Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. will announce a new partnership between the Newark Bears and the New Jersey Jackals professional baseball teams. On Friday, October 29th, the Jackals welcomed the Bears into the independent CanAm League and unveiled plans to highlight the teams’ new rivalry with a “County Executive’s Cup” challenge. In addition, the Bears and Jackals officials said they will establish an off-the-field collaboration to strengthen the teams’ recognition in the community, provide fund-raising support for local charities and develop programs to benefit students in all grade levels from
grade school to college.
“Baseball has a significant place in the history of Essex County. Several Hall of Famers including Yogi Berra, Monte Irvin and Ray Dandridge got their start playing for the old Bears and Eagles teams in Newark. The new Bears and Jackals have carried on that tradition, giving young athletes an opportunity at the start of their careers and providing affordable, family entertainment. The rivalry of having both teams play in the same league will bring additional energy when they meet on the field,” DiVincenzo said. “The closeness of Bears and Eagles Riverfront Stadium and Yogi Berra Stadium creates several opportunities for the teams to work together to benefit and raise awareness in the community. We look forward to the excitement these teams will bring to their fans and our residents next year and in the years to come,” he added.
The Bears play their games at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium in Newark and were members of the independent Atlantic League from its founding in 1999 to 2010. The Jackals had their inaugural season in 1998 and play their games at Yogi Berra Stadium on the campus of Montclair State University. The team currently is a member of Canadian-American (CanAm) League. The two stadiums are just 12 miles apart.
To fuel the competitive spirit between the teams, a “County Executive’s Cup” challenge will be created between the Jackals and Bears. The team that wins the season series will be presented with the County Executive’s Cup and have bragging rights in Essex County for a year.
“Welcoming the Newark Bears to the CanAm League is an exciting development that will strengthen the visibility of the Jackals, Bears and the League in Essex County and northern New Jersey. Our teams have played in each others’ backyards, so the rivalry will, no doubt, generate more fan interest,” said Floyd Hall, Owner of the Jackals. “We see it as a great opportunity to work together to expand our outreach and multitude of activities, to the benefit of the families in the surrounding communities,” he noted.
“Both of our clubs are committed to giving back and supporting the neighborhoods where our fans reside. Working together will strengthen our ability to make our facilities available to high school and college teams, and offer promotions that benefit local charities,” Newark Bears Owner and CEO Thomas Cetnar said. “Playing in the CanAm League is a great opportunity for the Bears and we thank the league for welcoming us with open arms. Great baseball is part of the fabric of Essex County and playing the Jackals will rejuvenate the competitive spirit of our players and fans,” he added.
The CanAm League features a 92-game schedule that begins in late May and concludes in early September. Other teams in the league are the Sussex Skyhawks in New Jersey, Worcester Tornadoes, Pittsfield Colonials and Brockton Rox in Massachusetts, and the Quebec Les Capitales in Canada.