|Chronological Tour: Stop 155|
Exterior of Somerset Ballpark, Jul-1999.
A look at the attractive interior, Aug-2010.
The unspectacular view is blocked by advertising signs.
Just prior to the Atlantic League All-Star Game in July 2000, an area bank signed on to be the park’s naming sponsor. The park became known as Commerce Bank Park; it became TD Bank Ballpark in 2009 after Toronto Dominion purchased the financial institution.
On top of that, the park is next to a train station on NJ Transit’s Raritan Valley line. Trains regularly stop at Bridgewater, and the ballpark shares the adjacent parking lot with park-and-ride customers.
Parking in the adjacent park-and-ride lot costs $2, which is quite reasonable, but if you’re pinching pennies, you can park in the shopping center across the street. Just don’t park in the immediate vicinity of the stores and take up the good spaces their customers deserve.
The seating bowl is roomy, not nearly as cramped as in some other stadiums, except that the very last row of the upper bowl has very narrow tread room. Foul territory does taper off, with the farthest sections getting smaller to accommodate 315 feet of foul line and the bullpens (which are in the field of play). And instead of being located directly behind the plate, the press box is offset by two sections, maximizing the number of behind-the-plate seats.
While there is no free handout program, the team does post the lineups on a board behind the press box. The message board below the scoreboard does a good job displaying information about the batters, and the public address announcement is competent.
Also in honor of Lyle, the team’s primary mascot is an animal known as Sparkee. (He wears No. 98, in honor of the team’s founding in 1998.) Sparkee has since gained a sidekick known as Slider. The club, called the Patriots in honor of New Jersey’s Revolutionary War heritage, also employ a fellow in a costume of the day known as General Admission. The General appeared to have faded into history but was revived for 2014.
While tickets are relatively inexpensive, prepare to pay premium prices for concessions. The Patriots have mastered the art of luring the fans in with a low base price and then getting you to spend a few extra bucks once you’re in the door. This was enhanced further in 2017 as the club contracted with a new concessionaire.
I do have a problem with the total lack of view. The outfield wall is one of those triple-decked advertising monstrosities that blocks spectators from seeing anything beyond. However, the high wall is necessary to avoid distraction from the flashing lights of NJ Transit trains stopping at the station. And, in all fairness, there isn’t that much to see beyond the wall anyhow.
|362||Sun 11-Jul-1999||Atlantic||Ind.||SOMERSET 6, Newark 0|
|504||Mon 3-Sep-2001||Atlantic||Ind.||SOMERSET 6, Nashua 5|
|512||Tue 2-Oct-2001||Atlantic||Ind.||SOMERSET 7, Newark 4, 10 inn|
|571||Wed 11-Sep-2002||Atlantic||Ind.||SOMERSET 10, Camden 8|
|615||Thu 7-Aug-2003||Atlantic||Ind.||SOMERSET 5, Atlantic City 0, 6 inn, rain|
|657||Sat 22-May-2004||Atlantic||Ind.||Newark 6, SOMERSET 2|
|660||Sat 19-Jun-2004||Atlantic||Ind.||SOMERSET 4, Camden 3, 9 inn, 1st|
|661||Sat 19-Jun-2004||Atlantic||Ind.||SOMERSET 3, Camden 1, 2d|
|727||Sat 18-Sep-2004||Atlantic||Ind.||Newark 10, SOMERSET 5|
|796||Sun 18-Sep-2005||Atlantic||Ind.||SOMERSET 5, Camden 4, 10 inn|
|802||Thu 29-Sep-2005||Atlantic||Ind.||SOMERSET 5, Atlantic City 1|
|803||Sat 1-Oct-2005||Atlantic||Ind.||SOMERSET 5, Nashua 2|
|839||Wed 16-Aug-2006||Atlantic||Ind.||SOMERSET 3, Newark 0|
|869||Sat 21-Jul-2007||Atlantic||Ind.||York 7, SOMERSET 4|
|907||Thu 13-Sep-2007||Atlantic||Ind.||SOMERSET 4, Lancaster 2|
|912||Sat 21-Sep-2007||Atlantic||Ind.||Newark 7, SOMERSET 6|
|931||Sun 20-Jul-2008||Atlantic||Ind.||Bridgeport 7, SOMERSET 4|
|974||Sun 14-Sep-2008||Atlantic||Ind.||SOMERSET 9, Southern Maryland 2|
|983||Wed 24-Sep-2008||Atlantic||Ind.||SOMERSET 6, York 4|
|984||Sun 28-Sep-2008||Atlantic||Ind.||SOMERSET 14, Camden 4|
|1025||Sun 30-Aug-2009||Atlantic||Ind.||SOMERSET 5, Camden 1|
|1045||Fri 25-Sep-2009||Atlantic||Ind.||SOMERSET 5, Newark 0|
|1050||Thu 1-Oct-2009||Atlantic||Ind.||SOMERSET 8, Southern Maryland 2|
|1075||Sat 14-Aug-2010||Atlantic||Ind.||SOMERSET 6, Newark 1|
|1095||Mon 6-Sep-2010||Atlantic||Ind.||SOMERSET 7, York 3|
|1107||Fri 24-Sep-2010||Atlantic||Ind.||York 6, SOMERSET 5|
|1172||Mon 12-Sep-2011||Atlantic||Ind.||York 4, SOMERSET 1|
|74||Sat 17-Mar-2012||Colonial States||Div III||CENTENARY 6, Immaculata 2, 1st|
|75||Sat 17-Mar-2012||Colonial States||Div III||Immaculata 6, CENTENARY 3, 9 inn, 2d|
|1196||Wed 25-Jul-2012||Atlantic||Ind.||Sugar Land 4, SOMERSET 3|
|1243||Thu 20-Sep-2012||Atlantic||Ind.||Long Island 5, SOMERSET 1|
|1264||Wed 7-Aug-2013||Atlantic||Ind.||Bridgeport 12, SOMERSET 10, night|
|1298||Fri 20-Sep-2013||Atlantic||Ind.||SOMERSET 5, Sugar Land 4|
|1300||Sat 28-Sep-2013||Atlantic||Ind.||SOMERSET 2, Long Island 1, 16 inn|
|1301||Sun 29-Sep-2013||Atlantic||Ind.||Long Island 6, SOMERSET 4|
|1332||Thu 7-Aug-2014||Atlantic||Ind.||SOMERSET 3, Camden 2, 11 inn|
|1368||Sat 27-Sep-2014||Atlantic||Ind.||Lancaster 4, SOMERSET 3|
|1369||Sun 28-Sep-2014||Atlantic||Ind.||Lancaster 9, SOMERSET 1|
|1407||Mon 17-Aug-2015||Atlantic||Ind.||SOMERSET 5, Long Island 4|
|1444||Fri 25-Sep-2015||Atlantic||Ind.||Long Island 9, SOMERSET 4|
|1445||Sat 26-Sep-2015||Atlantic||Ind.||SOMERSET 4, Long Island 0|
|1446||Sun 27-Sep-2015||Atlantic||Ind.||SOMERSET 4, Long Island 0|
|1467||Sun 31-Jul-2016||Atlantic||Ind.||Bridgeport 3, SOMERSET 2, 1st|
|1468||Sun 31-Jul-2016||Atlantic||Ind.||Bridgeport 4, SOMERSET 3, 12 inn, 2d|
|1513||Tue 6-Sep-2016||Atlantic||Ind.||SOMERSET 10, Sugar Land 5|
|1526||Thu 22-Sep-2016||Atlantic||Ind.||SOMERSET 10, Long Island 0|
|1555||Thu 15-Jun-2017||Atlantic||Ind.||Long Island 3, SOMERSET 1|
|1615||Fri 22-Sep-2017||Atlantic||Ind.||Long Island 6, SOMERSET 1|
|1616||Sat 23-Sep-2017||Atlantic||Ind.||Long Island 4, SOMERSET 3|