Miners games to spotlight schools

AUGUSTA. Minor league team also starts Family Funday Sunday program, with children’s tickets for $5.

| 11 Apr 2024 | 07:54

In addition to fan favorite promotions, such as Star Wars Night Lightsaber Giveaway and the Gold Rush for Childhood Cancer Awareness Night, the Sussex County Miners are launching a Community First initiative this season.

It aims to foster stronger ties between the minor league baseball team and the local community.

Under the initiative, games will spotlight schools in northwestern New Jersey.

There also will be special events:

• Education Day school promotions May 15-16.

• Youth Sports Day on May 17.

• Skylands Stadium 30th Reunion Weekend on June 14-15, featuring a performance by the Amazing Tyler’s Balancing Act.

• Miners Casino Night for Charity on Aug. 16.

• Autism Awareness Night on Aug. 30.

Family Funday Sunday

Every Sunday home game will be part of the new Family Funday Sunday program, with children’s tickets for $5.

Pre-game pet adoption events are planned in collaboration with Father John’s Animal House, Eleventh Hour Rescue and O.S.C.A.R.

The first 100 guests into Skylands Stadium will receive an exclusive pack of Sussex County Miners baseball cards. After the game, fans may mingle with Miners players during the post-game autograph session and watch the Kids Run the Bases event.

The annual Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival will be from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday, May 4. More than 25 food trucks and more than 100 different kinds of craft beers will be offered.

Sports memorabilia auction

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Skylands Park, Al Dorso, owner of Skylands Stadium and the Miners, and Rob Hilliard, the ballpark’s founder and developer, will hold a charity auction of Hilliard’s sports memorabilia.

The proceeds will benefit SCARC, a nonprofit organization that helps people with developmental disabilities and their families, and the nonprofit University of Virginia Club of Northern New Jersey.

The auction will be held online via www.jerzeywahoomedia.com from April 16 to June 9 and in person June 14-15 at the stadium.

“I have always been community-oriented and believe in ‘paying it forward,’ ” said Hilliard. “My older son, Jeffrey, really came out of his social shell during our family’s years in Sussex County. He was part of SCARC’s cleanup crew at Skylands Park and became a good-luck charm for the ’94 New Jersey Cardinals during the club’s championship season by doing the ‘Y-M-C-A’ and ‘Macarena’ on the home dugout during our traditional seventh-inning stretch.”

Auction items range from one-of-a-kind pieces from Hilliard’s time as a member of New Jersey Cardinals ownership group to autographed limited-edition lithographs from international Formula One auto racing that he acquired while working in Detroit.

“There’s something for every participant from yearbooks and team trading-card sets of the 1994 New Jersey Cardinals to game-worn jerseys and autographed photos from some of the biggest Major League stars of yesteryear,” he said.

Hilliard, a former Vernon resident who now lives in Charlottesville, Va., graduated from the University of Virginia 50 years ago.

The Miners will play the Trois-Riviere Aigles in the home opener Friday, May 10. Gates will open at 6 p.m. with the first pitch slated for 7:05 pm.

Tickets are available online at https://vivenu.com/seller/sussex-county-miners-oiwj. For group rates, send email to groupsales@scminers.com

The Miners are one of 16 teams in the Frontier League, the oldest continually running independent league in the United States and a Major League Baseball Partner League. They play 96 games from May to early September, including 48 home games.