(If these buttons do not work, please use the links at the bottom
of the page)
TEN THINGS TO REMEMBER FROM THE BEARS' 2003 SEASON
September 15, 2003: With the season ending yesterday,
looks back at an
eventful, if not entirely successful, season. Last week, we
asked you to send us your ideas for highlights and other memorable
moments from the season. Through e-mail and talking with many of
you at The Den, we have selected these top ten things to remember (mostly
good) from the Newark Bears' 2003 season. Thank you all for your
1. Continuity: eight players
ended 2002 and started 2003
Alberto Castillo, Paul
Esposito, Steve Gagliano, Tom Hage, Jay LaFlair, Damon Ponce Deleon,
Wil Quintana, and Jason Torres all returned to the team after winning
the Atlantic League championship last year. This was in contrast
to only two returnees from 2001 to 2002. It was nice to see so
many familiar faces in the dugout!
Special mention goes to
Danny Clyburn, Ryan Minor, Pito Ramirez, and Hut Smith, who played
portions of both seasons for the Bears!
2. Lima Time!
Lima, who started the season with the Bears, was an electrifying
presence for the team. His dancing in the first base coach's box
engaged the fans, and his enthusiasm in the dugout led the team to a
winning first half. Oh, and he went 6-1 for us before going 7-1
(as of this writing) for the Kansas City Royals!
3. Eight-run come from behind victory
Bears fans had a special
treat at the third game of the season,
on May 3rd. Losing to the Bluefish 10-2 going into the bottom of
the 7th inning, the Bears began rallying back with one run in the 7th
(a Rickey Henderson home run), then five in the 8th, highlighted by an
inside-the-park home run by Jack Santora. After the Bears tied
it in the 9th, Wil Quintana ended the game in the bottom of the 10th
with a leadoff home run!
4. The weather
This season was plagued
with rain throughout. The Bears were involved in ten
doubleheaders, scheduled to make up games that were rained out (and
one rained out game was not made up at all). Many fans stayed
away, but those of us who didn't sure got soaked!
5. Josť Lima's 13-strikeout game
Lima struck out 13 Road
Warriors on the way to a 3-2 win on May 18.
6. Matt Wagner's one-hitter
On May 27 against the Riversharks,
Wagner had a perfect game going into the 6th inning. After
giving up one hit (a single to Lipso Nava), he was perfect again
thereafter. The Bears won, 3-0.
7. Eddy Martinez's two grand slams this
Martinez showed he could
hit in the clutch by hitting grand slams on June 6 and August 29!
Out of his six homers on the season, two were grand slams!
8. Pito Ramirez's bottom-of-the-13th
walkoff home run
Having rejoined the team
on July 15th, Ramirez wasted little time in demonstrating why he's
been such a fan favorite: On July
25th, he prevented a series sweep by the Road Warriors by hitting
a two-run home run in the bottom of the 13th inning (after four and a
quarter hours of baseball), giving the Bears a 5-3 win.
9. Pito Ramirez's 55th home run
broke Ozzie Canseco's all-time Bears home run record on August
13th by hitting his 55th home run as a Bear.
10. Paul Esposito's around-the-diamond
We had to wait until the
last game of the season for this one:
throughout the course of the September 14th game against the Road
Warriors, Paul Esposito moved among all nine defensive positions!
After starting the game at third base, he played one inning each at
short, second, first, left, center, right, catcher, and pitcher!
Of course, this was not the first time Esposito
pitched for the Bears.