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Updated: March 18, 2024 Golf, Meetings & Tourism Guide

Q&A: After buying the Worcester Bravehearts, the Vaccaro family is looking to run the baseball team differently

A group of children, sports mascots, and executives gather for a group photo. Photo | Eric Casey Worcester Red Sox and Bravehearts officials gathered Feb. 29 in the visitor's clubhouse in Polar Park to announce joint community partnership initiatives.

Matthew Vaccaro is a founding member and president of his family’s Worcester-based company, Masis Staffing Solutions. The Vaccaro family has always shared a lifelong passion for baseball, which includes decades of coaching experience for the Shrewsbury American Legion Post 397 baseball team. In February, the Vaccaro family made the decision to purchase the collegiate futures baseball team the Worcester Bravehearts from its original owners, the Creedon family. As now president of the Bravehearts, Vaccaro is excited to bring the Bravehearts’ legacy into a whole new era of local entertainment.

A bio box on Matthew Vaccaro, with his headshot photo
Matt Vaccaro

In 2021, the professional minor league team formerly known as Pawtucket Red Sox moved into Worcester becoming the WooSox. Previously seen as rivals, the Worcester Bravehearts following the sale to the Vaccaros joined in a community partnership with the pro team as part of the Vaccaro family’s business model focused on collaboration and community.

How do you like being the Bravehearts president?

It's really exciting. I am proud to own a team close to my hometown in Shrewsbury. But more importantly, it's nice to be able to give back to the community, to really focus on the fans, especially the young people and the youth sports in the city. We want to try and put a smile on peoples’ faces when they come to the ballpark and enjoy a couple hours of baseball. That is rewarding.

What inspired your family to purchase the baseball team from the Creedon family?

A couple months ago, the Creedon family, the original owners, received a contract for their core catering company, Creedon and Co. When we spoke, they said there was mutual interest in selling the brand parts of the team. We've coached Shrewsbury American Legion Baseball for the past 20 years, and three of those years we've gone to the American Legion World Series. We love baseball. So, an opportunity to own a sports franchise in the city was something we wanted to jump on if the opportunity presented itself. Sometimes timing is just right, and for us it was.

What are your plans for your first season?

We're going to do a different business model than you've seen in the past. We're going to do an-all-you-can eat ticket for every fan coming to the stadium. It's $20 for all you can eat, which includes hot dogs, hamburgers, sausages, chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, among other items, to really give the full value for your ticket. It's going to be exciting. There will be a discount for seniors and veterans, which will be announced at a later date. The goal is to offer everyone an all-inclusive ticket which includes parking, the game, and the concessions. There's nothing like this offered around New England.

A list of all the colleges where Worcester Bravehearts players are from
The colleges of Worcester Bravehearts players

What does the WooSox community partnership entail?

Together our two teams will impact the local community by addressing food insecurities in the city, by helping with youth sports, and supporting Recreation Worcester by offering clinics to youth sports players on both sides of the teams. There will be a Braveheart Day at WooSox’s Polar Park stadium. The players from the WooSox will even be at our home opener on May 25. We thought the fit was right for us to work together on whatever we can do to support the local community.

Can the Worcester market support two baseball teams?

100%. There are so many good fans in the city and surrounding Worcester County who can support both teams. Plus, there are two different atmospheres. At Bravehearts, we’re helping collegiate-level kids who want to be pros eventually, whereas the WooSox have talent a step away from the major leagues. Having both of those teams and franchises work collectively is great for the city, and I hope all fans embrace both teams. It helps when they're on the road, we're home; and vice versa.

What should fans know about the Worcester Bravehearts?

Fans will get honest, humble ownership that really cares about the community and giving back. We are passionate about youth sports, including softball and other diamond sports. We honestly care about all sports because anything giving kids an opportunity to be a kid is worthwhile. We hope to have a successful run for as long as this takes us, and we hope the fans come out and support the Bravehearts moving forward.

This interview was conducted and edited for length and clarity by WBJ correspondent Sloane M. Perron.

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