Formerly the Invaders, Worcester-based AAU program is introduced at Polar Park

Joe McDonald Telegram & Gazette

WORCESTER – The sight of baseball players wearing WooSox uniforms on Wednesday outside of Polar Park was enough to help melt the snow-covered field.

No, these aren’t the pros who are expected to wow fans in the WooSox’ inaugural season this summer. Instead, and maybe more important, these are the members of the newly formed Junior WooSox program.

The Worcester Red Sox have partnered with Double Play Sports & Fitness, a Worcester-based AAU baseball and softball program with 14 teams and over 180 athletes from ages 9 to 17. The program officially changed its name from the Invaders to the Junior WooSox on Wednesday at Polar Park.

“We’re so happy to welcome hundreds of ballplayers into the WooSox family,” said Joe Bradlee, WooSox vice president of baseball operations and community relations. “These kids are going to be playing all throughout Central Mass., all throughout New England with Junior WooSox jerseys on. It means a lot to them and many of them have been coming up to us, saying, ‘We really feel like we’re part of the team.’ We can’t wait for both of our seasons to get underway.”