The Newark Bears finished with a record of 37-63 in the Can-Am League last season. Those certainly weren’t the results ownership was looking for, but it’s no reason to board the place up and put a “for sale” sign out front, right? Wrong.
Last November, the Can-Am League announced that the Bears would not operate in 2014. On Saturday, the team held an “everything must go” sale at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium in Newark. According to The Star-Ledger, everything from tarps and lawn mowers to the team bus was open for bidding. Apparently playing in a region filled with New York Yankees and New York Mets fans simply became too much to overcome for the Bears.
“At one point we gave away 1,000 tickets and only a few people showed up,” team owner Doug Spiel said.
Dave Sosidka, one of the few remaining Bears fans, went to the auction on Saturday. He didn’t intend to buy anything, but instead compared the fire sale to attending a wake.
“It’s like going to a wake, like saying goodbye to an old friend,” Sosidka explained. “It was always a lot of fun. The first time we came I was picked to run on the field in a Ragu spaghetti sauce costume in one those on-field promotions. We brought our dog for ‘Bark at the Park’ night.”
Now, Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium has been left for college, high school, and possibly Little League games. The city of Newark and Essex County will have to pay for the ballpark through 2029, and they will continue to search for a new team that can somehow turn a profit.
For the time being, a team that former MLB players like Rickey Henderson, Jose Canseco Carl Everett and one of LBS’ favorite players once called their own has become a thing of the past.
H/T Eye on BaseballGoogle+