Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
North Shore Spirit
The club was formed in 2003.
The Spirit are owned by Nicholas Lopardo, a major contributor to the Susquehanna University Athletics Program. Lopardo acquired the team in 2002 when he purchased the then-Waterbury (Connecticut) Spirit. After the formation of the team was announced in August of 2002, Lopardo funded a massive, expensive renovation of Fraser Field. $2 million was put into improvements in seating, comfort, and technology of the field.
In their first season, 2003, 90,000 people attended Spirit games, a record for pro baseball at Fraser Field. In the 2003 season, the Spirit won the first-half North Division championship and defeated the Quebec Capitales in the first round of the playoffs, 3 games to 0, then were swept by the Brockton Rox, 3 games to 0, in the league championship series, giving Brockton the Northeast League title. Another higlight of the 2003 season was a game against the New Jersey Jackals wherein the Spirit set over 15 Northeast League records by scoring 14 runs in one inning. On the field, the team featured two players who were signed by Major League Baseball organizations: Carlos Sepulveda, OF, by the Florida Marlins and Marcos Agramonte, 2B, by the San Diego Padres. Also in that year the team held a ceremony honoring legendary North Shore baseball player Tony Conigliaro and retiring his number 25.
In 2004 the Spirit played host to 120,000 fans, breaking the record they had set the year before, and ranking 3rd in league attendance behind the Brockton Rox and Quebec Capitales . They once again won the first-half North Division Championship, in record fashion, shattering the league record for first half winning percentage with 35 wins in the 46 game half. The Spirit also once again defeated the Quebec Capitales in the first round of the playoffs, 3 games to 2, but lost in the championship series again, 3 games to 2, to the New Jersey Jackals. In 2004 the Spirit honored another local baseball legend, Johnny Pesky, affectionately known as "Mr. Red Sox." The team featured two more players who would be picked up by Major League Organizations, this time, two pitchers: John Kelly and Jeremy Sugarman, who were signed by the Seattle Mariners and Cincinatti Reds, respectively.
The Spirit also host local charity events and other local sporting ventures at Fraser Field. Lopardo sponsors the annual Agganis Classics, named after local sports legend Harry Agganis, high school baseball, football, soccer and softball games that raise money to provide scholarships for student athletes. Nick Lopardo also helped found the US Women's World Cup baseball team, and the North American Women's Baseball League , and hosted the league's first national championship tournament at Fraser Field in 2004.
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