Brooklyn Sports World: 'Pandemic Baseball Done Right: Somerset Patriots Bring Pro Baseball Back to New Jersey'
By Jerry Del Priore, Brooklyn Sports World, July 23, 2020
With MLB baseball returning tonight, and the New York Mets back in action tomorrow, players, team personnel, media, and fans alike are hoping for what will be a great, safe season.
Although the affiliated minor league season has been cancelled, New Jersey's Somerset Patriots of the independent Atlantic League have come up with a way to bring baseball back to the Garden State, with the Somerset Professional Baseball Series.
There are two teams: the Somerset Patriots and the New Jersey Blasters. The two clubs will play against each other every Friday and Saturday night at TD Bank Ballpark from Friday July 17th through Saturday, August 22nd. It amounts to a 12-game series with each ticket costing $10.
Last weekend, the clubs split the first two games, with the Blasters beating Somerset, 7-2, Friday night, and in the second tilt, on Saturday, the Patriots edged New Jersey, 2-1, in ten innings.
To ensure safety to all in attendance, Somerset took extra precautions.
To mae the game fan-friendlier, Somerset permitted spectators to put free messages on the scoreboard. Two particular fans enjoyed that special bonus.
"My wife wished me a happy birthday on Friday and wished me a happy retirement on Saturday," said Rich Candia- a former New York City teacher who just retired and attended the game with his wife, Jennifer- both of Staten Island said.
All in all, it was a win-win situation for the fans who attended the first set in the Somerset Professional Baseball Series, as they got to witness live pro baseball in NJ in an awesome, safe atmosphere.
"We usually attend 40-50 baseball games a year, but this was a much different experience," Candia said. "We were excited to attend because we absolutely missed baseball so much, we didn't know what to expect. So, we donned our masks, and off we went.
The Staff of the Somerset Patriots did a pheomenal job preparing that stadium for baseball and the safety of the fans. It was an awesome experience."
The two teams return to action at TD Bank Ballpark tomorrow at 7:05 p.m.
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