Newark Bears

From BR Bullpen

Newark Bears logo.gif

International League[edit]

Sign for the team playing a game in Florida, ca. 1930

In 1917 the Newark Indians were renamed the Newark Bears. Except for a lack of a team in '20, the Bears remained a fixture in the International League until 1950. That season the team moved to Springfield, MA and became the Springfield Cubs; the culprit likely was the introduction of television, which allowed New Jersey residents to tune in to games by the New York Yankees, Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants. Never winning a title through 1931, the team's fortunes changed when the club was purchased in November 1931 by Jacob Ruppert and became the main farm club of the Yankees. They finished in first place their first year as a Yankee property, then repeated in 1933, 1934, 1937 and 1938 for five such finishes in 7 years before the Yanks moved their top players to the Kansas City Blues in the American Association, leaving Newark for the 2nd-tier prospects (still good enough to keep them competitive). The Bears finished first also in 1942. The 1937 team is considered one of the greatest minor league clubs ever.

Prominent players included:

IL MVPs were Marv Owen (1932), Rolfe (1933) and Mickey Witek (1939). Newark won the Governors' Cup in 1937, 1938, 1940 and 1945 and lost in 1939, 1942 and 1944. Newark also won the Junior World Series in 1932, 1937 and 1940 and lost in 1938 and 1944.

Sources: "The International League: Year-by-Year Statistics" by Marshall Wright, 1984 IL Record Book

Four Bears clubs are considered among the greatest minor league teams of all time:

Year-by-Year Record[edit]

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs Notes
1917 86-68 4th Tom Needham none
1918 64-63 4th Tommy McCarthy none
1919 71-80 5th Patsy Donovan none
1921 72-92 5th Jim Walsh none
1922 54-112 8th Bill Clymer none
1923 60-101 7th Mickey Devine / Andy Anderson / Fred Brainerd none
1924 80-83 5th Fred Brainerd none
1925 8-20 (63-100 overall) -- Eddie Onslow Team moved to Providence May 16
1926 99-66 3rd Fred Burchell none
1927 90-77 3rd John J. Egan none
1928 81-84 7th Walter Johnson none
1929 81-85 6th Tris Speaker none
1930 80-88 5th Tris Speaker (28-39) / Jack Onslow (1-2) / Al Mamaux (51-47) none
1931 99-69 2nd Al Mamaux none
1932 109-59 1st Al Mamaux none League Champs
1933 102-62 1st Al Mamaux Lost in 1st round
1934 93-60 1st Bob Shawkey Lost in 1st round
1935 81-71 4th Bob Shawkey Lost in 1st round
1936 88-67 3rd Oscar Vitt Lost in 1st round
1937 109-43 1st Ossie Vitt League Champs
1938 104-48 1st Johnny Neun League Champs
1939 82-73 4th Johnny Neun Lost League Finals
1940 95-65 2nd Johnny Neun League Champs
1941 100-54 1st Johnny Neun Lost League Finals
1942 92-61 1st Bill Meyer Lost in 1st round
1943 85-68 2nd Bill Meyer Lost in 1st round
1944 85-69 2nd Bill Meyer Lost League Finals
1945 89-64 2nd Bill Meyer League Champs
1946 80-74 4th George Selkirk Lost in 1st round
1947 65-89 6th George Selkirk
1948 80-72 2nd Bill Skiff Lost in 1st round
1949 55-98 8th Buddy Hassett

Independent Leagues[edit]

From 1998 to 2013, a team called the Newark Bears played in independent leagues, first the Atlantic League from 1998 to 2010, and the Can-Am Association starting in 2011. Beginning in 1999, the club played at Bears and Eagles Riverfront Stadium. In 2002, under the leadership of skipper Marv Foley, they captured the league championship. They captured a second league title in 2007. Some of the former big leaguers to play for the Atlantic League Bears include Jose Canseco, his brother Ozzie, Rickey Henderson, Jim Leyritz, Jaime Navarro, Lance Johnson, and Jose Lima.

In their latter years home attendance plummetted and the Newark Bears played their final season in 2011.

Year-by-Year Record[edit]

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
1998 35-65 6th Tom O'Malley
1999 51-64 4th Tom O'Malley
2000 74-66 4th (t) Tom O'Malley
2001 75-51 2nd Tom O'Malley Lost League Finals
2002 69-55 4th Marv Foley League Champs
2003 54-71 7th Bill Madlock
2004 63-63 7th Bill Madlock
2005 59-71 7th Chris Jones
2006 42-83 7th (t) Chris Jones
2007 72-53 2nd Wayne Krenchicki League Champs
2008 72-68 3rd Wayne Krenchicki
2009 74-66 3rd (t) Tim Raines Lost in 1st round
2010 53-86 8th Tim Raines
2011 41-52 6th Tim Raines
2012 35-65 4th Ken Oberkfell
2013 37-63 5th Garry Templeton