The Top 20 Patriots presented by AT&T is a season-long promotion as part of the team’s 20th Season. The Top 20 Patriots were voted on by the fans and ranked by an expert panel of team officials, media, and long-time fans.
“Darrin’s time with the Patriots was a gift. Playing close to home, with his family and friends being a part of it all, we really couldn’t have asked for a more perfect way for Darrin to finish his baseball career,” said Darrin’s wife Jerilyn of his tenure with the team.
Winston, a left-handed pitcher, played for Somerset from 1999 through 2002. He finished his time with the Patriots with a 22-17 record, a 4.50 ERA, and 216 strikeouts in 288.1 innings pitched in 114 games played.
He was considered the clubhouse leader of the early Somerset Patriots teams and is credited with helping many of the young pitchers and players become better ballplayers and people.
“Darrin was the ultimate professional and someone everybody in the clubhouse looked up to,” said Somerset Patriots Manager Emeritus Sparky Lyle. “Not only was he one of the best athletes we’ve ever had play for us, I’d say he was an even better person off the field. That’s really saying something.”
More important than any statistic was that Winston was always available for community programs, to sign autographs, and represent the team on and off the field. His work as a pitcher and team ambassador made him an instant fan favorite.
Winston was a Bishop Ahr High School grad who moved on to be one of Rutgers University’s best pitchers. He still holds several school career records and was named to the Rutgers Hall Of Fame for his outstanding athletic accomplishments.
Before joining the Patriots, Winston had Major League Baseball experience with the Philadelphia Phillies from 1997-1998, where he was 4-2 in 34 games.
After retiring from baseball, Winston became a local youth baseball and football coach and spent time with family. He passed away at the age of 42 on August 15, 2008.
Winston was an unmatched family man, friend, athlete, and pitcher. He will always be remembered for what he meant to the team as a leader, a ballplayer, and as a person. It’s only fitting that the #9 he wore on his back is where he fell on this list. Although he hasn’t played for the team since 2002, the impact he made here is lasting and his legacy will always live on.
Tickets to the 2017 Somerset Patriots Season presented by Ford, which includes the team’s 20th Anniversary, are on sale now. TD Bank Ballpark will be the host of the 2017 Atlantic League All-Star Game presented by RWJBarnabas Health and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey on Wednesday, July 12th. For more information, stop by the ballpark, call (908) 252-0700, or visit www.somersetpatriots.com.
About The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)
The Atlantic League has been a leader in professional baseball and a gateway to Major League Baseball since 1998. Over 37 million fans have attended Atlantic League games and more than 800 players and 50 managers and coaches have joined MLB organizations directly from the ALPB. The Atlantic League emphasizes winning baseball games, showcasing the talent of top-caliber players and offering affordable family entertainment to metropolitan markets serving nearly 15% of the US population.
For more information, please visit www.atlanticleague.com.