RiverHawks reach new highs in 2008
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September 10, 2008 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – The Rockford RiverHawks set a new standard for popularity in 2008.

Not only did the RiverHawks set a team record with a total attendance of 138,234, a 21-percent increase from last season, but their per-game average of 2,765 is the best in the history of Rockford professional baseball.

The RiverHawks recorded their seventh .500 or better finish in as many seasons in the Stateline and, though they missed the playoffs for the first time since 2003, were in the race until the final series of the season. Two players were signed by major-league teams and three more were Frontier League All-Stars.

“I can’t express how much hard work was put forth by our front office to achieve the numbers that came through the turn styles this season, and the same effort from manager Bob Koopmann, his coaches and players on their success on the field,” general manager Josh Olerud said. “It was a great season both on the field and off. I look forward to reaching higher heights next season.”

The RiverHawks sold out a record 11 of 50 home dates at Road Ranger Stadium, including a franchise-record 6,588 for the July 3 game against Windy City. The RiverHawks increased their attendance by nearly 25,000 from 2007, when they averaged 2,477. The old season record of 115,776 was set in 2006, the year the RiverHawks opened the new stadium.

Just three seasons in the history of Rockford professional baseball, which stretches back to 1871, have seen higher attendance. In each of those three seasons, the 1988-90 Rockford Expos played a home schedule of roughly 20 more games than the RiverHawks do today.

“There is great baseball history in Rockford and we are honored to continue that history and are proud of what we as an organization have achieved thus far,” Olerud said. “With saying that, we are dedicated in making each season better in all aspects to ensure the experiences at Road Ranger Stadium memorable each and every time.”

While the RiverHawks missed the postseason with a record of 48-48, pitcher Taylor Sinclair was signed by the Arizona Diamondbacks and catcher Christian Rosa was picked up by the St. Louis Cardinals. Second baseman Joe Anthonsen, outfielder Jason James and pitcher Garrett Bauer all played in the Frontier League All-Star Game. Anthonsen edged James for the batting title in one of the closest races in Frontier League history. Bauer threatened the league strikeout record and completed his RiverHawks career as the team’s all-time strikeout king.

“We had our fair share of ups and downs this year, but what a year by Anthonson, James and Bauer, who highlighted a season that was jam-packed with excitement. We wish nothing but the best to the young men who got affiliated contracts during the season and to Garrett, who did so many positive things during his time here. Those will be hard shoes to fill.”

The RiverHawks are members of the Frontier League, a 12-team independent professional baseball league that will play its 17th season in 2009. The RiverHawks will host the Frontier League All-Star Game at 7:05 p.m. July 15, 2009. Advertising and season-ticket information is available by calling (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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