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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Original catcher for the Rockford RiverHawks is fans’ pick as the best in team history

LOVES PARK, Ill. – The original catcher for the Rockford RiverHawks is fans' pick as the best in team history.

The RiverHawks announced Thursday that Kevin Ciarrachi is the catcher on the All-Time RiverHawks Team, presented by The Hemmens Cultural Center, Lou Bachrodt Chevrolet and Johnny Pamcakes. More than 50,000 votes were cast at the team website,

In celebration of its 10th season, the RiverHawks are offering fans the chance to decide who is the greatest player in team history at each position, from starting pitcher to shortstop to outfield.

In an extremely close race at catcher, Ciarrachi edged former teammates Bobby Matthews and Gooby Gerlits. Ciarrachi drew 21,123 (36 percent) of 59,046 total votes to Matthews' 20,443 (35 percent) and Gerlits' 17,362 (29 percent). Travis Scott received 106 votes and Dave Bernstine drew 12.

Ciarrachi spent 2002-05 with the RiverHawks. He returned from two shoulder surgeries – he spent his rehab time as a member of the team's radio play-by-play team – to backstop the pennant-winning 2004 team. Ciarrachi, a Frontier League All-Star, threw out 25 percent of attempted base stealers that year. In the deciding game of the RiverHawks' first-round series against the Grizzlies, Ciarrachi had a run-scoring, extra-base hit in each of Rockford's last two offensive innings. Ciarrachi hit .277 in his four seasons as a RiverHawk and was charged with just eight passed balls.

Voting will switch to a new position approximately every 7-10 days. Winners will be announced at the end of each voting period and all will be acknowledged at a game this summer with an all-time RiverHawks poster, co-sponsored by Lou Bachrodt Chevrolet, The Hemmens and Johnny Pamcakes, to be given out at the June 10 game.

The Hemmens Cultural Center is located in downtown Elgin. From contemporary music and theatre to shows for the whole family, The Hemmens features popular acts in an intimate setting.

Lou Bachrodt Chevrolet of Rockford is Winnebago's County's premier Chevy dealer. Lou Bachrodt is located near Cherryvale Mall, just minutes from the stadium.

Johnny Pamcakes, located on E. State St. near Fairview, offers made-from-scratch breakfast, lunch and dinner.

More than a quarter of a million votes have already been cast in the promotion. Other players already voted onto the all-time team include first baseman Patrick O'Sullivan, second baseman Joe Anthonsen, shortstop Jono Brooks, third baseman Ben Fjelland and outfielders Richard Austin, Jason James and Tony Pigott.

Opening Night for the RiverHawks' 10th season is 7:05 p.m. Friday, May 20, when they host Traverse City. Advertising and ticket information is available by calling (815) 885-2255. Fans can also


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