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Trenton Thunder. (Photo: Glenn Brunette.)

Trenton Thunder owner accuses Yankees of racism in move to Bridgewater

Gusciora says Red Sox, Mets discussing possible move to Trenton

By David Wildstein, November 07 2020 7:04 pm

The New York Yankees are dropping their affiliation with the Trenton Thunder and will now have the Somerset Patriots serve as the AA minor league baseball team.

The Trenton team has been a Yankees minor league club since 2003 after previous affiliation with the Boston Red Sox.

The change was first reported by Baseball America.

Trenton Thunder owner Joseph Plumeri said that he learned of the change from the media.

He accused the Yankees management of making a “calculated and ungracious maneuver to leave the urban setting of Trenton for the affluent confines of Bridgewater.”

“It seems the Yankees were only focused on trying to cut culturally diverse Trenton down in favor of a wealthy, higher socioeconomic area in Somerset,” Plumeri said.  “Despite repeated assurances that the Thunder would remain its Double A affiliate over the last 16 months, the Yankees betrayed their partnership at the 11th hour.”

Plumeri alleged that the Yankees “misled and abandoned the Thunder and the taxpayers of Mercer County, who have invested millions of dollars over the years to ensure that Arm & Hammer Park remains one of the premier ballparks in America.”

There’s some partisanship involved here too.

The move takes the team away from a politically influential Mercer Democratic family and moves it to the Patriots, which is owned by Steve Kalafer, a longtime GOP donor.

“It’s a big disappointment to lose the Yankees Franchise,” said Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora. “Trenton Thunder was a popular venue for all area sports fans.

Gusciora told the New Jersey Globe that he’s hopeful that another major league baseball team will move their minor league club to New Jersey’s state capitol.

“So far though we’ve had the Boston Red Sox and the Mets,” Gusciora said. “So I look forward to the next team taking their place.

Plumeri promised that he would not abandon Trenton.

“My father knew Trenton’s character and he wanted to develop a franchise that could be shared for generations to come,” he said.  “We know the character of Trenton — it represents what the Yankees purport to be, but are most certainly not. The Yankees’ actions are nothing short of despicable.”

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