The Courier Post reports: Riversharks back for their 12th season
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.