Now with the Super Bowl behind us, it's time to start thinking warm thoughts. Yes, we love all our other sports in New Jersey, but there's nothing that screams Spring more than baseball.

But even before the 2024 season gets underway, spring training begins February 22, with the season for Major League Baseball officially kicking off March 28. Needless to say, baseball fans everywhere are getting excited.

Some in New Jersey will be traveling so they can catch some of the pre-season action, and who can blame them? After all, baseball is America's pastime.

Outside the major leagues, New Jersey is home to three minor league teams, with each one bringing their own unique brand of excitement to the field.

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Not just brand, but their own twist as to what makes them authentically Jersey.

Ranging from location to mascots, and even alternate identities, it just couldn't be any other way. This is New Jersey after all, why not be loud and proud about it?

Here's a look at opening day for all three Garden State minor league ballparks, along with any additional festivities to help kick off the season. These are the first home games in 2024 throughout The Garden State.

Somerset Patriots
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Somerset Patriots

Or the Jersey Diners, depending on which name you want to go by. Jersey Diners was announced earlier in 2024 as the Somerset Patriots' alternate identity beginning this season.

Opening day for the Somerset Patriots aka Jersey Diners at home is coming Friday, April 5 at TD Bank Ball Park. They will be facing off against the Richmond Flying Squirrels.

First pitch will be at 6:35 P.M. along with fireworks. And let's be real, there's no better way to kick off the season without fireworks.

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Jersey Shore BlueClaws

The next minor league team is just as Jersey as the first. In fact, they're so Jersey, that their games regularly consist of a running pork roll, egg, and cheese.

The Jersey Shore BlueClaws are returning to the field with their home opener against the Aberdeen IronBirds. First pitch will be at 6:35 P.M. on Friday, April 5.

After the game, enjoy an evening of fireworks to celebrate the start of minor league baseball season for the Jersey Shore BlueClaws at First Energy Park.

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Trenton Thunder

Now to our friends by the state capital along the Delaware River. The Trenton Thunder are preparing for their first home game at Trenton Thunder Ballpark for the 2024 baseball season.

According to their website, the Trenton Thunder will be kicking off their season later than New Jersey's other minor league teams. Their first game for the 2024 season is scheduled for Tuesday, June 4.

They'll be visited by the State College Spikes from University Park, PA, with the first pitch hitting off at 7 P.M.

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It's opening Day at The Jersey Shore BlueClaws

A look back at their April 8, 2022 opening day from FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood, NJ.

Gallery Credit: Mike Brant

55 pro baseball players from NJ

Gallery Credit: Joe Votruba, Erin Vogt

The above post reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 Sunday morning host Mike Brant. Any opinions expressed are his own.

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