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May 4th Is Opening Night in the Garden State

April 27, 2021

New Jersey’s three Minor League Baseball Teams set for historic night

New Jersey’s three Minor League Baseball Teams set for historic night

NEW JERSEY – The garden state is a baseball state! On May 4th, New Jersey’s three affiliated Minor League Baseball teams will all open their seasons with home games in what will be a truly historic night for baseball in the state.

In Trenton, the Thunder will play the first Triple-A Game in New Jersey in 60 years when they host Worcester. In Somerset, the Patriots will play their first game as the Double-A affiliate of the Yankees when they welcome Harrisburg. Finally, down the Shore, the BlueClaws play their first game as the Jersey Shore BlueClaws and a High-A affiliate when they welcome Hudson Valley.

The three teams have been top attractions in their respective communities over the last several decades. They combined to average over 1 million fans per season in the last three years of full-season play in New Jersey (2017-2019), and this year, each team takes a giant step in their already storied history as a part of New Jersey baseball.

Trenton will host the Toronto Blue Jays Triple-A team this season in Mercer County.

“After 27 years serving as the Double-A home of the Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox, and New York Yankees, we are excited to welcome the highest level of Minor League Baseball to New Jersey,” said Jeff Hurley, GM & COO, Trenton Thunder. “We look forward to working with the Bisons, Blue Jays, and Major League Baseball to make this a successful season start.”

The Thunder’s game on May 4th will mark the first Triple-A game in New Jersey since 1961 when the Jersey City Jerseys played at Roosevelt Stadium representing the Cincinnati Reds.

In Somerset, the Patriots play their first affiliated game after playing in the independent Atlantic League since 1998.

“This year’s Opening Day on May 4th will be a historic one for us as we play our first game as the New York Yankees Double-A Affiliate,” said Somerset Patriots President/General Manager Patrick McVerry. “The opportunity to join the Yankees family was the result of over two decades of hard work and building a reputation that earned us our call up. We couldn’t be more excited for our fans, community, and partners that the home for Yankees Double-A baseball will be TD Bank Ballpark for years to come. It’s something the Kalafer family and our staff will work every day to provide the Patriots experience fans love, while helping to develop the Yankee stars of tomorrow.”

After being a founding member of the Atlantic League 23 years ago, the Patriots won six league titles through 2019.

Finally, the Jersey Shore BlueClaws re-branded in October and formally debut their new identity this summer.

“Launching the re-branded Jersey Shore BlueClaws has been a project of ours over last 15 months and we are so excited to finally embark on this new journey on May 4th,” said BlueClaws Team President Joe Ricciutti. “Further, in partnership with the Phillies, we are showcasing the highest level of baseball in our club’s history and welcoming back fans and partners alike to the ballpark. It’s truly a banner evening down the Shore.”

The BlueClaws, who had been the Phillies Low-A affiliate since 2001, will play their first season at High-A this year.

Hoboken, New Jersey is believed to have hosted the first organized baseball game played by recognizably modern rules when the New York Nine defeated Alexander Cartwright’s Knickerbocker team at Elysian Fields in 1846. 175 years later, the Thunder, Patriots and BlueClaws will set sail on the state’s first summer featuring three full-season clubs affiliated with Major League organizations.

Tickets for the respective teams are available at,, and

It all begins on May 4th, Opening Night in the Garden State.

-Trenton Thunder / Somerset Patriots / Jersey Shore BlueClaws-