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OUR STORY

If you're looking for affordable family fun, you’ve come to the right place!


The Worcester Bravehearts were the 2014, 2015, 2018 and 2019 champions of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League (FCBL), a wood-bat summer collegiate baseball league. We offer exciting, hustle baseball, involving some of the best young talent that New England has to offer. Combine that with our spacious-yet-intimate 3,000 seat ballpark, outstanding concessions, and popular promotional nights, Fitton Field is where Worcester Spends Summer.

The name “Bravehearts” was chosen out of a pool of over 1,000 possibilities submitted by the public. “Brave” is in honor of Worcester’s brave men and women in uniform serving locally and abroad, as well as a tribute to Worcester’s fallen firefighters. “Hearts” refers to Worcester’s nickname—“Heart of the Commonwealth.”

Home games are played at Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field in Worcester. In right field is the Bravehearts Kids Zone, where we host children's birthday parties pre-game and inflate a giant bounce-house to entertain all of our young fans. In left field is the Bravehearts picnic area. This is home to groups ranging from Little Leagues to non-profit fundraising groups to corporate parties. This space holds over 400 people, with ample seating and food catered by Creedon and Co. This area is also conveniently located next to the Bravehearts bullpen, where fans are sure to get autographs from their favorite players.

 

The Bravehearts are currently owned by the Vaccaro Family and Masis Staffing Solutions. For the first 10 seasons, the team was owned and operated by the Creedon family, who also owns and operates Creedon and Co., Inc.,

a catering and tent rental company based in Worcester since 1985.

The Futures Collegiate Baseball League (FCBL) is made up of 8 teams from various parts of New England, each of which plays 32 home games and 32 away games. At least 50% of the players on each team must be

from New England or attend college in New England.

The FCBL consists of: The Brockton Rox, Futures League Road Warriors, Nashua Silver Knights, New Britain Bees, Norwich Sea Unicorns, Vermont Lake Monsters, Westfield Starfires, and your Worcester Bravehearts.

Come down and join us for a game!

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ROSTER

2024 WORCESTER BRAVEHEARTS

RECORDS

Bravehearts franchise records

Season In Review

FRONT OFFICE

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Helena is going into her third season with the Bravehearts, with over 6 years of work experience in various sports including football (indoor and outdoor), lacrosse, baseball, soccer, and rugby! A product of the Worcester Public Schools and District 4 Little League, Helena loves collaborating with local organizations that give back to the community that raised her. Helena’s favorite athletes are Simone Biles and Jason Kelce, although she was a much better football center than a gymnast. At Fitton Field, you can find Helena dancing on dugouts, and screaming every word to any Taylor Swift song that plays.

Helena Stamatakis
Community Relations Manager
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Matt Vacarro
President
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A familiar face to the crowd at Hanover Insurance Park, Dave was hired to lead the Bravehearts in October, 2013. He previously served as VP of Sales & Marketing for the Worcester Tornadoes and handled emcee responsibilities for on-field promotions from 2005 - 2010. His 20-year marketing career began as a Promotions Director for 104.5 WXLO in Worcester, and he also worked three years in the advertising industry as an Account Manager for Idea Agency in Sturbridge. He is a 2011 recipient of the Worcester Business Journal's "40 Under Forty" award and was named FCBL Executive of the Year in 2014, 2019, and 2022. You may also find "Peterman" performing his patented "rally dance" when the team is behind in the late innings. [Photo by Jeff Baker / Visions By Baker]

Dave Peterson
General Manager
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Donny is currently in his seventh season working within the Bravehearts organization. Born and raised in Worcester, Donny started off as an intern in the Press Box in 2017. After spending three seasons as the team's PxP broadcaster, he moved to the production booth in 2020, where he directed all Bravehearts broadcasts. In 2020, he helped to faciliate The Futures League's first ever major-network television deal with NESN, as well as being named the PxP broadcaster for the televised games in both 2020 and 2021. In 2022, he was named the Director of Broadcasts for The Futures League, overseeing all broadcasts around the league. Donny now handles Corporate Sponsorship Activations and Promotions for the 'Hearts including gameday entertainment, media relations and fan experiences. A 2020 graduate of Suffolk University in Boston, Donny currently also holds a gameday role for the Boston Bruins, and previously worked within the game entertainment department for the Boston Celtics.

Donny Porcaro Jr.
Assistant General Manager
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Devin is entering his fourth season working with the Bravehearts organization. Devin is from Thompson, CT and is a graduate of Nichols College in Dudley, MA. Besides the Bravehearts his favorite sports teams are the Kansas City Chiefs, Boston Celtics, and Chelsea FC. You probably have seen him at Fitton Field dressed as a Jedi, a teletubby, John Cena, and more, this summer he is taking it to a new level.

Devin Barbour
Group Sales Coordinator

coaches

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Returning for his third season with the Bravehearts, Carter Bemis is stepping into a new role, managing all concourse operations at Fitton Field. This will include all food and beverage, the team store, and the newly established Fan Zone. Carter started his career in sports with the New England Patriots at 14 years old, hawking programs at Gillette Stadium. He went on to manage merchandise operations at major championships around the country, including the World Series, Super Bowl, and NCAA Final Four. He later worked for two years as a General Manager for Lord Hobo Brewing in Boston, where he lived on a houseboat. In his free time, Carter grows a corn maze on his family farm in Spencer. If you see him on the concourse, let him know what your favorite all-you-can-eat item is! 

Carter Bemis
Director of Operations
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Alex Dion
Manager

Alex Dion is in his fifth year as the Bravehearts Manager, after spending his first summer with the team as an Assistant Coach in 2018. He is currently a teacher at Milford High School and was named the Head Coach of the Milford varsity baseball team on 9/27/17 after serving as an assistant coach since 2014. He has also coached for Team Mizuno in the summers of 2014 & 2015 and Northborough American Legion in two separate stints: 2011-2013 & 2016-2017. Alex is a native of Westborough, MA and a 2007 Westborough High School grad. He attended Western New England University and has a degree in Business Management.

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Greg Stagani
Asst. Coach

Greg Stagani is entering his third year as the Bravehearts Pitching Coach / Assistant Coach. Stagani spent two years as a player with the Bravehearts, winning an FCBL Championship in 2015 and an

All-Star in 2016. He is currently a teacher at Milford High School where he also assists with the baseball program and serves as the pitching coach for the program. He has also served as a college assistant for four seasons before moving to Massachusetts with his wife. Greg is a native of Steubenville, Ohio and is a 2012 graduate of Edison High School. He attended West Liberty University where he was a four year pitcher for the Hilltoppers while earning his Bachelors Degree in Health and Physical Education and a Masters Degree in Sports Leadership, Coaching and Education. 

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Matt Geoffrion
Asst. Coach

Matt Geoffrion is in his second season as an assistant coach under manager Alex Dion. A former pitcher for the University of Maine and University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, Matt played for the Bravehearts in 2017. He is currently a graduate assistant coach at Montana State University-Billings (Div. II). Prior to joining the MSUB staff, he pitched profesionally in the Pioneer League. Matt is a 2016 graduate of Algonquin Regional High School in his hometown of Northborough, Massachusetts. He holds a degree in University Studies from the University of Maine.

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JAKE THE LION

Jake is a furry, six-foot six-inch, smiling lion whose main responsibilities will include marching in Little League parades, visiting school classrooms, and getting the crowd excited at all of the Bravehearts’ home baseball games this summer.

Jake has a few distinguishing features that fans will notice upon meeting him. His bright blue nose and blue fingertips match his sparkling blue eyes, and his two and a half foot tail is capped with dark brown fur just like his mane. The mascot wears a navy blue Bravehearts’ jersey with green buttons on the front, and his name and number— “14” to represent the year of his birth— are emblazoned on the back.

The lion also has a unique feature that is not immediately visible. Fans who ask Jake to roll up his right sleeve will find a tattoo of the City of Worcester’s official seal on his bicep. The three-inch diameter heart and laurels symbol signifies Worcester’s status as the “Heart of the Commonwealth,” a phrase that is also commemorated in the Bravehearts’ name.

The name “Jake” is particularly meaningful for a team whose name pays homage, in part, to Worcester’s fallen firefighters who epitomized bravery. In New England, the term “Jake” is affectionate slang for a firefighter and is used to bestow great praise and the highest levels of respect. The origins of the term are widely debated, but many believe that it evolved from the use of “J-Keys” in the early 20th century, which firefighters used to send morse code telegraphs to headquarters from street-corner fire alarm box systems. Being a “Good J-Key” referred to a fireman who was cool under pressure and could send clear morse code. “J-Key” was eventually shortened to “Jake.”

You can connect with Jake the Lion on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram. Want to request him for your event? Click here.

Jake is a furry, six-foot six-inch, smiling lion whose main responsibilities will include marching in Little League parades, visiting school classrooms, and getting the crowd excited at all of the Bravehearts’ home baseball games this summer.

Jake has a few distinguishing features that fans will notice upon meeting him. His bright blue nose and blue fingertips match his sparkling blue eyes, and his two and a half foot tail is capped with dark brown fur just like his mane. The mascot wears a navy blue Bravehearts’ jersey with green buttons on the front, and his name and number— “14” to represent the year of his birth— are emblazoned on the back.

The lion also has a unique feature that is not immediately visible. Fans who ask Jake to roll up his right sleeve will find a tattoo of the City of Worcester’s official seal on his bicep. The three-inch diameter heart and laurels symbol signifies Worcester’s status as the “Heart of the Commonwealth,” a phrase that is also commemorated in the Bravehearts’ name.

The name “Jake” is particularly meaningful for a team whose name pays homage, in part, to Worcester’s fallen firefighters who epitomized bravery. In New England, the term “Jake” is affectionate slang for a firefighter and is used to bestow great praise and the highest levels of respect. The origins of the term are widely debated, but many believe that it evolved from the use of “J-Keys” in the early 20th century, which firefighters used to send morse code telegraphs to headquarters from street-corner fire alarm box systems. Being a “Good J-Key” referred to a fireman who was cool under pressure and could send clear morse code. “J-Key” was eventually shortened to “Jake.”

You can connect with Jake the Lion on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

Want to request him for your event? Click here.

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PEN PAL CLUB

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Put down the phone and pick up a pen because the Worcester Bravehearts and Jake the Lion are heading to schools and senior centers all over Central MA to launch the Pen Pal Club! This special club pairs up senior citizens with middle school students (grades 4 thru 8) who write letters to each other in old-fashioned journals each month before finally meeting at a Bravehearts game.

Here's how it works:
The Bravehearts visit your senior center or school to launch the program.We provide the journals, topics, and we match you with your pen pal. We'll pick up the journals each month and shuttle them to your pen pal so that he or she can write a letter back to you. When they're finished writing, we'll bring them right back to you. In June, your classroom or senior center gets a free trip to Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field complete with a game ticket and lunch so that you can finally meet your pen pal! The only thing you provide is the transportation.

Since 2021, the Bravehearts players themselves participated in this program, writing letters to members of Open Sky Community Services. The pen-pals then met before a home game and exchanged gifts to one-another. Many players still keep in touch with their pen pals from the Summer! 
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reading program

We're teaming up with the Worcester Railers HC so that students in grades K-6 can earn free Bravehearts & Railers tickets, hats, and even a field trip to the ballpark by taking part in Jake & Trax's Ticket to Read Program. Talk to your teacher about inviting the Bravehearts and Railers to your school
to kick off the program with a special reading!

Here's How It Works:

The Bravehearts or Railers Staff visits your school to kick off the reading program (email Don Porcaro to schedule your visit)You will have the opportunity to bring your school out for our Baseball in Education Field Trip Day Games in early June. Students can earn up to one free ticket per season to the Railers, and one free ticket per month to the Bravehearts by reading ten books during the month. Students can also earn a free Little Moo Shake from MOOYAH in Northborough or Billerica while supplies last. Teachers (or parents) must approve the reading logs and submit them at www.tickettoread.net. The top five readers per grade (calculated June 1st) will each receive free Bravehearts hatsThe class that cumulatively reads the most books receives a free outing at a Bravehearts gameThe one student in all of Central Massachusetts who reads the most books receives a Bravehearts prize package including a meet & greet with the team, batboy/batgirl experience, first pitch opportunity, and pre-game ballpark buffetLast year Jake & Trax's Ticket to Read Program reached over 6,000 elementary school children! The following schools were part of it and you can be too! The Bravehearts are ready to visit your school (either in-person or virtually) in 2024 to help you launch the program!


2022 - 2023 Participating Schools: Belmont Street, Central MA Academy, Clara Barton School, Clinton Middle School, Davis Hill, Elm Street School, Elmwood Elementary School, Fales Elementary, Flagg Street School, Greendale YMCA, Heard Street School, Hudson Public Library, Immaculate Conception School, Lake View School, Lincoln Street School, May Street School, McGrath Elementary School, Midland Street, Norrback Elementary, Northborough Public Library, Pakachoag SchoolPark Ave Elementary, Proctor Elementary, Rainbow CDC, Shaw Elementary, South Grafton Elementary, Tatnuck Magnet, Union Hill, West Brookfield Elementary, West Tatnuck Elementary, Woodward School, Worcester Arts Magnet
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SPONSORED BY:

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NEWS

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Bravehearts BIE Days Sold Out
6/4 and 6/6 Baseball in Education Days Officially Sold Out

The Worcester Bravehearts are excited to announce that both of their 2024 Baseball in Education Days on June 4th against the Futures League Road Warriors and June 6th against the Nashua Silver Knights, have sold out. This marks the earliest sellout in team history.

 

Bravehearts Baseball in Education Day is a 10:30 am game, in which the team welcomes schools, businesses and day centers to an early morning game that celebrates learning through baseball. This also marks the seventh consecutive sellout of Baseball in Education Day, going back to the team’s 2022 season.

 

“This is a true testament to the hard work our staff puts in both during our BIE days, and in the off-season,” said Bravehearts General Manager Dave Peterson. “We believe we have created the premier field trip destination in Central Mass that provides both a fun and educational experience. Our entertainment team provides an incredible show for our younger audiences, and our front office has worked recently with high schools to provide an educational experience in sports management.”

 

Through programs like Ticket-to-Read and the team’s Pen Pal Club, the Bravehearts have been able to establish year round relationships with schools in which the culmination of the program is a trip to the Bravehearts game.

 

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t at least a little surprised,” said Bravehearts Assistant General Manager Donny Porcaro Jr. “We usually start our outreach in October. Because of the recent events with the team, we were not able to start outreach until February this year. I was concerned that we had missed our window and schools already had trips booked. To my surprise, I found many schools already began planning internally for a Bravehearts event before we even had reached out.”

 

For schools that are still looking to experience a Bravehearts game, the team encourages schools to reach out to their Ticket Office at tickets@worcesterbravehearts.com to book a School Fundraising Night at the ballpark. 

 

“I’d like to extend a special thank you to our Group Experience Coordinator Devin Barbour and Community Relations Manager Helena Stamatakis,” said Bravehearts President Matt Vaccaro. “Since they were brought on board in February, they have hit the ground running to make these sellouts happen. I’d also like to thank all of the schools in the Central Mass area who continue to support the Bravehearts through these Baseball in Education Days.”

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