WooSox Announce Partnership with Double Play Sports; Worcester AAAU Program Will Name Its 14 Teams, the "Junior WooSox"
WORCESTER, MA - The Worcester Red Sox today announced a partnership with Double Play Sports & Fitness, a Worcester-based AAU baseball and softball program with 14 teams and over 180 young athletes aged 9-17.
Double Play will change the name of all 14 of its teams from the Invaders to the "Junior WooSox" before the start of their 2021 season, and don new uniforms with the official WooSox logo and signature heart-shaped W.
The partnership stemmed from relationships formed with Double Play's Mike Novia and former major league pitcher-and Worcester native-Ryan O'Rourke.
"We have enjoyed immersing in the youth baseball and softball scene in Worcester and Central Massachusetts these past two years," said WooSox President Dr. Charles Steinberg. "We have met a host of Little Leaguers, interacted with the Worcester Union, welcomed youngsters from Leominster to plant the plate, and now formed a partnership with Worcester's expansive and extensive AAU Program. It has been inspiring to work with homegrown major leaguer Ryan O'Rourke and Double Play's Mike Novia to turn their vision into a reality."
O'Rourke, a St. John's grad, enjoyed stints with the Minnesota Twins, Baltimore Orioles, and New York Mets, and has been giving pitching lessons to young players from Double Play Sports since 2013. He has also used the facility to stay in shape and work out during the off-season.
"I couldn't be more excited for Triple-A baseball to be coming to my hometown of Worcester," O'Rourke explained. "I'm even more happy for the hundreds of kids who will be a part of the WooSox family for years to come."
The WooSox welcomed members of the Junior WooSox and their families for a socially distanced press conference this afternoon across from Polar Park, where the team's official on-field jerseys were unveiled.
"We received over 70 essays from our kids on what this partnership with the WooSox is going to mean to them," said Novia, President of Double Play. "We're grateful for this collaboration with the Worcester Red Sox, and can't wait for both of our seasons to get underway in 2021."
Double Play's ballplayers come from a variety of cities and towns in Central Mass., including Worcester, Auburn, Northbridge, Baldwinville, Northboro, Barre, Oxford, Paxton, Brookfield, Phillipston, Brimfield, Rochdale, N. Brookfield, Rutland, Charlton, Spencer, Cherry Valley, Sturbridge, Douglas, Sutton, Dudley, Shrewsbury, Millbury, Dorchester, Hyde Park, Southborough, Fitchburg, Templeton, Gardner, Hubbardston, Webster, Jefferson, Whitinsville, Holland, and Leicester.
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