BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Operation Shoebox New Jersey will host a packing event and sports memorabilia auction at TD Bank Ballpark, home of the Somerset Patriots, on Saturday, July 30 and Sunday, July 31.

Saturday’s packing will begin at 11 a.m. Sunday’s auction will begin at the conclusion of the 5:05 p.m. game against the Bridgeport Bluefish.

Members of the Somerset Patriots team, including Manager Emeritus Sparky Lyle, will join volunteers Saturday on the concourse to assemble personal care packages that will be shipped to US troops deployed around the world.

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Members of the New Jersey State Society of Auctioneers will gather at the ballpark Sunday – gates open at 4:05 p.m. – to compete against one another in a traditional bid calling contest at the conclusion of the game.

Up for auction are several pieces of sports memorabilia and items from the Somerset Patriots – a game-used base, signed by all members of the team; a signed team bat; autographed baseballs, and a luxury suite for 30 people, all sold to the highest bidder. All money raised by the NJSSA will be donated to Operation Shoebox New Jersey.

Another highlight of the sale will be an autographed, limited edition James Fiorentino print of Lyle wearing his Yankees’ pinstripes on the mound at Yankee Stadium during the 1977 season, when he won the coveted Cy Young Award as the best pitcher in baseball.  Fiorentino, a world-renowned sports and wildlife artist, donated the original painting of Lyle to Operation Shoebox New Jersey.

Volunteers who help assemble care packages on Saturday will receive a free ticket voucher for Sunday’s game.

Please register for the packing event by calling (908) 698-0333 or send an e-mail to opshbxnj@yahoo.com with the names and number of people that will attend.

Operation Shoebox New Jersey is a 501C3 non-profit corporation. All donations are tax deductible.