South Jersey Baseball:
Wednesday, May 5, 2004
By Chuck Betson
The news that the Philadelphia Phillies called up Jim Crowell from the team’s Triple-A affiliate in Wilkes Barre-Scranton was a big hit in the offices of the Atlantic City Surf on Wednesday, two days before opening day for the Atlantic City Surf.
“We are very happy for Jim,’’ Surf general manager Mario Perrucci said. “The fact he was called up represents another example of how the Atlantic League is working. We are very happy for Jim and we think he will help the Phillies. Jim was one of the guys we really gave a second chance and he has taken that chance and turned it into a trip the majors.’’
Crowell was one of the first players Perrucci signed prior to the 2002 season and started 19 games for the Surf. Crowell went 8-4 with a 4.17 ERA and that was good enough to attract the attention of the Phillies.
Crowell’s call-up by the Phillies was another big move in a week that has been stellar for Atlantic League alumni. After driving in seven runs for the New York Yankees last Saturday, former Surf slugger Ruben Sierra was named the American League Player of the Week. Sierra hit .467 with two homers, three doubles and 11 RBI for the Yankees. Also last Saturday former Long Island Ducks slugger Carlos Baerga hit a three-run homer for the Airzona Diamondbacks enabling them to earn c ome-from-behind victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.
“It was a great week for former Atlantic League players in the majors.’’Perrucii said. “There can be no doubt about how far the Atlantic League has come in six seasons as we begin to get set for our seventh.’’
The Surf opens its seventh season against the Nashua Pride on Friday night at 6:35 p.m The first 3,000 fans who attend will receive a magnet schedule courtesy of Dietz and Watson and the game will be followed by a post-game fireworks show. Tickets are available by calling 609 344 7873 or online at www.acsurf.com
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