Sculpture Unveiled At TD Bank Ballpark To Honor Steve Kalafer And Sparky Lyle

Sculpture WebBridgewater, NJ- Somerset Patriots Co-Chairmen Jonathan and Josh Kalafer have gifted a sculpture to the team and Somerset County in honor of their father, Chairman Emeritus Steve Kalafer, and Manager Emeritus Sparky Lyle.

“It’s such a wonderful opportunity for us to be able to put in a physical being the story of Sparky and dad, how they met, their history, and how that friendship has helped this community and the Somerset Patriots,” said Josh Kalafer, who said the idea came about during a visit to Rome and seeing all the artwork and sculptures to honor great individuals. “It’s exciting and we are thrilled with how it came out. We think it not only captures the likenesses of the two men, but also how they really feel about each other and the community they serve.”

The sculpture is located in a newly renovated area in front of TD Bank Ballpark and recreates an early picture of a conversation between Kalafer and Lyle that is cherished by both men and their families.

“To be able to enjoy this tribute from my children to Sparky and I is just overwhelming,” said Steve Kalafer. “To have this honor after 21 years of the Somerset Patriots playing here, over 7,500,000 fans, a wonderful staff, a community that respects us and we respect them. To have all this is something you can only dream about.”

The sculpture was created by internationally acclaimed and classically-trained sculptor Brian Hanlon of Toms River, New Jersey. He has become one of the most prominent contemporary realism artists with more than 550 permanent installations that are viewed by millions around the world every year. Hanlon has been commissioned by the NFL, NBA, MLB, and the NHL and has been called the “Sports Rodin” by the New York Times for his work in the athletic and sports entertainment sector.

Kalafer and his family have owned the Somerset Patriots since day one and brought the team to Somerset County. He is a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, where the team has played since the 1998 season. Kalafer transitioned into the role of Chairman Emeritus in the fall of 2018, when his sons Jonathan and Josh stepped into the roles of Co-Chairmen.

“When I look at this sculpture, this wonderful homage to my father, two things come to mind,” said Jonathan Kalafer. “The first thing is his vision. There is no arguing that Steve Kalafer is a visionary; he sees some great potential and then he makes it a reality. The second thing is his inclusion of other people in his vision. It is not so much that he can’t do it alone, it is that he doesn’t want to. He wants to share these beautiful experiences and accomplishments with other people. All of us have been in the same place where Sparky stands in this sculpture and that is truly a beautiful place to be.”

Lyle was the field manager for the Somerset Patriots from 1998 to 2012. Under his guidance, the Somerset Patriots won five Atlantic League Championships (2001, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2009), 12 Half Championships, and eight Division Championships. He won 1,025 games as the manager of the team. Lyle was named the Atlantic League Manager of the Year three times (1999, 2003, 2009) in his 15-year managing career. The New York Yankees legend became the Somerset’s Manager Emeritus after the 2012 season and is still very active at the ballpark and throughout the community.

“Everything is absolutely gorgeous. When they took the cover off of it, I was tearing up already,” said Lyle. “I am honored to forever be besides Steve Kalafer. “It’s very hard to put into words. I remember the day the sculpture captures and meeting with Steve when he asked me to manage his new team. He said, ‘have you ever managed before,’ and I said ‘no.’ He said, ‘do you think you’d be any good at it?,’ and I said, ‘I’ll do it the way I played and live my life. I’ll give you 100% every day.’ The rest is history.”

The sculpture was unveiled in a private ceremony attended by members of the Kalafer family, Sparky and Mary Lyle, and senior management of the Somerset Patriots and Flemington Car & Truck Country Family of Brands. A more public ceremony will take place closer to the 2021 season and when larger crowds are approved to gather safely again.

Stay up to date on all Somerset Patriots news online; on all of our social media platforms, and on our mobile app. For more information, visit www.somersetpatriots.com.

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Drive-Thru Job Fair At TD Bank Ballpark On October 15th

Job Fair SocialBridgewater, NJ- A Drive-Thru Job Fair for residents in Hunterdon and Somerset counties will be conducted from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, at the Somerset Patriots’ TD Bank Ballpark, 1 Patriots Park, Bridgewater (GPS: 860 East Main Street, Bridgewater).
The event is free to attend, for employers and job seekers. It is presented by the Somerset Patriots and the Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board, which supports and connects employers and job seekers in Hunterdon and Somerset counties.
Each job seeker who drives through the event will get a bag of information filled with recruitment flyers from a variety of employers in the two counties as well as workforce-related information to assist with career decision and upskilling. There is a one-bag-per-car limit. Those distributing the bags of career information will be wearing masks and gloves; drivers should be masked as well.
“With so many of our residents having hours cut or even losing their job completely, it is vital that we step up and help them gain new employment and begin recovering financially,” said Somerset County Freeholder Director Shanel Robinson. “The Workforce Development Board’s Drive-Thru Job Fair is an innovative way for people to find new positions while keeping everyone safe and healthy.”
As part of a Central Jersey regional strategy of connecting job seekers and employers, workforce boards in Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean counties also are presenting job fairs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 15 at the following locations:
  • Middlesex County: The Grand Marquis, 1550 U. S. Route 9, Old Bridge
  • Monmouth County: Brookdale Community College, 765 Newman Springs Road, Lincroft
  • Ocean County: Ocean County College, 1 College Drive, Toms River
The individual bags handed out to job seekers will include the master list of employer- participants at each county event. Job seekers can go to whichever county location is most convenient for them. There is no job-seeker registration required for attendance at the Greater Raritan Drive-Thru Job Fair. More shareable information for job seekers is available HERE.
Employers have until Oct. 7 to register to participate in the Drive-Thru Job Fair. As of Oct. 1, the two dozen employers providing job-opening information represent a variety of sectors, including healthcare, management, hospitality, government and more.
“We encourage businesses of all sizes to participate in this free event,” said Hunterdon County Freeholder Director Shaun Van Doren. “It’s an innovative way to help local businesses get connected to the talented residents in our counties.”
Employers interested in participating in the Drive-Thru Job Fair are asked to register by emailing grzella@co.somerset.nj.us or by calling 908-203-6044. After registering, all the participating employers need to do is provide the GRWDB 500 one-page recruitment flyers detailing their companies’ available positions and how to apply. Flyers need to be dropped off by Wednesday, Oct. 7, at locations in Somerville and Flemington. More shareable information for employers is available here.
The list of employer-participants continues to grow daily, and will be updated on the home page of www.thegrwdb.org. Bookmark the page and check back to see what opportunities will be available.
All programs and services provided by the Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board are free. For information on these and other upcoming programs being planned throughout the fall by the GRWDB and its partners, go to www.thegrwdb.org; click on the events/calendar tab. Community members also will find up-to-date labor information about job trends and skill needs on the Resource /Labor Market Information tab of the site.
The GRWDB and its partners are offering a Job Match service for job seekers. For details, visit https://www.thegrwdb.org/resources/for-jobseekers/. This page also has  links to a new searchable career dashboard, and to jobs.covid19.nj.gov, New Jersey’s COVID-19 Jobs and Hiring Portal.
The Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board oversees federally and state-funded career and employment services for businesses and residents in Hunterdon and Somerset counties. Weekly text alerts highlight career and job opportunities in Somerset and Hunterdon counties. Text “onestop” to 565-12 to sign up.
Community members should note that the in-person unemployment services and lobby phones that were offered at 75 Veterans Memorial Drive in Somerville will not be available for the foreseeable future. Comprehensive support for unemployment customers remains available online and through regional call centers. All unemployment claimants are asked to file new claims — or update existing claims — online at  https://myunemployment.nj.gov. Claimants can call unemployment services at 732-761-2020.
Questions? Contact GRWDB Board Director Paul Grzella at grzella@co.somerset.nj.us, or 908-203-6044.
For more information about the Somerset Patriots, please visit www.somersetpatriots.com, follow all of the team’s social media accounts, and download the Somerset Patriots Mobile App.
About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)
The ALPB is a Partner League of Major League Baseball, a player gateway to the major leagues, and a leader in baseball innovation. Through its partnership with MLB, the Atlantic League tests Major League Baseball rules and equipment and collaborates on marketing and technology initiatives. The Atlantic League has sent over 950 players to MLB organizations while drawing more than 42 million fans to its affordable, family-friendly ballparks throughout its 24-year history. For more information, please visit www.AtlanticLeague.com
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Somerset Patriots Help Atlantic League Earn Designation As Partner League of Major League Baseball

PatsALPBMLBSocialBridgewater, New Jersey – Major League Baseball announced today that the Atlantic League Of Professional Baseball has been named its first “Partner League.”

“We are excited to extend our relationship with the Atlantic League, which provides us a unique means to push the sport forward,” said Morgan Sword, MLB’s Executive Vice President, Baseball Economics & Operations.

The Somerset Patriots are a founding member and the longest-tenured franchise in the Atlantic League. They have won the most championships in league history (six) and have lead the ALPB in both total and average attendance in each of the last three seasons.

“The announcement about MLB designating the Atlantic League as its first Partner League is an extraordinary step for the future of the game,” said Somerset Patriots Chairman Emeritus Steve Kalafer. “We have worked for over two decades to provide baseball fans and our community with very best in everything that we do. This agreement continues to solidify the reputation that the Atlantic League and the Somerset Patriots have throughout baseball.”

As a Partner League of Major League Baseball, ALPB will meet regularly with MLB to discuss joint marketing and promotional opportunities, including the leagues’ shared goal of providing baseball to communities throughout the United States. This designation expands the current agreement between the leagues which permits MLB to test experimental playing rules and equipment during Atlantic League games. The existing agreement has also been extended through the 2023 season.

“Our historic agreement with MLB has helped bring unprecedented exposure to the Atlantic League and the Somerset Patriots,” said Somerset Patriots Co-Chairman Jonathan Kalafer. “We believe in Commissioner Manfred’s vision of all levels of baseball working together to help grow the sport we all love and respect.”

The Somerset Patriots have helped lead the way in this groundbreaking partnership with Major League Baseball both through on-field success and off-the-field collaboration.

“The Atlantic League clubs and players have been great partners to us as we jointly test ways to make our game even more interesting and engaging to fans,” added Sword.

During the 2019 season, MLB and ALPB partnered to successfully test the Automated Ball-Strike System (ABS), which used radar tracking technology to assist home plate umpires in calling balls and strikes. In addition, the Atlantic League tested rules limiting defensive shifting, mound visits, shortening inning breaks, and larger bases.

“It was great seeing the partnership brought to life at the ballpark during the 2019 season,” said Somerset Patriots Co-Chairman Josh Kalafer. “Our fans and the entire world were given a glimpse of some of the rules and technological advances coming their way to help usher in some potential improvements to America’s pastime.”

The Somerset Patriots play at the award-winning TD Bank Ballpark, where they have welcomed in over 7,500,000 fans since opening in June of 1999. Additionally, the team has earned over 1,500 regular season wins, 14 playoff appearances and was managed by New York Yankees great, World Series champion and Cy Young Award winner Sparky Lyle from 1998 through 2012. Lyle remains with the team, serving as its manager emeritus. Former Yankees and San Diego Padres pitcher Brett Jodie has served as manager since 2013.

“As an organization, we could not be prouder of our role in fostering this partnership with MLB,” said Somerset Patriots President/General Manager Patrick McVerry. “We know how hard our ownership and front office staff works, as well as each ALPB member clubs’ management, to represent the Atlantic League to the best of our abilities every day.”

Somerset’s leadership role within the league helped first establish the initial partnership with Major League Baseball that has now expanded into its “Partner League” designation.

“The Atlantic League is inspired by the evolution of its relationship with Major League Baseball and thrilled to be named their first Partner League,” said ALPB President Rick White. “We value MLB’s confidence in ALPB and look forward to advancing our sport together.”

Stay up to date on all Somerset Patriots news online; on all of our social media platforms, and on our mobile app. For more information, visit www.somersetpatriots.com.

About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)
With eight teams in the Mid-Atlantic and Texas, the ALPB is a leader in baseball innovation and a player gateway to Major League Baseball. Through its exclusive partnership with MLB, the Atlantic League tests Major League Baseball rules and equipment initiatives. The Atlantic League has sent more than 950 players to MLB organizations while drawing more than 42 million fans to its affordable, family-friendly ballparks throughout its 23-year history. For more information, please visit www.AtlanticLeague.com.

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Atlantic League Designated Partner League Of MLB

ALPB MLB SocialMajor League Baseball (MLB) announced today that it has named the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB) its first “Partner League”. As a Partner League, ALPB will meet regularly with MLB to discuss joint marketing and promotional opportunities, including the leagues’ shared goal of providing baseball to communities throughout the United States. This designation expands the current agreement between the leagues which permits MLB to test experimental playing rules and equipment during Atlantic League games. The existing agreement has also been extended through the 2023 season.

During the 2019 season, MLB and ALPB partnered to successfully test the Automated Ball-Strike System (ABS), which used radar tracking technology to assist home plate umpires in calling balls and strikes. In addition, the Atlantic League tested rules limiting defensive shifting, mound visits, shortening inning breaks, and larger bases.

“We are excited to extend our relationship with the Atlantic League, which provides us a unique means to push the sport forward.” said Morgan Sword, MLB’s Executive Vice President, Baseball Economics & Operations. “The Atlantic League clubs and players have been great partners to us as we jointly test ways to make our game even more interesting and engaging to fans.”

“The Atlantic League is inspired by the evolution of its relationship with Major League Baseball and thrilled to be named their first Partner League,” said ALPB President Rick White. “We value MLB’s confidence in ALPB and look forward to advancing our sport together.”

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“A Night of Comedy” at TD Bank Ballpark With Sam Morril, Jared Freid, and Joe List

Morril Freid List 9-7-20 1080x1080Bridgewater, NJ- The Somerset Patriots have announced that “A Night Of Comedy” with Sam Morril, Jared Freid, and Joe List will take place at TD Bank Ballpark on Monday, September 7th at 7:00 pm.

Seating for the event will take place socially distanced on the playing field. Tickets for the event are $15 each and are only available in pods of two or four people.

Tickets can be purchased exclusively at www.somersetpatriots.com/comedy.

Beer, wine, soft drinks, and ballpark food will be available for purchase at the event.

The show is suggested for a mature audience.

More About The Performing Comedians:

Sam Morril is one of the fastest-rising stand-up comics in New York City and one of the best joke writers in the scene today. He is a regular on Comedy Central’s This Week at the Comedy Cellar, where he appears frequently when not touring cities across the nation. He was named one of Comedy Central’s Comics to Watch in 2011 and has performed multiple stand-up sets on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The Late, Late Show with James Corden and Conan. He’s also had stints on Last Comic Standing, America’s Got Talent, @midnight with Chris Hardwick, and Inside Amy Schumer.

In February 2020, Morril released his third stand-up special for Comedy Central, I Got This on his YouTube channel and received over 1.5 million views within the first two weeks. Morril then later released it as a comedy album with 800 Pound Gorilla Records.

In 2015, the comedian recorded his debut album, Class Act, with Comedy Central Records, which went to #1 on iTunes and made numerous top 10 lists and appeared on season four of Comedy Central’s The Half Hour. His first one hour special, Amy Schumer Presents Sam Morril: Positive Influence premiered on Comedy Central in 2018.

Morril was the host of his very own show on MSG called People Talking Sports, which ran for two seasons and received an Emmy® nomination. Morril also has a cameo in the Academy Award nominated film, Joker.

Jared Freid, host of The JTrain Podcast and Co-Host of Betches’ U Up?, is a comedian based out of New York City and originally from the Boston suburb of Needham, Massachusetts. His comedy is current and reflects the ordinary daily thoughts of everyone you know, especially if everyone you know is a millennial, obsessed with dating apps, trying to be a real adult and worried about their body. (For the record, Jared’s mom thinks his body is “just fine”).

He’s a regular at the Comedy Cellar, Caroline’s on Broadway, Gotham, Stand Up New York and Comix at Mohegan Sun.

Joe List began his comedy career in Boston, Massachusetts in 2000 just weeks after graduating from high school. Since that time he has been featured on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, The Late Show with David Letterman as well as multiple appearances on Conan.

He’s featured in Season 2 of The Netflix Series “The Stand Ups”. In 2015 List was a finalist on NBC’s Last Comic Standing and had his own Half Hour comedy special on Comedy Central. His albums ‘So Far No Good’ and ‘Are You Mad at Me?’ can be heard regularly on Sirius Radio. List is also the co-host of his own popular weekly podcast ‘Tuesdays with Stories’. When not headlining comedy clubs all over North America, List is a regular at the Comedy Cellar in New York City.

His new special “I Hate Myself” is now streaming on Comedy Central.

For more information about the Somerset Patriots and upcoming events, please visit www.somersetpatriots.com, follow all of the team’s social media accounts, and download the Somerset Patriots Mobile App.

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