NEWARK – The Newark Bears professional baseball team will open the 2012 season on Thursday, May 17, by hosting the Worcester Tornadoes. Former American League MVP and member of the 2000 New York Yankees World Series championship team, Jose Canseco, is expected to face the Bears during the opening weekend series.
Newark Bears owners, Danielle Dronet and Dr. Douglas Spiel, will take part in an opening day ceremony that is scheduled to include Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.
A coaching staff with years of major league experience will lead the Newark Bears into a brand new season. Ken Oberkfell, formerly the New York Mets’ bench coach and minor league manager of the their Triple-A affiliates in New Orleans and Buffalo, takes over as the Bears’ new manager. Former major league pitcher Ralph Citarella, enters his first year as a pitching coach. Former Bears manager and major league star Tim Raines returns as the team’s director of player development.
This year’s team will have a mix of major league talent and local sports icons. Former major league first baseman Daryle Ward, who played 11 years in the majors, most notably with the Cubs and Astros, will lead the offense. Jorge Vasquez, who pitched briefly for the Kansas City Royals and Atlanta Braves, will assume the role as the Bears closer this season. Newark’s Burt Reynolds, the cousin of New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, will be a starter in the outfield for the Bears. And Pedro Rivera from Elizabeth is hoping to win a spot on the Bears’ pitching staff.
The Bears will host many new off-field attractions, such as Locker Wars. Before the first pitch is thrown, fans are encouraged to join the Bears staff on the concourse to get a glimpse of lockers stuffed with goods. Bidding on the locker’s contents will begin in the third inning and continue throughout the night.
Other events like Diamond Dig, Bark in the Park, Kids Club Runs the Bases, Launch-A-Ball, guest appearances by members of WWE, and the off-Broadway performance of “Broadway Meets Baseball” highlight a season full of activities, among many more.
Other specials offered for their 2012 season include:
- first 10 foul balls caught by fans receive a choice of a free hot dog, drink or Bears ticket
- anyone with a college ID or Newark resident with ID will receive 2 for 1 tickets, 2 for 1 hot dogs and $1 beer for the entire season, beginning on Opening Night
- Seniors, 65 years+ can take advantage of the Bears Senior Discount with 2 for 1 admission.
- Newark Bears Kids Club members receive a mystery gift at every home game. In addition, every Sunday kids under age 12 eat for free
Season tickets are available at the reduced cost of $350, and single game tickets are $10 per person. For more information, call the Bears at 1-973-848-1000 or visit www.newarkbears.com.