PROVIDENCE — This Thursday, and every Pawsox home opening day thereafter, will officially be Ben Mondor Day in Rhode Island.
Pawsox President Mike Tamburro and Vice President and General Manager Lou Schwechheimer were on the dais of the House of Representatives Tuesday for the reading of a resolution to that effect that also passed the Senate and went immediately to Gov. Lincoln Chafee for his signature.
Pawtucket Rep. Mary Duffy Messier, who represents the district where McCoy Stadium stands and who introduced the resolution in the House, said it ensures that “Ben Mondor’s legacy will endure for generations to come.”
Mondor, who died last October, bought the Red Sox minor league team when it was in bankruptcy in 1977 and “built it into a franchise that is nationally respected with attendance figures consistently near the top of all professional minor league franchises,” Duffy Messier said.
He also oversaw the renovation and expansion of McCoy Stadium into what she called “the envy of all minor league ballparks.”
Tamburro called Mondor “a terrific man with a terrific sense of humor” and promised “we will continue his legacy as long as we are there.” Tamburro acknowledged that pledge was in response to a threat: “He told us, if you screw it up, I’m going to come back and haunt you.”
The resolution notes that, “Throughout his tenure at the helm of the PawSox, Ben Mondor won acclaim and admiration not only for his professional successes with the PawSox franchise, but also for his vision, drive, and community involvement,” adding, “the impact and legacy Ben Mondor left on the game of baseball are nationally renowned and there is no doubt that he left this state a far better place because of his life’s endeavors.
It calls for Ben Mondor Day to “be observed by the people of this state with appropriate ceremonies and activities that celebrate the many contributions Ben Mondor made.”
House Speaker Gordon Fox said the Pawsox “continue to be a Rhode Island treasure.