If You Build It, They Will Come [PHIL-OSOPHY]
This is the true story of how Worcester stole away home base from the Pawtucket Red Sox with a simple postcard and a large dream.
No, it isn't a corn field, but the burgeoning Canal District around Kelly Square, one of the state's most dangerous intersections. In the movie Field of Dreams, Ray Kinsella, played by Kevin Costner, is a novice farmer in Dyersville, Iowa. In Worcester, it is Edward Augustus Jr., a former state senator who spearheaded this project by sending a postcard--in fact 10,000 of them.
Both these guys are devoted baseball fans. While walking through the cornfield one night, Kinsella heard a voice whispering, "If you build it, he will come." In real life, Augustus heard the same message. Kinsella continued to hear this before finally seeing a vision of a baseball diamond in his field. So did Augustus.
The movie is partially based on the 1919 Black Sox scandal, but there's no scandal with this baseball project expected to cost up to $90 million, and includes 250 market-rate apartments, a 150 room hotel and "boutique" hotel with 110 rooms overlooking the ballpark, retail stores and restaurants. Oh yes, Augustus received a lot of "You're nuts, there's no way" from the skeptics. Soon, the only nuts will be the kind sold in bags along with hot dogs and Crackerjack.
MassLive.com did a fantastic job collecting all the facts and details of this modern-day Field of Dreams story. Please read it. In the meantime, as the movie ends, hundreds of cars can be seen approaching the baseball field, fulfilling a prophecy that people will come to watch baseball.
And to think, it all started with a dream written down on a postcard.
Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos.