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The Newark Bears are an Americanmarker professional baseball team based in . They are a member of the Freedom Division of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, which is not affiliated with Major League Baseball. Since the 1999 season, the Bears have played their home games at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadiummarker.

History of Newark baseball

Newark was the home of several former minor league baseball teams, from the formation of the Newark Indians in 1902, and the addition of the Newark Eagles of the Negro National League in 1936. A Federal League team, the Newark Pepper also played in 1915.

The original Newark Bears were a team in the International League from 1926 to 1949. They played their home games at the former Ruppert Stadiummarker in what is now known as the Ironboundmarker section of Newark.

The Bears of the Atlantic League

The Newark Bears are named for the former Newark Bears team of the International League. The team was formed in 1998 by former New York Yankees catcher Rick Cerone, a Newark native. However, the Bears played their "home" schedule at The Ballpark at Harbor Yardmarker in Bridgeport, Connecticutmarker that season while awaiting the completion of their new home field. In addition, the Bears played several home games during the first half of the 1999 season at Skylands Parkmarker in Augusta, New Jerseymarker. The Bears inaugurated their new park, Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadiummarker, in Newark on July 16, 1999.

Over the years, the Bears have succeeded in attracting star talent to their club. Ozzie Canseco played for the Bears in 2000 and 2001, and his brother José Canseco was with the team for part of 2001 as well. Rickey Henderson played the first half of the 2003 season with the Bears and was named most valuable player in the Atlantic League All-Star Game. He was subsequently signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers, but was released at season's end, and he returned to the Bears for 2004. Also in 2003, José Lima pitched for the Bears at the beginning of the season; after the Kansas City Royals signed him away from Newark, Lima won his first seven decisions for the Royals.

Rescue from bankruptcy and possible demise

The Newark Bears, under former owner Marc Berson, filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy on October 24, 2008. The team's existence was almost compromised until the Bases Loaded Group, LLC purchased the team, guaranteeing a $1 million line of credit to the Atlantic League. The Bases Loaded Group also agreed to pay the team's $5 million debt incurred since 1998. However, the group intends to take the team in a more promising direction. The Bases Loaded Group consists of executives from Philadelphiamarker and New Jerseymarker, some hailing from Newark. The primary leader of the group is James Wankmiller, a health care lawyer. Tom Cetnar, former General Manager of the Bears in 2001, is the President of the Newark Bears and a member of the ownership group.

Logos and uniforms

The Bears' original primary logo, used from 1998-2004
The Bears' primary logo used from 2005-2008
The team colors of the Newark Bears are navy blue and white. The primary logo consists of a stylized bear holding a baseball bat superimposed over a depiction of the Newark skyline over a baseball diamond. The "Newark Bears" wordmark is centered at the base of the logo, and is primarily white with silver accents and black outline.

The Bears' uniforms are traditional in design, with the caps produced by The Game Headwear and the uniforms by Wilson Sporting Goods. The home cap is navy blue throughout with a block "N" colored white centered on the front. The home jerseys are white with traditional navy blue pinstripes. A navy blue, block "N" is prominently centered on the leftside. The away jersey is grey with navy blue pinstripes and the cursive "Newark" wordmark in navy blue, centered diagonally across the front. Both home and away jersey sleeves sport the Bears' primary logo and the former Newark Eagles' logo. The Bears wear navy blue belts, socks, and undershirts with all uniforms.

The Bases Loaded Group decided to redesign the team's unifoms according to the original design of the 1930s-era Newark Bears. The changes were made to allude to a softer image of Newark's renaissance.

Season-by-season records

Newark Bears - 2004 to 2008
Season W - L Record Winning Percentage Finish Playoffs
2004 63-63 .500 2nd in South Division -
2005 58-82 .414 3rd in North Division -
2006 42-83 .336 3rd in North Division -
2007 72-54 .571 2nd in North Division 2-0 (won championship)
2008 72-68 .514 Last in Freedom Division -
Totals (1998-2008) 668-722 .481 - -
Playoffs 6-0 .375 - -

  • 2 Atlantic League Championships (2002, 2007)


Bears games were aired on WSOU-FMmarker 89.5 from 1999-2003, and again from 2007-2008. Previous announcers for the team include Seton Hallmarker color commentator Dave Popkin, former WNEW-FM disc jockey Jim Monaghan, MLB Network host Victor Rojas, Somerset Patriots announcer Brian Bender, former New York Islanders broadcaster Jim Cerny, Ray Alexander, and Erie Otters broadcaster Paul Roper.

Broadcasts are currently handled by longtime New York sportscaster Spencer Ross.


The Newark Bears' official mascots are anthropomorphic bears named Ruppert and Effa. They wear the team's home jersey and cap. Ruppert is named after Jacob Ruppert, who owned the former Newark Bears team in the 1930s. Effa alludes to Effa Manley, the first woman to own and operate a professional baseball team (the Newark Eagles) and the only female member of the National Baseball Hall of Famemarker.

Current roster

Active (25-man) roster Coaches
InfieldersOutfieldersDesignated hitter
Coaching Staff
  • Manager
  • Pitching Coach
  • Hitting Coach
  • Bench Coach

Retired numbers

Jackie Robinson

Retired throughout

professional baseball

on April 15, 1997


External links

Official websites


Fan websites


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