The Old Newark Bears Stadium

by Jack Keegan


Adjacent to the Bears Stadium was a large field used for athletic events. One of the many games that I remember, was the sport of Hurling. It was played and enjoyed by many of Irish American extraction. The field was about the size of our football field, with goal posts at both ends. The teams of fifteen members came from many Celtic Associations in the city and around the country.

The Hurling Stick is curved and broadened at one end in order to strike the ball. It was a fast and furious game. Many a tooth was loosened, noses were bloodied and other assorted bumps and bruises were acquired at the end of the paddle. It was a tough contest, seemingly enjoyed by the many players and spectators.

Many a wonderful time was spent in Davis Stadium, as it was called before Mr. Jacob Ruppert bought it, watching those marvelous Bears in action. As a youngster it was my pleasure, in the company of my Father to attend their games. Sometime in those early youthful days my Uncle gave me a gift twenty five shares of stock in the Newark Bears organization. Not really being aware of what a share of common stock was, I at times became confused equating a Share and a Chair. Every time that I accompanied my Father to one of their games, I would ask him to point out "My Chairs". Always received an answer that satisfied me.

When Colonel Jacob Ruppert purchased the team in 1928 I had to redeem my shares for which I received Twenty Seven Dollars and Fifty Cents. Quiet a princely sum in those days.

It was great to see the actions and reactions of Bears Manager Al Mamaux a very interesting man. Also during those days it was wonderful to see the up and coming players that one day would be stars in the Major Leagues. Such as Babe Daghthgrin, Flash Gordon, Jim Weaver, Chatlie "King Kong" Keller, Buddy Rosar to name a few.

Later I became a member of the famous Knot Hole Gang, for a small price you could become a member and be admitted to the bleachers to attend the Newark Bears games. It was a great thing and made many of us baseball fans. To bad they don't do the same thing today. I guess it's all profits and not much sports. Also we were able to walk to the stadium, one of the perks of being a Downnecker.


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