Worcester has fallen in love with the WooSox and the team’s new home—Polar Park. It’s a family-friendly, affordable destination for an afternoon or evening baseball game that draws streams of red-and-white clad fans down Green Street for a welcome outdoor respite from pandemic restrictions.
The recent arrival of professional baseball to Worcester was a long time coming. The effort to attract a team began many years ago—and was led by one of Mountain Dearborn’s partners, the late Sam Desimone.
A Worcester native, Sam was admitted to the Bar in 1953, serving first in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate Corps and then as an Assistant Attorney General of Massachusetts. He joined Mountain Dearborn in 1983 as a Senior Partner, and he practiced law with the firm until his death in 2008. Sam was respected not only in the legal community, but also in the informal community of leaders and visionaries who worked steadily to improve the city.
One of Sam’s dreams was to bring professional baseball back to Worcester. He understood the economic benefits to the city and envisioned a sports venue that would bring together families and friends for relaxing fun. Working closely with the Worcester Business Development Corporation (WBDC), he set his sights on persuading the Red Sox to relocate their Pawtucket Minor League team to Worcester. He was also instrumental in bringing the Worcester Tornadoes (Can-Am League) to play at Fitton Feld at the College of the Holy Cross in 2005.
Although Sam did not live to see the WooSox come to town, his efforts to bring pro baseball back to Worcester were recognized on August 12 at Polar Park, when the WBDC’s box was dedicated with a plaque that honors Sam.
“Sam broke the ground that led to the WooSox. So, it’s fitting that we remember and honor him today,” said David Forsberg, President of the WBDC from 1999 until 2012. “Sam embodied what Bob Bowditch meant when he spoke of his ‘expectations for the success of the WBDC.’ Every time I hear the words, ‘play ball,’ I think of Sam.”
It was with great pleasure and fond memories that members of Mountain Dearborn participated in the dedication ceremony.
Image courtesy of the WooSox.