In a Feb. 12, 2020 letter to the Lowell Sun, former Lowell City Manager Brian Martin wrote:
Over 25 years ago as Lowell’s City Manager, I had the privilege of working with Sen. Paul Tsongas and many community leaders to bring professional baseball to Lowell. These leaders include Congressman Marty Meehan, Jack and Alex Costello of the Lowell Sun, Jim Cook of the Lowell Plan and Mayor Richard Howe to name a few. Imagine, a minor league team for THE Boston Red Sox in Lowell!
Fast forward to 2020. After years of magical nights watching the Spinners play at LeLacheur Park, all of this is in jeopardy. Major League Baseball (MLB) is proposing drastic changes to the minor league system, possibly eliminating the short-season leagues, which includes the Lowell Spinners.
I am optimistic, however, because we have new leaders like Congresswoman Lori Trahan. She was the first member of Congress to speak out on the floor of the U.S. House on how harmful MLB’s plan would be for the Lowell Spinners and dozens of communities across the country who may be impacted by this decision. Her efforts have made this proposal a national news story covered by The New York Times and Sports Illustrated.
Amazingly, in today’s incredibly polarizing political climate she has built a coalition of bipartisan support. Lori partnered with West Virginia Republican Rep. David McKinley and convinced 106 members to sign on to this effort. She is now a co-chair of the “Save Minor League Baseball Task Force” with a simple goal, “to ensure a level playing field in the negotiations between MLB and Minor League Baseball to yield a fair resolution and protect minor league baseball in communities across the country.”
Minor League Baseball clubs are vital components of their communities. They provide affordable, family friendly entertainment to thousands of families and attract new visitors to those communities. They support scores of local businesses, employ thousands of individuals, and donate millions of dollars in charitable funds. Minor League Baseball games also bring together people of all ages and backgrounds, fans of the sport and those who may become fans, to share old memories and build new ones — a few hours of respite from the world outside the park.
In Lowell, we should be proud that LeLacheur Park is rated as one of the best facilities in Minor League Baseball. This investment in partnership with the city, state and federal government along with a strong affiliation with the Boston Red Sox has become a regional asset. Fans can now follow Red Sox players and have a sense of continuity as players progress on their way to the Major Leagues. Over the years, Jonathan Papelbon, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jackie Bradley Jr, Andrew Benintendi and Mookie Betts played at LeLacheur Park for the Lowell Spinners!
Roger Angell, an essayist who frequently writes about baseball, once wrote, “Since baseball time is measured only in outs, all you have to do is succeed utterly, keep hitting, keep the rally alive, and you have defeated time. You remain forever young.”
Thanks to Congresswoman Lori Trahan for keeping the Lowell Spinners’ rally alive. She deserves our support and gratitude for her outstanding work.