PawSox owner Ben Mondor dies at 85

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Ben Mondor, the longtime owner of the Pawtucket Red Sox, has died. Mondor's death on Sunday night was announced by the PawSox, the top minor league franchise of the Boston Red Sox.

The PawSox trail only the Red Sox as the top drawing sports team in New England. Former Providence Journal political columnist M. Charles Bakst says that's a tribute to Mondor, who bought the financially struggling PawSox in the late 1970s.

"He came in with his team there and just enlivened the whole place," Bakst says. "Year by year, through emphasis on baseball and giving people a good time and keeping prices low, they built up a following."

Mondor was inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2004, and the International League Hall of Fame in 2008.

The PawSox are expected to release a statement about Mondor this afternoon.

Ben Mondor was 85 years old.