Our city and many of our residents were shocked and heartbroken to wake up to discover that the Yankees had pulled their beloved AA affiliate, Trenton Thunder, out of the Capital City for the more affluent suburbs of Bridgewater Township.
The franchise has been an integral part of our landscape for many years. We were able to draw a loyal fanbase from across the region with some of the highest attendance records in the country, taking full advantage of our strategic position between New York City and the Philadelphia Corridor. The fact remains the Trenton Thunder is a major part of our local economy and provides hundreds of badly needed jobs for our youth and families.
But this decision was especially painful for the multigenerational fans who make up one of the most diverse cities in the country and grew up watching some of the all-time greats visit the stadium. Watching Thunder players was a living testament to what one can achieve regardless of race or economic background, a message that is more important than ever in these challenging times. I remember being in awe watching Roger Clemens pitch at the stadium or when Derek Jeter brought record crowds during his appearances – imagine what that meant to the children from our underserved communities.
For an organization that has made it a point to highlight their contributions to diversity and inclusion, the Yankees struck out with this move. Gone will be the job opportunities for many of our youths and local small businesses who occupy Thunder’s concession stands. When it came time for the Yankees to show their support for a Capital City that has supported them in every way possible, they still opted to make this decision to abandon us. We encourage the Yankees to reconsider their choice.