Cubs sign former RiverHawk Ellison
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January 28, 2008 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – Derrick Ellison is getting another shot at affiliated baseball.

The Chicago Cubs signed the former Rockford RiverHawk last week and Ellison will head to Arizona for the Cubs’ minor-league spring training, which starts in March. It’s the second time the left-handed reliever has been signed by a major-league organization. He spent a month in the high Class A California League after Seattle signed him off the Rockford roster during the 2005 season.

Ellison is one of five former RiverHawks who will start spring training as property of a major-league team. Three of them will be in Mesa with the Cubs. The other two, longtime staff ace Tanner Watson and late-season pitching pickup Reed Dickert, were picked up by the Cubs over the last two months.

Shortly after the 2007 season ended, Oakland signed Alexandria lefty Justin Dowdy from the United League and San Francisco picked up Nashua shortstop Olmo Rosario from the Can-Am League. Both, like Ellison, were members of Rockford’s 2004 Frontier League championship team.

Ellison was 5-2 with a 3.35 earned-run average for Joliet of the independent Northern League last season. With the RiverHawks in 2004-05, Ellison was a combined 6-6 with three saves and a 4.18 ERA in 56 appearances. He was the team’s primary left-handed setup man in 2004 and was briefly the team’s closer in 2005.

The RiverHawks are members of the Frontier League, a 12-team independent professional baseball league that will play its 16th season this summer. Advertising and season-ticket information is available by calling the box office at (815) 885-2255. Most games are broadcast live on WNTA (1330 AM) and the internet. Fans can also visit the RiverHawks online at www.rockfordriverhawks.com.


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