Spinners Will Be Keeping Watchful Eye 65 Miles South
Rhode Island and the city of Pawtucket have received six official proposals for the future use of McCoy Stadium, home to the Pawtucket Red Sox for just this year and next. One of the proposals could affect the long-term future of the Lowell Spinners.
The R.I. Commerce Commission solicited bids on the property and among those they received were demolishing McCoy for light industrial use, or for a hub centered around the music industry, or for an entertainment center with roller-coasters, zip-lines and the like.
Other ideas were turning it into a recreational multi-use park, or using it as the home of an unaffiliated Atlantic League baseball team.
The other proposal, from a group that includes PawSox vice president Mike Tamburra, calls for bringing in an affiliated minor league team. With Double-A and Triple-A franchises hard to come by, the speculation is that Tamburra has his eye on the New York-Penn League, which could put the Spinners’ relationship with the Boston Red Sox at risk.
In the past, there were reports that Larry Lucchino, the ex-Red Sox president who was responsible for moving the PawSox to a new park in Worcester (opening in 2021), would attempt to buy the NY-Penn League’s bankrupt Batavia MuckDogs and move them to Pawtucket with an agreement from the Sox to abandon Lowell in favor of their old Ocean State pals.
While this latest twist is a little different, it certainly smells the same. The Spinners are keeping their eyes open.
Clearing out the notebook
We would be remiss if we did not mention the unfortunate recent passing of Ray Jutras, still the only Lowell resident to win a National Golden Gloves championship.
Jutras passed away last month at the age of 82 at his home in Lowell, where he lived his entire life. He leaves his wife Christine and a number of kids and grandkids.
Ray was about 5-feet tall and “fought up” at 112 pounds, where he won a Novice and several Open titles in the Greater Lowell Golden Gloves. In 1962 he went to the Nationals in Chicago as a substitute for flyweight champ Jerry Forte, who had been hurt.
“I was working in a shoe shop at the time,” recalled Jutras in a 1995 interview with The Sun. “My manager called and said they wanted to know if I wanted to go to the Nationals as a replacement. I said ‘Sure, I’ll go.’ I didn’t want people to think I was washed up at 25. So I went and it worked out good.”
Jutras was a big underdog at the Nationals but with Mike Demogenes and Joe Hebert in his corner he fought his way to the title -- still the only one captured by a true Lowell resident.
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