There were 43 players representing 10 different high schools in the Brick City and between the early morning workouts and the all-star game to follow the action on the diamond and the good will expressed throughout Weequahic Park made the recent (June 3) third Newark’s Finest All-Star Baseball Showcase another huge success.
Coaches, school administrators and city officials came out to enjoy one of Newark’s great annual events to highlight America’s pastime for the city’s present and future scholastic ball players.
“The experience of being present for the Newark baseball showcase delighted me and left me overjoyed to see student-athletes who are rivals all year long laugh and slide high fives and root for one another and it was an experience you can only quantify with unity and love,” said Newark Central Athletic Director Syidah O’Bryant. “The all-star baseball game is what is right with sports no matter where you are or what language you speak, or how tall or short you are, or whether you are left-handed or right-handed.
“Sport unites us all and the world needs more sports and Newark needs the all-star game!
“Thanks to the founders, all the sponsors, media, photographers, parents, volunteers and all the well-coached student-athletes.
“You guys rock!”
And the city’s government leaders also enjoyed a day taking in all the baseball happenings at the home of Newark Rutgers baseball in Weequahic Park.
“I am proud of the all-star experience and its organizers,” said South Ward Councilman Pat Council. “This game gives our athletes an opportunity to showcase their talent and gives them confidence that others are watching.
“Inner-city youth will always have obstacles to overcome. They are often overlooked because of the perception that outsiders have. In short, there is more talent per square mile in Newark than any other town in New Jersey. All they need is an opportunity and guidance to navigate to their goals.
“This showcase was an excellent idea started a few years ago by Coach Wayne Moore (of Barringer) and others. After 36 years volunteering at Branch Brook Park this never gets old.
Coach Moore has been ably assisted by Ryan Cordero, the head coach at Newark East Side, in helping to organize the Newark’s Finest All-Star Baseball Showcase, which started in 2019 but had to forgo both 2020 and 2021 due to covid. Still, Moore and Cordero, with assistance from other Brick City coaches and support staff, kept working toward reintroducing the event which has been a big hit in both 2022 and now in 2023.
“I would hope that at the very least, the Newark Finest All-Star Baseball Showcase event gives a continued heartbeat to the game we all love,” said Cordero. “We are sharing our talented baseball players and devoted coaches to the city, and also to those outside the city.
“We also hope we will continue to improve and make this even more grand of an event each year.”
Newark Nike RBI program coaches Charles Perry (Junior Division) and Mike Fernandes (Senior Division) were extremely honored and proud to have been invited to the 2023 all-star showcase, an event that included 14 players that have played in the Newark Nike RBI program while growing up in the city.
“As coaches in the RBI program, we believe events like these should be celebrated and spoke about throughout the city,” said Perry. “There is an incredible amount of baseball talent in Newark, and we all need to work together to help showcase that talent to those who might not be familiar with our players.
“Events like these will impact the lives of our city’s youth, and college coaches are always in attendance. The Newark Finest All-Star showcase serves as a great opportunity for our players to connect with those coaches and discuss pursuing higher education while continuing to play the sport they love.
“We would like to thank coaches Wayne Moore from Barringer and Ryan Cordero from East Side for their tremendous efforts and dedication to our city’s youth, and for organizing an event that brings everyone in the Newark baseball community together for a great cause.”
For Wayne Moore and his son Stephon, who will take over for his dad as head coach at Barringer next season, the time and energy put into to helping the Newark all-star showcase happen is well worth the effort.
“We both know how easy it is for kids to get caught up on the wrong path in life, so hopefully we can continue to show them another path to take,” said Wayne Moore. “Shake hands, don’t throw hands and stay in school
“Trust the process!”
NOTES- Barringer defeated East Side, 11-1, in 6 innings in the most recent Newark Public Schools Tournament championship game to cap the 2023 high school regular season for Brick City schools. Blue Bears junior pitcher Moises Rodriguez, one of his team’s Newark high school all-stars, pitched a 2-hitter in that NPST final. Among the Barringer position players excelling in the Newark tournament final vs. East Side were senior center fielder Jovanni Valentin, who has fought back from a shoulder injury to finish strong this spring season, going 3-for-4 with a triple, home run, 3 runs scored and 4 RBI in the championship game vs. the Red Raiders. Junior catcher Adam Lopez was also 3-for-4 with 3 RBI, while the junior shortstop Enyerson Hernandez was 2-for-4 with a triple and 2 RBI…Wayne Moore will step down as head coach after eight years at the helm of the Blue Bear diamond fortunes to become a lead assistant to his son Stephon, a former standout at Bloomfield Tech who played in college at both Coppin State and Bloomfield College.
2023 NEWARK’S 'FINEST' AL-STARS:
#2 Jovanni Valentin, SR., OF/P
#7 Moises Rodrigues, JR., P/1B
#9 Legend Anderson, JR., 2B/P
#12 Edwin Minier, JR., 3B/1B
#22 Alam Lopez, JR., C/P
#23 Enyerson Hernandez, JR., SS/P
#0 Jahsyn Reid, SO., SS/CF
#2 John Rivera, JR., 3B/C
#4 Wilson Atizol, SO., 2B/RF
#44 Matt Owens, SR., 1B
#1 Antwan Ventura, SO., P/1B/RF
#10 Rodrigo Rodriguez, SR., P/1B
#10 Nasir Wheeler, SR., IF/OF
#45 Sebastian Carreira, SR., C/3B
#1 Josue Baez, SO., C/1B
#2 Aaron Nieves, SR., CF/P
#5 Edwin Oyola, SO., P/SS
#12 Issair Mejia, JR., 1B/P
#1 Harold Rivera, JR., SS
#4 Luis Florian, SR., CF
#8 Jordy Nivar, SO., 2B
#20 Nathaniel Perez, SO., 1B
#0 Camron Vassel, SR., C/OF
#1 Kevin Carlos Jr., JR., IF/OF/P
#2 Andrew Scott, FR., OF/IF/P
#9 Zamir Johnson, SR., OF/IF
#42 Wilfredo Lopez, FR., 3B
#1 Gabriel Rodriguez, JR., SS/P
#2 Xavier Rodriguez, SR., C/P
#5 Joel Abreu, SR., 2B/P
#8 Joel Nkwodimmah, JR., 1B/2B
#7 Christopher Morales, FR., SS/P
#10 Edmilson Dapurifcacao, SR., 3B
#13 Elijah Alvarado, SR., SS/P
#24 Isaiah Nieves, SR., 1B
#1 Corey Staggers, SR., C/P
#2 Aljamir Johnson, SO., SS/P
#3 Brandon Nero, SR., C/P
#13 Charles Perez, SR., 1B/P
#00 Tymir Ashford, P/IF
#3 Brian McRae, JR., P/LF
#9 Kabir Jones-Bennett, CF
#42 Jaleen Millier, P/IF
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