‘Hawks trade 2004 finals MVP Rosario to Calgary
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April 25, 2006 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – Another ring-bearing Rockford RiverHawk is headed to the Northern League.

Today, the RiverHawks announced they have traded all-star shortstop Olmo Rosario to the Calgary Vipers for outfielder Toshitaki Shimada and infielder Mayke Cabrera.

Rosario was the Most Valuable Player of the 2004 Frontier League Championship Series, when the RiverHawks swept Evansville in three games. He hit .429 with a home run and five RBI in 35 postseason at-bats that year. The trade leaves the RiverHawks with just two 2004 playoff veterans, catcher Kevin Ciarrachi and outfielder Rico Santana, expected to be at spring training next month.

Rosario’s breakout season was 2005, when started at shortstop for the Frontier League West Division all-stars and finished second in the league in hitting. Rosario batted a team-record .373 with 11 home runs and 52 RBI, all career bests. He also set new team marks with 123 base hits and 25 errors.

Rosario, who spent two seasons, 2001-02, in the Tampa Bay organization under the surname Perez, has veteran status by FL standards. He played independent ball in the now-defunct Southeastern League in 2003 before signing with Rockford the following year. His composite .326 batting average in two Rockford seasons is the best career average in team history. Rosario also holds both the single-season (six) and career (10) triples records.

Neither of the new RiverHawks, both of whom hold rookie status, appeared in a game for Calgary.

Cabrera appeared in a combined 51 games last season for Los Angeles’ Class A and AAA affiliates. The 25-year-old switch-hitter batted .274 with no home runs and 16 RBI in 135 at-bats for Vero Beach. He was 2-for-8 in a three-game stint with the Las Vegas Area 51s.

Shimada, a 26-year-old switch-hitter, batted .288 with seven RBI in 64 games last year for the Japan Samurai Bears, a now-defunct traveling team that played in the independent Golden League. Should he make the opening-day roster, the Yokohama native would be the first Japanese national to play for the RiverHawks. The only other residents of the Eastern Hemisphere to appear in a regular-season game were Australian utility player Dan Floyd, who suited up in 2003 and 2004, and Aussie catcher John Chappell, who played for the ‘Hawks last year.

Rosario is the third player from the 2004 playoff roster traded to Calgary this offseason. Pitcher Frank James and first baseman Aaron McEachran were dealt during the winter.

The regular season begins on the road May 24, when the RiverHawks open with a six-game road trip to Windy City and River City. Opening Day at RiverHawks Stadium is 7:05 p.m. Wednesday, May 31, when the ‘Hawks host the Evansville Otters. Advertising, season-ticket and suite information is available by calling the box office at (815) 885-2255. Fans can also visit the RiverHawks online at www.rockfordriverhawks.com


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