WOONSOCKET, RI: Today, Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt announced plans for the City of
Woonsocket to dedicate the new Little League field at World War II Veterans Memorial
Park in honor of Woonsocket native and National Baseball Hall of Famer, Napoleon
“Nap” Lajoie at a ceremony scheduled for 3 pm on September 5. Monday’s dedication
ceremony on the diamond of the new field also marks the birthday of the baseball
legend, arguably the best second basemen of all-time. Members of the public and
baseball fans are invited to join Woonsocket community leaders and Woonsocket Little
Leaguers for the dedication ceremony and inaugural baseball game.
“Woonsocket is incredibly proud of its native son, Napoleon Lajoie, and the rich
baseball history of our community,” said Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt, “Dedicating the
new field is an opportunity to honor a giant in the sport of baseball and impress
that significance onto generations of youth and athletes for years to come.
Residents and visitors alike will have to look no further than this field to see
that Woonsocket has its own unique culture and history.”
Napoleon Lajoie was born in Woonsocket in 1874 and went on to become one of the best
baseball players in the history of the sport, enjoying a career that lasted from
1896 to 1916. Lajoie still holds one of the highest career batting averages in Major
League history, .338, and was known for his superior fielding and career as a
manager in addition to his extraordinary hitting ability.
“Baseball’s first superstar and holder of the single season highest average in
American League history has returned to the City he loved and each Little Leaguer
who steps onto this field will feel his inspiration,” said Dr. Greg Rubano, Chair of
the Unearthing Our Treasure: Napoleon Lajoie campaign. “The City of Woonsocket has
stepped up to resurrect this wonderful symbol of community pride.”
Dr. Rubano, is one of the foremost experts on Napoleon Lajoie, authoring several
books and compiling an extensive memorabilia collection of the Woonsocket baseball
legend. Dr. Rubano will conduct presentations at the dedication while dressed as
Lajoie, in an authentic replica uniform.
The new Little League field at World War II Veterans Memorial Park was completed in
2016 as part of extensive, multi-year renovations made to the park. Monday’s
dedication ceremony and game will kick-off at 3 pm and wrap up at approximately 5