|April 8, 1999
BEARS SIGN "BAM BAM"
NJ -- The Newark Bears made their first
player signing of 1999 a memorable one by linking
seven-year Major League veteran Hensley "Bam
Bam" Meulens to a one-year contract.
Meulens, a 31-year old outfielder, spent
1989-1993 on the "Columbus Shuffle"
splitting time between the new York Yankees and
the Columbus Clippers (AAA). The colorful
"Bam Bam" is noted for his potent bat.
Meulens hit 16 home runs last year in 291 at bats
with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Tuscon Sidewinders
(AAA), and Calgary Cannons (AAA).
Meulens, a right-handed batter, should really
benefit from playing in the bears' new $30
million dollar downtown ballpark Riverfront
Stadium. In a nod to the character of old-time
stadiums, the left field foul pole at Riverfront
will be only 305 feet from home plate. Bears
Owner Rick Cerone played with Meulens on the 1990
New York Yankees; and believes this is a good
opportunity for "Bam Bam". He'll love
hitting here," Cerone said, "the wind
blows out to center field every day and the left
field corner is pretty close. 'Bam Bam' is a good
kid. He should do well here."
Meulens, a native of Curacao, is excited for this
opportunity. "This brings me back to my old
stomping grounds, and I'm glad to be a part of
the Bears and their history." The Newark
Bears are one of the most storied teams in minor
league history. The 1937 Bears have been hailed
by many as the greatest minor league team of all
time. Between 1926-1949 Newark served as the
Yankees Triple A team, dominating the
The second-year Atlantic League is unaffiliated,
so this is a way for Meulens to showcase his
talents to all 30 Major League teams. The talent
level in the league was high last year as
evidenced by the 35 Atlantic League alumns that
signed or re-signed with Major league
organizations over the winter. "It's amazing
the job the teams in this league have done to
acquire AA, AAA, and Major League veterans,"
Bears General Manager Kevin Reynolds said,
"We are excited to have Hensley. He's a
great building block for our team."
The Newark Bears open their 120 game season May 6
in Atlantic City. The team will play 24
"home" games at Skylands Park in
Augusta NJ beginning May 10. The brand new
Riverfront Stadium will open July 16 when the
Bears will take on the Lehigh Valley Black
Diamonds. Newark will play 30 home games this
year in their downtown Newark stadium, nicknamed
"The Den". The team is managed by
former New York Met Tom O'Malley and the Bears
pitching coach is former Cy Young Award winner
Mike Cuellar. Spring training commences for the
team April 23 in Baseball City, Florida. For
Bears ticket, merchandise, or sponsorship
information call 973-483-6900 or log onto