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Updated: December 5, 2023

WooSox officially announce sale to Diamond Baseball Holdings, local owners to remain part of ownership

Photo | Courtesy of the Worcester Red Sox A Worcester Red Sox game at Polar Park in 2022

The Worcester Red Sox on Tuesday afternoon officially announced the team will be sold to Diamond Baseball Holdings, a corporation based in New York City with more than 20 minor league baseball teams across the country, confirming previous reports made by the Boston Globe.

Ralph Crowley, a gray hair\ed and older man, portrait headshot
Photo | Courtesy
Ralph Crowley Jr. is the president & CEO of Polar Beverages in Worcester

Ralph Crowley, Jr., president and CEO of Worcester manufacturer Polar Beverages, will be retained as part of the ownership group, along with Jim Skeffington Jr., president and CEO of Red Beam Partners, and Larry Lucchino, chairperson and current principal owner of the WooSox, according to a press release issued by the team on Tuesday.

The release did not give specific details regarding each individual’s ownership stake following the completion of the transaction.

Financial terms were not disclosed. When Lucchino and the rest of the ownership group bought the then Pawtucket Red Sox in 2015, the reported purchase price was $25 million.

“Spearheaded by Red Sox Hall of Famer Larry Lucchino, who has and will continue to have a massive impact on the baseball world and particularly in this city, the WooSox ownership group is proud of what we’ve set in motion and thrilled to now give DBH the reins,” Crowley said in the release. “Peter, Pat, and the team at DBH are committed to advancing our shared vision of excellent baseball and a standout fan experience for the Worcester community. Larry and I are grateful to the Red Sox organization for the continued partnership and look forward to more Red Sox baseball with DBH.”

The WooSox will remain a Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox and will continue to play their home games at Polar Park following completion of the deal, according to the release. The team’s executive suite will remain in place as well, including President Charles Steinberg and General Manager Dan Rea.

Diamond is buying out the majority of shares from the ownership group, which includes six people other than Crowley, Lucchino, and Skeffington: 

  • Sam Kennedy, president and CEO of the Boston Red Sox and CEO of Fenway Sports Group in Boston
  • William Egan, founder and general partner at Boston-based Alta Communications
  • Habib Gorg, managing director of Providence private equity firm Nautic Partners
  • Terry Murray, the former CEO of Fleet Bank in Boston
  • Thomas Ryan, former chairman and CEO of Rhode Island healthcare firm CVS
  • Frank Resnek, a partner of Fenway Sports Group
  • Paul Salem, principal of Providence Equity Partners
  • Mike Tamburro, former vice chairman of the Pawtucket Red Sox

“At 78, and after 44 years in baseball, I believe it’s time to have a succession plan, one that assures a commitment to baseball and a commitment to Worcester,” Lucchino said in the release. “Jim Skeffington’s late father and I set out to keep the Boston Red Sox’ Triple-A club in New England, and in good hands, and I trust that Pat and Peter will be excellent stewards.”

Photo | Courtesy of Worcester Red Sox
Larry Lucchino, chairman & principal owner of the Worcester Red Sox

Diamond Park Holdings owns 26 Minor League Baseball teams, including the Portland Sea Dogs, the Double-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox based in Maine, which they purchased in December 2022. The WooSox will be the third Red Sox minor league team owned by Diamond, which also owns the Salem Red Sox in Virginia.

“We are thrilled to add the WooSox to the DBH family, our third Red Sox affiliate and a transformational Triple-A franchise for both Minor League Baseball and the City of Worcester,” Pat Battle and Peter Freund, executive chairman and CEO of Diamond Baseball Holdings, respectively, said in the release. “We are beyond excited to partner with Ralph Crowley of Polar Beverages on the purchase of the club and very grateful to Larry Lucchino, Sam Kennedy, and the entire Red Sox organization for entrusting us with this incredible franchise.”

The transaction is expected to be completed before the end of 2023, subject to approval from Major League Baseball. 

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