BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Limited edition commemorative Somerset Patriots baseball jerseys highlight an auction of of items with their roots in New Jersey by New Jersey's premiere auctioneer, Joe Bodnar, at TD Bank Ballpark Sunday, Sept. 8, following the Patriots game against the High Point Rockers.
Gates open at noon; game time is 1:05 p.m.
Bodnar and volunteers from Operation Shoebox New Jersey will scramble at the conclusion of the game to set up for the auction which will be held behind the Patriots' dugout on the first base side of the field. Bodnar will stand on top of the dugout to sell each individual item, which will include 4 limited edition jerseys, each signed by the entire Patriots' team, as well as other sports memorabilia, art work - and a basket of Jersey fresh vegetables.
Limited edition gicless of paintings by renowned New Jersey sports artist James Fiorentino will also be sold to the highest bidder, including a limited edition print of Sparky Lyle, former manager of the Somerset Patriots, now manager emeritus, and the winner of the 1977 Cy Young Award when he was a relief pitcher for the New York Yankees. The Lyle print is autographed.
The Patriots have donated several items to the auction, including a luxury suite for the 2020 season.
A Rutgers University basket of items will also be sold, as well as tickets to a New Jersey Devils hockey game at the Prudential Center in Newark.
The autographed uniforms include:
- a red, white and blue American-flag jersey from a game sponsored by Operation Shoebox New Jersey during the 2019 season;
- a pink jersey worn during the 2019 season to commemorate the "League of Their Own" movie based on the spirited, but short-lived Wmen's baseball league that flourished during World War II;
- a black, gray and blue "Star Wars" jersey worn during the 2019 season, and
- a blue, black and yellow "Batman" jersey that players will wear during the Sept. 7 Saturday game.
Proceeds from the auction will benefit Operation Shoebox New Jersey, a non-profit corporation based in Somerville/Hillsborough that packs and ships donated food and toiletry items to US military personnel deployed around the world.
Looking forward to celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2020, Operation Shoebox New Jersey volunteers have shipped over 163,000 personal care packages overseas.
The Somerset Patriots are longtime supporters of the organization since it was founded in 2005.