Photo from GE Archive Collection at the Schenectady Science Center
The Newark Bears seemed to have started off with a bang at their new ballpark, winning 99 games in 1926 behind Wes Kingdon's 26 2B, 13 HR, .298 performance but only finished in 3rd place. At this time, the Bears were still a co-op franchise as the idea of an "affiliated ballclub" had not yet come to pass. Al Mamaux's stunning 25-10, 2.60 performance in 1927 would not get them any closer as the Bears again finished in 3rd. By 1928, they were no longer in 3rd... in fact they were just treading water a few games under .500 but future Hall of Famer Walter Johnson took over as manager to try to give this team an upswing. Jack Fournier put up the best power numbers thus far at Ruppert Stadium sending 26 2B and 22 bombs flying out into Newark with a .288 batting average while Lew Malone hit .306 with 34 2B and 13 HR. Still it wasn't enough to keep this team above water. That trend to remain below .500 would stay on until the new decade came as the Bears finished in 5th, 6th and 7th over the next 3 years. During that time, there was a few good performances... 1929 saw Max West bat .332 with 32 2B and 19 HR while Future Hall of Fame Umpire Jacko Conlan batted .303 and tied for all time doubles (34) and Triples (13) marks while hitting 10 HR. Al Mamaux came back to put up a 20-13, 2.91 record while Hub Pruett took over lowest ERA thus far at 16-7, 2.43. Perhaps most intriguing however was a 36 year old Wally Pipp (30 2B, 12 HR, .312) who wound up here in Newark soon after he had famously lost his 1B job to Lou Gehrig... as he sat out a game due to a headache and due to Gehrig's incredible rookie bat, would never play for the Yankees again. Pipp wound up in Cincinnati but ended his career here. Hall of Famer Tris Speaker also ended his career here, playing in 48 games in 1929 and batting .355. He took his last 31 At Bats at Ruppert Stadium for the Bears in 1930 hitting .419 before putting down his bat forever and became manager.