent comes from St. Paul, where the St. Paul Saints (independent; American Association) recently debuted the City of Baseball Museum at CHS Field as part of a new addition to the ballpark. We took a closer look at that museum in a story on Tuesday.

Construction on Polar Park, named as the result of naming rights from Worcester’s Polar Beverages, is expected to begin this summer in anticipation of a 2021 opening. The ballpark is envisioned as the anchor a larger redevelopment initiative in the city’s Kelley Square/Canal District area.

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