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PRESS RELEASE

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

 

WOOSOX FOUNDATION AND COUNTRY BANK TO PRESENT

“POLICE VS. FIRE BASEBALL CLASSIC AT POLAR PARK”

Inaugural Game set for Monday, Sept. 26, at 6 p.m.;

Proceeds benefit the Manny 267 Foundation.

 

WORCESTER, MA — The WooSox Foundation and Country Bank will bring to Polar Park a century-old tradition when Worcester Police Officers and Worcester Firefighters take the field in the inaugural “Police vs. Fire Baseball Classic,” Monday, September 26, at 6 p.m.  Gates open at 4:30 p.m.

 

All tickets are $10, and fans are welcome to sit wherever they like.  Visit polarpark.com/policefire.

 

All proceeds will benefit the Manny 267 Foundation, which honors and celebrates the life of the late Worcester Police Officer Enmanuel “Manny” Familia, who made the ultimate sacrifice on June 4, 2021, when he heroically dove into Green Hill Pond to attempt to save a drowning teenage boy.

 

The foundation distributes “Manny Tubes” (life-saving flotation devices) to police departments throughout the country to provide water safety training for officers and swimming lessons for children.

 

Before the game, the WooSox will honor the family and friends of Manny Familia, as well as the Worcester 6 and the three firefighters who have perished in the line of duty since.

 

The children of Manny Familia and Firefighter Christopher Roy, 14-year-old Jovan Familia and 13-year-old Ava Roy, will serve as honorary captains.

 

“Ever since we set foot in Worcester, we have felt the compelling compassion that the people of this city exude for our fallen firefighters,” said WooSox President Dr. Charles Steinberg.  “When we lost Manny Familia last summer, that emotion flowed right into Polar Park, where officers from a vast region congregated, and where Manny’s son threw a memorable Ceremonial First Pitch.  We are honored to present an event that brings us all together in a blend of respect, sentiment, and joy.

 

“Stories abound from Police Chief Steve Sargent and from our friends at the Worcester Historical Museum about the long history of baseball played in Worcester, by police and firefighters, by factory workers, and of course, by rising professional players,” Steinberg continued.  “Establishing this baseball game as a charity event, with our friends from Country Bank, allows us to use the power of baseball to help police officers and children, here and elsewhere.  These are the deeds we love to do.”

 

“Country Bank is honored to partner with the Worcester Red Sox Foundation in presenting the Police vs. Fire game,” said Paul Scully, President and CEO of Country Bank.  “We have been a longtime supporter of the Police and Fire Departments across the many markets we serve.  The critical work these departments do each and every day truly makes a difference for our communities.  It is our privilege to take part in such a monumental event, and we are excited to see how this game unfolds and look forward to supporting this game for years to come.”

 

“All officers from our department who are participating are very excited to start a longstanding tradition with this baseball game,” said Worcester Police Officer Justin Manzello.  “Some of the most memorable moments during my six years with the Worcester Police Department have come during the various sporting events where we face off against our brothers and sisters of the Fire Department.  It gives us a chance to get together outside of work and relive old memories, as many of us competed against each other as kids growing up in the city.”

 

“The Worcester Fire Department is looking forward to partnering with the Worcester Police, Country Bank, and the Worcester Red Sox for this great cause,” said Deputy Fire Chief Adam Roche.  “This will be a great event to engage the community and support the tremendous work of the Manny 267 Foundation.”

 

“In the wake of loss and tragedy comes a spirited and friendly competition in the name of healing and camaraderie between the Worcester Fire Department and Worcester Police Department, said Acting City Manager Eric D. Batista.  “I am proud of the leadership and of every member among these two departments who selflessly serve our community and residents, both on and off the job.  Worcester never forgets and will forever honor our fallen heroes.  Now let’s play ball!”

 

—WOOSOX ’22—