Somerset Patriots Host Player Workout At TD Bank Ballpark

June 4, 2020, Bridgewater, NJ – With New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s executive order on May 26th that sports teams and leagues can resume practices, a dozen local Somerset Patriots players and tryout hopefuls gathered at TD Bank Ballpark for the first workout of 2020.

“Right now it is all about doing it the right way and the safe way,” said longtime infielder Scott Kelly. “It’s about practicing good judgment, being conscious at all times, and abiding by the ‘new rules.’”

Gathering for any purpose has changed a lot since the ballpark was last open in October after the conclusion of the 2019 Atlantic League season. Like everywhere else in early March, TD Bank Ballpark was shut down to the public, with only a few team front office members coming in as the majority of the staff worked remotely from home. As restrictions have been lifted over the past few weeks, more and more activities and work resumed at the Bridgewater-based ballpark known for the crack of the bat and the roar of 6,000-plus fans.

The Somerset Patriots listened to health experts and the team’s health care provider, RWJBarnabas Health, about how to safely execute the practice for players, staff, and media covering the event. Once sports practices were approved by the state, the plan began to take shape to see how the staff and players could work on safely using the ballpark.

“We determined that we can probably pull together enough players locally to have a little practice and create a little normality for our community right now,” said Somerset Patriots President/General Manager Patrick McVerry.

Upon arrival, every player had their temperatures checked by the team’s certified athletic trainer Alexis Ayala provided by RWJBarnabas Health. He also questioned each about any travel outside of the state, work experience over the past few weeks, and any other relevant contact they may have had that would impact their health and possible exposure to COVID-19.

Once cleared, players were able to take the field for one of very few, if not the only, baseball or professional sport practices occurring in the area.

“Sometimes as players we take playing baseball for granted, but times like these make you realize how beautiful baseball is,” said first-year pitcher Josh Almonte. “I feel like baseball, and sports in general, has a beautiful way of relieving you of stress and what’s going on in the world. Just being out here today is amazing.”

The new normal included: hand sanitizer at multiple locations, all staff and media wearing masks if within six feet of others, socially distanced interviews conducted as a group instead of one-on-one, high-traffic areas and equipment were wiped down upon use, limited touching of shared equipment without proper cleaning or sanitizing, and many other recommendations put into play.

The players participated in bullpen sessions and batting practice on the field.

The Somerset Patriots are awaiting information of when an Atlantic League season can safely return for the 2020 season. The Somerset Patriots remain optimistic that baseball will return to TD Bank Ballpark this year.

“Absolutely we expect fans to be here this summer. We are very hopeful because we can operate at a reduced capacity, while making sure we honor the social distancing guidelines. We can definitely make that happen,” McVerry remarked.

However, being able to see baseball activity on the field brought some hope of America’s favorite pastime returning in the near future.

“The key word here is hope. And that is what we are trying to instill. The hope that we can actually come and play for the fans and be a positive distraction,” Kelly added.

Search Archive »

Browse by Year »


Browse by Month »

November 2023
October 2023
September 2023
August 2023
July 2023
June 2023
May 2023
April 2023
March 2023
February 2023
January 2023
December 2022
November 2022
October 2022
September 2022
August 2022
July 2022
June 2022
May 2022
April 2022
March 2022
February 2022
January 2022
December 2021
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015