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Rest In Peace, Ben Mondor

Brian in Boston

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Ben Mondor, the Canadian-born textile executive who purchased the troubled Rhode Island Red Sox out of bankruptcy in 1977 and built them into one of the "crown-jewel" franchises in Triple-A baseball, has passed away at the age of 85.

After redubbing the team the Pawtucket Red Sox, Mondor went to work establishing the team as a tradition amongst innumerable Rhode Island, Southeastern Massachusetts and Eastern Connecticut residents. His transformation of McCoy Stadium from a rundown World War II-era relic into a modern, fan-friendly facility was nothing short of breathtaking. Ben was a big-hearted, warm and generous man who was devoted to baseball, the fans and the community. Throughout his 33-year stewardship, he was dedicated to maintaining the Paw Sox as an affordable family entertainment option, as well as a vehicle for philanthropic efforts. The number of non-profit and charity groups that benefitted from his largesse - often anonymously - is far too great to attempt to catalog here.

Having had the opportunity to know Mr. Mondor, I can say that he was - without exaggerating in the least - certainly one of the finest people to have graced the world of professional sports. Further, and more importantly, the world at large benefitted enormously from his kindness, compassion, generosity, intelligence and wit. Both worlds are richer for having enjoyed his presence... and a bit poorer for having to note his passing.

He will most certainly be missed.

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To all of the Toronto-area people on this board. DYK that the PawSox are the successors to the International League Toronto Maple Leafs? The Leafs moved to Louisville, KY in 1968 as a Red Sox affiliate, stayed through 1972 and then moved to Pawtucket in 1973. The old Leafs live on.

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