Somerset Patriots Assigned To Double-A Northeast League By MLB

Somerset Patriots- Gonzalez SwingingBridgewater, NJ- The Somerset Patriots, the Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, have been assigned to the Double-A Northeast League by Major League Baseball.

“This is a historic day for the Somerset Patriots,” said team President/General Manager Patrick McVerry. “We are proud to begin our time as a Yankees affiliate as part of the new system created by MLB. As we’ve always done, we will do everything possible to create the best fan experience. It will only be enhanced by the opportunity to see future New York Yankees play at TD Bank Ballpark.”

Major League Baseball announced that all 120 Minor League Clubs offered an invitation to become Professional Development League (“PDL”) license holders have officially agreed to accept. These teams, selected as partners by Major League Clubs, will provide both facilities and communities that are essential to the development of the next generation of big-league stars.

The Somerset Patriots join the Bingham Rumble Ponies (New York Mets), Hartford Yard Goats (Colorado Rockies), New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Toronto Blue Jays), Portland Sea Dogs (Boston Red Sox), Reading Fightin’ Phils (Philadelphia Phillies), Akron RubberDucks (Cleveland Indians), Altoona Curve (Pittsburgh Pirates), Bowie Baysox (Baltimore Orioles), Erie Seawolves (Detroit Tigers), Harrisburg Senators (Washington Nationals), and the Richmond Flying Squirrels (San Francisco Giants).

As a part of MLB’s realignment, many Minor League affiliates will be in significantly closer geographic proximity to the Major League Clubs with which they are associated. On average, Major League Clubs will now be over 200 miles closer to their Triple-A affiliates. By creating better geographical synergy between a Major League Club and its affiliates, more fans will be able to watch an organization’s players progress in their careers from the Minor Leagues to the big leagues in their home region.

“We are excited to create this partnership with Major League Baseball and the New York Yankees,” said Somerset Patriots Chairman Emeritus Steve Kalafer. “We have significantly reinvested in our team, ballpark, and community. Our fans can be sure that we will always keep their best interest at heart and the future of baseball in Somerset County is stronger than ever.”

An invitation from the Yankees to the Somerset Patriots was confirmed in early November and officially extended in early December as a part of the MLB plan to restructure the Minor League Baseball system. This came after the expiration of their previous working arrangement, the Professional Baseball Agreement (PBA), in late September of 2020.

“We look forward to growing our brand locally and throughout the baseball community,” said Somerset Patriots Co-Chairman Jonathan Kalafer. “By entering this extraordinary partnership with MLB and the Yankees, we have committed to do our part to preserve the history and tradition of minor league baseball, while taking the necessary steps for modern player development.”

The Somerset Patriots were a founding member and the longest-tenured franchise of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. They won a league-best six championships across 22 seasons in the Atlantic League, drawing over 7.5 million fans through the gates at the award-winning TD Bank Ballpark.

“Everyone at our team is ready to meet the challenges ahead,” said Somerset Patriots Co-Chairman Josh Kalafer. “The ability to engage with MLB, and have access to the many tools and technologies provided to us, will help us enhance fan experience and improve player development on their journey to the big leagues.”

The remainder of the Yankees minor league system will feature: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders (Triple-A), Hudson Valley Renegades (High-A), and the Tampa Tarpons (Low-A).

Commissioner of Baseball Robert D. Manfred, Jr. said: “We are excited to unveil this new model, which not only provides a pipeline to the Majors, but continues the Minor Leagues’ tradition of entertaining millions of families in hundreds of communities. In modernizing our Minor League system, we prioritized the qualities that make the Minor Leagues such an integral part of our game while strengthening how we develop professional athletes on and off the field. We look forward to demonstrating the best of our game throughout local communities, supporting all those who are working hard to grow the sport, and sharing unrivaled technology and resources with minor league teams and players.”

The 2021 season will now officially mark the first season in franchise history with a Major League affiliation. Additional information on a schedule, coaching staff, and roster will be made public in the near future.

About The Somerset Patriots
The Somerset Patriots are the new Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees. 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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Somerset Patriots Officially Sign MLB PDL To Join New York Yankees Organization

Post Game Celebration2Bridgewater, NJ- The Somerset Patriots officially signed Major League Baseball’s Professional Development License (PDL) prior to Wednesday’s deadline, formally accepting an invitation from the New York Yankees to become the team’s new Double-A affiliate. The PDL represents a 10-year agreement that guarantees Somerset will operate as the Yankees’ official Double-A affiliate through the 2030 season.

“We have always conducted our business paralleling the values of the New York Yankees,” said Somerset Patriots Chairman Emeritus Steve Kalafer. “We care about winning on and off the field and providing the best for our fans and the community we serve. In welcoming the Yankees, we have agreed to make TD Bank Ballpark the state-of-the-art minor league facility so that every ballplayer that comes through here will be able to reach their maximum potential.”

An invitation from the Yankees to the Somerset Patriots was confirmed in early November and officially extended in early December as a part of Major League Baseball’s plan to restructure the Minor League Baseball system. This came after the expiration of their previous working arrangement, the Professional Baseball Agreement (PBA), in late September of 2020.

All teams that received invitations from respective MLB organizations were given a February 10th deadline to sign the new PDL. Under this new structure, MiLB will be composed of four full-season leagues, consisting of 120 total teams.

The remainder of the Yankees minor league system will feature: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders (Triple-A), Hudson Valley Renegades (High-A), and the Tampa Tarpons (Low-A).

“We are extremely honored to join the Yankees family,” said Somerset Patriots President/General Manager Patrick McVerry. “We have worked hard as a staff and community for over two decades to receive this opportunity. We are ready to take the experiences that our fans have grown to love and enhance it with the excitement of Yankees Double-A baseball.”

The Somerset Patriots were a founding member and the longest-tenured franchise of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. They won a league-best six championships across 22 seasons in the Atlantic League, drawing over 7.5 million fans through the gates at the award-winning TD Bank Ballpark.

The 2021 season will now officially mark the first season in franchise history with a Major League affiliation. Additional information on a schedule, coaching staff, and roster will be made public in the near future.

About The Somerset Patriots
The Somerset Patriots are the new Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees. 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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Somerset Patriots Announce Phase 1 Of Ballpark Renovations

TD Bank Ballpark FrontBridgewater, NJ- The Somerset Patriots, the Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, have announced initial “Phase 1” plans of renovations at TD Bank Ballpark. These plans are to meet specifications put forward by Major League Baseball ahead of the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

“Our ballpark is one of the most beautiful throughout the country,” said Somerset Patriots Chairman Emeritus Steve Kalafer. “It’s one of the many reasons the New York Yankees chose us as their Double-A affiliate. With the renovations required to meet new MLB standards, all minor league ballparks will need to make these improvements. We know that prospects coming through TD Bank Ballpark will have a state-of-the-art facility and one of the best they will ever play at in their careers.”

Included in these renovation plans are expansions on player facilities, new buildings, and upgrades to the playing surface and game presentation setup that will enhance the in-house experience for fans.

The Somerset Patriots have already begun demolition and cleaning of their home clubhouse to allow for better flow for players and coaches. The old gym inside the clubhouse will be relocated to a brand new 3,100 square foot gym facility located where the current maintenance yard rests. There will also be a new dedicated dining and kitchenette area in the clubhouse area per MLB specifications, along with renovated coaching and players spaces.

“We want the Yankees of tomorrow to love every minute of being a Somerset Patriot today,” said team Co-Chairman Jonathan Kalafer. “Our team has a special meaning to everyone involved in the organization and the community. We know that these ballpark improvements will be a big part of helping make this feel like home for our players.”

The new 3,100 square foot gym will be in a new building constructed to include approximately 1,000 square feet of storage and maintenance space for field equipment and materials. This will be one of two new buildings constructed on the TD Bank Ballpark site.

The other will be an approximate 4,300 square foot multipurpose indoor space. This will feature two new, retractable batting tunnels allowing for year-round training. It will be built parallel to the first base gate, extending slightly into the red lot.

“As a family, and ballclub, we will take great pride in knowing that the efforts put forth will help develop and support these young men on their journey to the Big Leagues,” said Somerset Patriots Co-Chairman Josh Kalafer. “We’ve had a lot of success in our history at seeing players go on to achieve their dreams. Each of these upgrades are designed in some way to help future Yankees get the most out of their time in Somerset.”

Inside the ballpark, the location of the current batting cage will be transformed into new rooms for various use. This includes: a new, dedicated female staff locker room, New York Yankees video room, umpire’s locker room, a roving instructors locker room, a new grounds crew office and additional storage space.

Other cosmetic changes fans can anticipate for the 2021 season include: a renovated home bullpen that will be moved off the playing surface and into a portion of the existing lawn seating area with cover for the players, new safety padding all around the interior walls and outfield walls of the ballpark, and brand-new ballpark lighting as a first step to make TD Bank Ballpark both more energy efficient and upgrade the playing surface for the team. The home and visiting dugouts will also be refinished with new benches, racks, and flooring.

New for 2021, TD Bank Ballpark will be outfitted with a brand-new multi-camera broadcast/in-game entertainment system to enhance the fan experience. This new broadcast system will provide an upgraded visual experience on the team’s existing scoreboard, including instant replay.

“It’s been a very interesting few months of looking at plans for the ballpark and what it will look like in 2021 and beyond,” said Somerset Patriots President/General Manager Patrick McVerry. “We have great leadership in the Kalafer family that are willing to invest in the long-term success of our team and ballpark for the fans, players, partners, and our community. To say it is an exciting time around here would be an understatement.”

A “Phase 2” of ballpark renovations will continue in the fall of 2021. These will likely include, but not limited to: visitor clubhouse upgrades, a relocation of the team’s executive office, and possible further scoreboard upgrades.

About The Somerset Patriots
The Somerset Patriots are the new Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees. 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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Somerset Patriots Present Future Yankees Ballpark Plans To Somerset County And Bridgewater Township

Somerset County- Patriots And Yankees FB W BWTBridgewater, NJ – On Tuesday evening, the Somerset Patriots formally presented the team’s future plans in regards to the new partnership with the New York Yankees to both the Somerset County Board of Commissioners and Bridgewater Township officials.

Somerset Patriots Chairman Emeritus Steve Kalafer, Co-Chairmen Jonathan and Josh Kalafer, President/General Manager Patrick McVerry, and Vice President of Operations Bryan Iwicki attended the virtual meetings with the goal to brief all parties on the improvements needed at TD Bank Ballpark to meet the requirements put forth by Major League Baseball for all of their minor league facilities.

“This was an important step for the continuing future of our partnerships with Somerset County and Bridgewater Township,” said Steve Kalafer. “Our elected officials, and this community, are a significant reason the New York Yankees chose the Somerset Patriots. It is essential to demonstrate the reinvestment we are making as a family and team to our community and it’s going to take all of us working together to reach the next level we all expect and desire.”

In line with the fiscal model for TD Bank Ballpark agreed to over two decades ago, any improvements made to the site will be taxpayer neutral and all principal and interest will be paid for by the Somerset Patriots.

“It has always been a point of pride for us to be a part of bringing a high-quality baseball experience to Somerset, but just as important is the way that we bring that experience,” said Jonathan Kalafer. “We’ve seen our public-private partnership shine as an example of success throughout minor league baseball. We look forward to working with our elected officials and community to continue that tradition.”

Since opening in June of 1999, the Somerset Patriots have paid over $21,000,000 toward principal and interest of the ballpark.

“To be good partners in business, and whenever the good of a community is involved, it is vital to keep and fulfill promises,” said Josh Kalafer. “We made a commitment to the Somerset County, Bridgewater Township, and our entire region that we are always going to be good neighbors and positively impact the community we live in and serve.”

In addition to the meeting serving as a presentation of ballpark plans with the Somerset County Board of Commissioners, led by director Shanel Robinson and deputy director Sara Sooy, one of the team’s goals was to lay the groundwork for extending the team’s lease past its maturity date and continue to invest well into the future.

At the meeting the Somerset Patriots were able to officially welcome new commissioners Paul Drake and Douglas Singleterry, joining Robinson, Sooy, and Melonie Marano on the board.

“We’re all looking forward to the spring when we get to see Yankees baseball in Patriots uniforms here in Somerset County, and I can’t wait to throw out a first pitch,” said director Robinson. “The investments in TD Bank Ballpark presented tonight, all at no taxpayer expense, are investments in Somerset County that will pay off for years to come.”

The meetings come after the November 7th announcement that the Yankees named the Somerset Patriots their new Double-A affiliate after 23 years serving as a founding member of the independent Atlantic League.

During their Atlantic League tenure, the Somerset Patriots proved to be a model of success on and off the field. The franchise welcomed close to 7,500,000 fans to the ballpark, averaged over 360,000 fans per season, and drew over 5,200 fans per game. The Somerset Patriots led the Atlantic League in attendance each of the past three seasons.

“We are proud of all of the accomplishments we have achieved through the hard work of everyone involved in our organization over the years,” said McVerry. “The opportunities and challenges ahead add to this unbelievable time for the Somerset Patriots, our fans, partners, and community. We couldn’t be more ready or excited to take on all that lies ahead as a part of the New York Yankees family.”

The Bridgewater meeting was attended by Mayor Matthew Moench, the Township Council, and members of the Township Planning Board for the courtesy review and suggestions.

“We are very excited about the coming baseball season and the improvements coming to the ballpark,” said Moench. “We appreciated the Patriots joining us last night for the review. The team has a good application that will help support the activities expected at TD Bank Ballpark now and for the years to come.”

Steve Kalafer added, “We want to extend a special thank you to Somerset County Engineer Matt Loper, who did a wonderful job at both presentations to thoroughly explain the ballpark plans to everyone involved.”
About The Somerset Patriots
The Somerset Patriots are the new Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees. 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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Somerset Patriots Name Scott Kelly And Nate Roe As Community Ambassadors

NateScott Web1Bridgewater, NJ- The Somerset Patriots, the Double-A Affiliate of the New York Yankees, have announced that beloved former players Scott Kelly and Nate Roe have been named community ambassadors for the organization.

“Through our 20-plus years, we’ve come across some very special people that have worn the Somerset Patriots uniform,” said team President/General Manager Patrick McVerry. “Few, if any, have worked as hard as Scott and Nate to help us serve our community with different education and sportsmanship programs. We are excited to continue to have both remain as part of our family in these roles to help spread important messages and make a difference.”

Kelly played seven seasons with the Somerset Patriots and is arguably one of the most popular players in team history. He made the roster out of an open tryout in 2014 and entered the 2020 season among the franchise leaders in a number of categories.

Kelly appeared once again in a Patriots uniform during the SOMERSET Professional Baseball Series during the summer of 2020 in the team’s efforts to bring baseball to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The West Windsor, New Jersey native enjoyed a standout collegiate career at The College of New Jersey before coming to Somerset.

Kelly became a fan favorite, not just for his gritty play and determination on the field, but his tireless work in the community and at the ballpark to reach fans and brighten their days.

Roe had a seven-year professional baseball career, most recently as a right-handed pitcher out of the bullpen for the Patriots in the 2018 and 2019 seasons. He came out of retirement to play in the SOMERSET Professional Baseball Series and was one of the league’s best pitchers.

He will continue to lead the team’s “Hit A Home Run School” school program powered by RWJBarnabas Health. “Hit A Home Run” is now a virtual interactive lesson designed to teach young children how to eat healthier, how to make smarter lifestyle choices, how to be a good teammate and friend, and also to understand the importance of exercise.

The program is available for schools to book by contacting the organization at patriots@somersetpatriots.com.

Roe, a graduate of Rutgers University, grew up in Plainfield and currently resides in Scotch Plains. He recently opened up the Nate Roe Baseball Academy, located in Middlesex, to provide baseball/softball training services to all ages and skill levels.

About The Somerset Patriots

The Somerset Patriots are the new Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees. 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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