February 3, 2023

The Newark Bears were a Newark, New Jersey-based minor league professional baseball team. They belonged to both the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball and the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium served as the home field for the Bears. After the 2013 season, the squad disbanded.

Baseball in Newark over time

From the founding of the Newark Indians in 1902 to the advent of the Newark Eagles of the Negro National League in 1936, Newark was the home of numerous defunct minor league baseball teams. The Newark Peppers were a Federal League team that competed in 1915.

From 1926 to 1949, the original Newark Bears competed in the International League. They held their home games at the formerly known as Ruppert Stadium in Newark’s Iron bound neighbourhood.

The Atlantic League’s Bears

The Newark Bears are named after the old International League team known as the Newark Bears. Former New York Yankees catcher Rick Cerone, a resident of Newark, founded the new team in 1998. While waiting for the construction of their new home field, the Bears played their “home” games at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, Connecticut that season. In addition, the Bears played a number of home games at Augusta’s Skylands Park during the first half of the 1999 campaign. On July 16, 1999, the Bears officially opened Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium in Newark.

The Bears have attracted stellar players to their team over the years. Both Ozzie Canseco and his brother José Canseco participated in Bears games in 2000 and 2001, respectively. Rickey Henderson spent the first half of the 2003 season with the Bears and was honoured as the Atlantic League All-Star Game’s Most Valuable Player. After being signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers, he was later released at the end of the season and joined the Bears for 2004. José Lima threw for the Bears at the start of the 2003 season as well. After being signed away from Newark by the Kansas City Royals, Lima won his first seven decisions for the Royals.

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Scott Spiezio, Edgardo Alfonzo, Armando Bentez, Carl Everett, Ramiro Mendoza, Scott Williamson, Keith Foulke, Jay Gibbons, Jim Leyritz, Daryle Ward, and Lance Johnson are further distinguished former students.

Uniforms and logos

The logos and colours of the Newark Bears’ uniforms went through three stages. The franchise’s original colour palette was purple, black, and white. The team switched to red, black, and white towards the middle of the 2000s. The club’s official colours were navy blue and white when it stopped operating. The primary logo featured a stylised bear clutching a bat over an image of the skyline of Newark over a baseball diamond. At the bottom of the logo, in the middle, was the wordmark “Newark Bears,” which had a black outline and white accents.

The Bears wore traditional-style uniforms. The front of the navy blue home cap featured a white block “N” in the middle. White jerseys with customary navy blue pinstripes served as the home uniforms. The left breast was boldly embroidered with a navy blue block “N.” The wordmark “Newark” was written in cursive in navy blue over the front of the grey road jersey. The Bears’ major emblem appeared on the sleeves of both the home and away jerseys. All of the Bears’ clothes were paired with navy blue belts and stockings.

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