This is why The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball has thrived for the last 20 years: amazing entertainment at ridiculously affordable prices.
Tomorrow night they are presenting their 20th Annual All-Star Game. Hosted at the home of the Somerset Patriots’ in TD Bank Ballpark, the eight-team league are split into two divisions (Liberty & Freedom) and each will have 22 representatives on each roster.
Eight locals from the Patriots will be in uniform for the Liberty Division. Pitchers Rick Teasley, David Kubiak, and Duane Below will join catcher Yovan Gonzalez, infielders Tyler Bortnick and Carlos Guzman, and outfielders Aharon Eggleston and Justin Pacchioli.
But here’s the thing … it is so much more than an assemblage of the leagues best players. The Patriots organization have put together an event in which I would never expect a “Minor league” venue to put on. By that I mean, more specifically, there are SO MANY EVENTS PLANNED that I haven’t the slightest notion how they plan to fit it into one evening.
My gut tells me, however, they’ll nail it and it’s going to be epic.
First, they’re giving away a mess of stuff:
- Commemorative 20th Atlantic League All-Star Ticket (All Fans)
- Tricorn Hats (1st 500 Kids)
- All-Star Baseball Card Sets (1st 1,000 Kids)
- All-Star Pins (1,000 Adults)
- Commemorative Game Program (1st 3,500 Fans)
On tap for the night are the following:
- Season Ticket Holders get in early to watch Batting Practice
- Gates Open to General Public at 5 pm
- An Autograph Session with all the players
- Home Run Derby with the best HR hitters in the league.
- All-Star Player Introductions
- 7:10 Play Ball!!!
But that’s not it.
A Yankee fan like me is LOVING that the Honorary Managers are Sparky Lyle and Willie Randolph!
Plus, Gary Gaetti – whom I remember very well, and fondly, as a member of the Twins, is Managing the Freedom team,.
The entertainment? Holy Mackerel
- Zooperstars! The World-Famous Entertainment Act
- BirdZerk! America’s Ballpark Prankster
- Fireworks – Promises to be the BIGGEST FIREWORK DISPLAY in their 20 YEAR HISTORY!!!!!
- Mascots from around the Atlantic League
- Revolutionary Cannon fire after the game
And since we are all about the USA and being Patriotic, they’re busting out some serious Revolutionary Spirit:
- Meet General George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin and Alexander Hamilton and various revolutionary war soldiers
- See a replica cannon from the Revolutionary War
- See a revolutionary war encampment
- Visit tables on the concourse that show various aspects from the Revolutionary War
- Sign the Declaration of the All-Star Game Document
- Hear Fife & Drum corps
- Enjoy period Dance and Dress
- Feast on a Turkey Leg and Ale
- 2nd NJ Regiment, The Queens Rangers on horseback, Mott’s Artillery with a cannon, Heard’s Brigade, Sons of the American Revolution with a cannon, Mock Hearth Cooking, Spinning and Weaving Demonstrations, Fife and Drums of the Old Barracks and the Practitioners of Musick (note the 2nd NJ, Mott’s Artillery and Queens Rangers, Heard’s Brigade will set up an encampment with tents and also do musket drills)
Need More? Seriously? OK then. Here are some exhibits/games/activities by the following groups:
- Liberty Hall
- Heritage Trail Association
- Washington Crossing Historic Park
- Washington Crossing State Park
- Lamb’s Artillery
- East Jersey Old Town Village
- Princeton Battlefield Society
- Children of the American Revolution
- The Indian King Tavern
- The Snyder Academy
- The Jacobus Vanderveer House
Now … if the weather will just cooperate.