April 1996: The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority and Atlantic City Council approve funding for a baseball stadium in Atlantic City, the culmination of a plan Mayor Jim Whelan first announced in 1991.

July 8, 1997: Officials break ground on the stadium, to be named the Sandcastle and estimated to cost $14.5 million. The 5,900-seat Sandcastle is built with $11.5 million in CRDA funds and $3 million in Atlantic City taxpayer bonds.

May 20, 1998: The Atlantic City Surf play their first game against the Somerset Patriots to a sellout crowd. The Surf lose 8-5. The team gets its first win the next night, May 21, 6-4 over the Patriots.

Sept. 11, 1998: The team wins its first and only championship by defeating Bridgeport three games to one for the inaugural Atlantic League title.

May 6, 1999: The Surf opens its second season owing the city more than $10,000 for police protection from the previous year. On Labor Day weekend in September, attendance in the Atlantic League passes the 1 million mark.

March 2000: Surf President Ken Shepherd announces he is trying to put together a group of investors to raise $4 million to buy out majority owner Frank Boulton. Shepherd leaves the Surf in October.

July 1, 2002: Former Phillies closer Mitch Williams is named manager of the Surf. Three days later, on July 4, Williams returns to the mound, striking out three Long Island Ducks in four innings in front of 6,780 fans.

March 2005: Five vendors sue because the Surf didn’t pay more than $84,000 it owed them for goods and services provided during the 2003 season.

May 3, 2005: Former Major League pitcher John Rocker, pitching for the Long Island Ducks, gets into an altercation with Surf fan Dave Macken between innings. The story makes national news.

May 2006: The Sandcastle becomes Bernie Robbins Stadium after the jeweler agrees to pay $100,000 for the first year’s naming rights.

Nov. 3, 2006: Surf President Mark Schuster and his team of investors purchase the Surf, which they had been leasing since January.

2007: The Surf leaves the Atlantic League and joins the Can-Am League, which has a shorter playing season.

Feb. 26, 2008: Former Major League slugger Cecil Fielder is named manager of the Surf. He takes the team to the Can-Am League playoffs with a 51-43 record.

Sept. 7, 2008: The Surf plays its last game, a 6-0 shutout loss to Quebec in the Can-Am League playoffs.

March 30, 2009: The Surf announces it will cease operations.

Contact: 609-272-7046


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