Tomorrow afternoon, Saturday, April 12th, baseball fans can take a look at the way baseball was played in the 19th century and get autographs from Somerset Patriots players and coaches at the team’s annual Fan Fest at TD Bank Ballpark.
The event, which will be held from noon-3 p.m., will feature a game between the Flemington Neshanock and the Elizabeth Resolutes played using 1864 rules. The two teams are members of the Mid-Atlantic Vintage Base Ball League.
Somerset Patriots manager emeritus Sparky Lyle, manager Brett Jodie, hitting coach Shane Spencer and select team players will also be on hand to sign autograph at various times during the event.
Fans will be able to tour the ballpark and take advantage of ticket specials, and there will be a variety of children’s activities.
The holiday season has arrived, and several area minor league and independent league baseball teams are doing things to help less fortunate individuals.
Trenton Thunder Gift of Baseball
The annual Trenton Thunder Gift of Baseball program began Monday. For each Season Ticket, Pic-A-Plan and Mini Plan purchased between Nov. 25 and Dec. 20, the Thunder will provide tickets for families in the Holiday Gift Outreach program run by Children’s Home Society to attend a 2014 Thunder game. Learn more at TrentonThunder.com.
Brooklyn Cyclones Holiday Toy Drive
The Brooklyn Cyclones are holding their annual holiday toy drive, beginning on Monday, Dec. 2, and continuing through Friday, Dec. 13th. Donate a new toy, valued at $10 or more, and get a free box seat for the Cyclones’ Christmas in July celebration on July 25th, 2014. The Cyclones will also hold a special holiday party on Tuesday, Dec. 10th, when fans can get discounts on team merchandise and take photos with Santa Claus and Sandy the Seagull. Visit BrooklynCyclones.com for more information.
Somerset Patriots Holiday Toy Drive
The Somerset Patriots will be collecting new, unwrapped toys for Foster Adoptive Family Services of New Jersey on Saturday, Dec. 7. From 10 a.m. – noon, Manager Emeritus Sparky Lyle and Manager Brett Jodie are scheduled to be on hand to meet fans and sign autographs. Kids will also be able to have their photo taken with Santa Claus and the team’s mascots. For more information, visit SomersetPatriots.com.
Lyle, 68, is the only manager the Patriots have had in their 15 seasons of existence. He retires with 1,024 Atlantic League victories and five Atlantic League Championships to his credit.
Pitching coach Brett Jodie will be promoted to manager, according to Dunleavy, while Lyle will transition into a more public relations-oriented role as manager emeritus.
“There is a transition to everything,” [team owner Steve] Kalafer said. “We’re going forward with Sparky in a new role. It would be very different if Sparky was no longer part of our team. This is quite the opposite. This ensures that Sparky will still be part of it for our fan base and our sponsor base. He is iconic, and we’re delighted that this is a great transitional role for him.”