A New York-based developer purchased the site of Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium for #23 million, according to a NJ Advance Media report. The underutilized ballpark, which last hosted professional baseball in 2013, will be demolished to make way for a mixed-use, high-rise tower.
“This property is so significant,” said Baye Adofo-Wilson, the city’s Deputy Mayor for Economic and Housing Development. The stadium “was part of a previous attempt to revitalize the downtown…It didn’t work out. We had to come up with a new idea.”
While I’m sad to see the wrecking ball come for a place where I have happy memories, the City of Newark will undoubtedly benefit more from the property being put to more productive use.
When everything from Newark Bears jerseys to mascot costume heads was sold off at auction this spring, it seemed like we’d seen the last of professional baseball in Newark.
The Bergen Record reported yesterday that someone thinks baseball could still work in Newark. And if you’ve ever bought one of those “As Seen On TV” products, maybe you shouldn’t dismiss the idea out of hand.
“As I get older, like most people, you start to think about their legacy and what they’re going to do with the money they’ve accumulated,” Telebrands founder A.J. Khubani told the Record. “I’m a Jersey boy,” he said. “I love this state. The goal is to bring that team back and support it. It’s something that’s good for the state.”
Doug Spiel says he has finally found someone to buy the Newark Bears’ team bus. Now he can motor ahead to the next chapter of his life, which also includes baseball, but at a much smaller price.
Newark and Essex County share more than $2 million in annual debt obligations on the park until 2029, so they can’t afford to let the place sit. They need to attract a team, and management, with drawing and staying power.
We’re one month into the Major League Baseball season, and the New York Mets have a 16-14 record and are just a game out of first place in the National League East. Only the most wildly optimistic fans expected the Mets to be competitive this year, but so far they are.
Will it last? Probably not, but let’s enjoy it while we can. The early success has been based on great starting pitching, just enough hitting and a bullpen that hasn’t blown up too often even though the Mets are already on their third closer of the season. That doesn’t seem sustainable over the long haul, but stranger things have happened.
I’ve made it to three games at Citi Field so far, and the Mets have a 1-2 record in them. I’m planning to go to one more, so maybe they can get back to .500 when I’m watching.
I can’t say I’m thrilled about the team’s latest marketing campaign that seems to suggest that only “true New Yorkers” can be real Mets fans, though.
I’ve also been to a couple of Trenton Thunder games. The New York Yankees’ Double-A farm team looks like it could be good again this year – they are off to a 19-11 start. The Yankees’ two top prospects — catcher Gary Sanchez and outfielder Mason Williams — are both in Trenton to start the year. I’ve been impressed with Sanchez’s bat, but then again, I remember Jesus Montero in Double-A and how his major league career has turned out.
One place I won’t be going to watch baseball anymore is Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium in Newark. I spent a couple of hours at the Newark Bears’ liquidation auction last month, and came home with a 2012-2013 home jersey last issued to Mike Gedman for $12.31.
I will cherish the memories of good times I had at that ballpark and the friends I have made their over the years, but all good things come to an end.
I’m not quite ready to bring this blog to an end, though I will be surprised if I have many readers left at this point.
I am writing about the Mets at HotStoveMLB.com, so you can read what I have to say about on-field issues there.
I will still write about baseball cards and collectibles here, and while finances are severely limiting my ability to add to my collection, I do have a couple of cool things that I want to show you over the next few days.
I should have a review of Out of the Park Baseball 15 posted here in the near future.
You can find me on Twitter, Instagram and Flickr, which will all probably be updated more frequently than this blog.
Your turn (feel free to answer any or all):
What’s the biggest surprise of the 2014 baseball season?
What’s the coolest minor league promotion you’ve seen this year?
What’s your favorite baseball card of 2014 (so far)?