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"We're Going To Get Championships!"


Bears Mascot Rip'N Ruppert #99 and the Highlanders' mascot display the contract between the two organizations

What does it say?

February 15, 2004: The Newark Bears announced Thursday at a press conference at Bears and Eagles Riverfront Stadium that the New Jersey Institute of Technology's baseball team, the Highlanders, will play a portion of their season at the stadium.

Present and speaking at the press conference were Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo, Newark Mayor Sharpe James, Bears owners Steve Kalafer and Marc Berson, NJIT's President Dr. Robert A. Altenkirch, NJIT's Dean of Albert Dorman Honors College and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs Dr. Joel Bloom, and NJIT Baseball Head Coach Brian Callahan.

Left to right: Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo, Bears mascot Rip'N Ruppert, NJIT President Dr. Robert A. Altenkirch, Bears owners Marc Berson and Steve Kalafer, Newark Mayor Sharpe James, and the Highlanders mascot.

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Also present but not speaking were the Bears mascot, Rip'N Ruppert, and the Highlanders mascot, as well as Bears General Manager Dean Rivera, Assistant General Manager Melissa Manfre, and Head Coach Bill Madlock. Last year's Bears centerfielder Mike Piercy put in a surprise appearance.

Mayor James congratulated both organizations, saying, "This is a great day for the City of Newark…[as] this state-of-the-art stadium [reaches] out to the community."

In his remarks, Mr. Kalafer addressed County Executive DiVincenzo, saying, "Joe, I remember the…day that we talked about…the [new ownership of the] Bears coming here and you…said, 'Steve, this ballpark was not built for just the Newark Bears, it was built for the citizens, the residents, the students of Essex County,' and Marc [Berson] and I promised you that we would keep that vision…."

Mr. Kalafer went on to say, "Before the New York Yankees were the New York Yankees, they were the New York Highlanders,…and the original Newark Bears were a farm team of the New York Yankees, so if you meld the Newark Bears and the NJIT Highlanders, what do you think you'll get?…We're going to get championships!"

2003 Bears centerfielder #1 Mike Piercy, and Head Coach Bill Madlock.

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Bears mascot Rip'N Ruppert, Bears General Manager Dean Rivera, the Highlanders mascot, NJIT Baseball Head Coach Brian Callahan, and Highlanders pitcher #47 Zach Porcello.

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Highlanders players Zach Porcello #47, pitcher; Dan Raczynski #50, pitcher; Chris Schwartz #22, first baseman; and 2003 Bears centerfielder #1 Mike Piercy.

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