MEGALODON: THE LARGEST SHARK THAT EVER LIVED
SPECIAL PREHISTORIC EXHIBIT, JUNE 22 - SEPTEMBER 3
CAMDEN — Now entering their 12th season on the Delaware River below the Ben Franklin Bridge, a Riversharks’ game experience still works.
Although heavy rains earlier this week flooded both dugouts here at cozy Campbell’s Field, not even bad weather can dampen the enjoyment of a baseball game in Camden with the Philadelphia skyline rising above the left field wall.
The stadium and environment is as fan friendly as a circus in Disneyland.
But, the South Jersey fans aren’t the only ones enjoying the Friday Night fireworks and all the fun talented and imaginative marketers can possibly pack into nine innings. The good times are also shared by the players, especially the few each year on the Riversharks who are from the area and played their high schoolball in the shadows of award-winning Campbell’s Field.
“Everyone in our area knows who the Riversharks are,” said Chris Rollins, a pitcher with the Sharks from Winslow High School. “And, it is fun for me to have my family come watch me play.”
Fans and family of Rollins as well as pitcher Joe D’Alessandro of Glassboro and catcher Shea Harris of Washington Township can start seeing the Riversharks in their home opener on Wednesday, May 9 against Lancaster.
Actually, the season opens tonight in Bridgeport with a four-game series. Possibly, as a gag gift because it is their 12th season, the Riversharks play their first 12 games on the road before coming home.
In addition to the fun attending games at Campbell’s Field enjoying the beautiful background of the bridge and the riverfront watching the game, the baseball is pretty good. After all, this is professional baseball. Rosters are dotted with former Major League players and players hoping to sign with a minor league team.
“This is probably the best opportunity for me so far,” said Rollins, 25, who went to spring training with the Padres last year. “And, it is good to play near home, so this is the best opportunity for me.”
Rollins, who was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 2005 MLB June Amateur Draft, has played in the Frontier League, Continental Baseball League, Canadian-American Association and now the Atlantic League. The 6-foot-4 right-hander was traded to the Riversharks at the end of last season from Newark. He is looking at starting the season in the bull pen, but hoping to win a starting role.
The 5-11 righty D’Alessandro, who also played with the Riversharks last year, is also working out of the bullpen.
“I have to pitch good to earn a more specific role,” said D’Alessandro, 28, who was originally drafted by the New York Mets in the 2005 MLB June Amateur Draft and spent two seasons playing in their farm system.
Meanwhile, the 5-11, right-handed hitting Harris, 27, who is in his fourth season in the Atlantic League, will probably serve in a backup role like last year in Camden behind the plate.
The Riversharks finished 34-27 last year for third place in the Liberty Division
“I think we should be pretty competitive,” manager Jeff Scott said about his team this season.
The Riversharks will also host the Atlantic League All-Star game on July 11 as well as the Ron Jaworski “Jaws Youth Playbook” celebrity softball game earlier in the evening, adding to the enjoyable experiences available down by the Delaware River at Campbell’s Field.
April 19, 2012 (WPVI) -- The Adventure Aquarium on the Camden Waterfront has gone through numerous changes over the years, expanding the physical plant and adding exhibits. Most notable is the West African River Experience with its underwater views of swimming hippos and the walk-through Shark Realm.
The latest addition is called KidZone, a smaller-scale enterprise which is a re-working of the previously under-utilized third floor, also known as "Zone C". The exhibit's designers have engineered a combination of kid-friendly sea life exhibits with an ocean-themed playground that's geared toward the youngest of visitors.
Arriving on the third floor, those who've been to the aquarium previously will recognize the old see-and-touch station staffed by an interpreter. The newer area is to the right and takes-up the rest of the floor. There are multiple displays, many consisting of smaller tanks positioned only about three feet from the carpet. It's close to the eye level of toddlers, but no not so low to encourage that naughty tapping on the glass.
The aquarium staff has included species like the Finding Nemo orange and white clown fish which have a better chance of holding interest for youngsters. They've also kept the toothy caiman in this area, which was drawing a lot of oohs and ahs from toddlers and their parents when I visited last week.
In addition, there's another moderate petting pool with some small, colorful fish, starfish and undersized crustaceans, as well as two additional exhibits where kids can touch a lobster or one of New Jersey's famous horseshoe crabs (the living version versus the dead variety you usually see on local beaches).
KidZone is more than just an observation area. There are opportunities for little ones to climb out of the strollers and get some of that energy burned-off.
They can grab some sticks and rumble away on drums that actually sound like the bell on a buoy. The sound doesn't get too loud, which is nice, and there are mazes and other playground-type opportunities to get a little active.
Probably the cleverest is the fish tank that allows kids to scramble underneath and poke their heads up into clear, plastic domes that protrude into the tank's floor. It's a great picture: your kid's head right there among the fish. There are several of these bubbles for kids to share, although overall, it's a moderately sized tank.
Signage includes happy, cartoon characters and the loosely-connected sections of KidZone have fun names like Lizzie's Lagoon and Bobbi's Beach. There's no music or extra sound being pumped into the space and everything is carpeted. Other than the kids pattering around and the occasional gong of the buoy bells, you do not encounter much sound overload, which I think is nice.
There are a couple of things to note. First, the area is fairly expansive and there was plenty of floor space for the sixty plus children and parents (plus a dozen strollers) who were there on a Thursday morning. I could see things getting a little tight on a busy weekend, typical of most family attractions.
Second, the area is definitely geared toward younger kids. Toddlers, pre-school and kindergarten-aged children will have the best chance of enjoying everything offered here. Younger grade-school kids may also find enough to interest them for a half-hour or so. For older grade school kids, my sense is that KidZone will be a pretty quick stop on the tour, unless they really like the sea life in the petting stations.
I've been to the aquarium many times over the years with kids of varying ages and now there's more to see and do than ever. The KidZone addition may not be the biggest splash, but I take my hat off to the management for turning their attention toward what seemed to be a less-exciting section.
And by the way, the exhibits aren't bad, so even if you go without kids or with older children, I'd still recommend a swing through here. The lobster, horseshoe crab and caimans are pretty neat and the aquarium displays, while small, still contain some very beautiful specimens that fish fans of all ages will enjoy.