The Somerset Patriots welcomed their 5,000,000th fan in team history on Wednesday, September 12th.
Right before game time, Ivan Candelaria entered the main gate with his wife Marcela and three-year old son Landon and became the 5,000,000th fan.
The Candelaria family of Piscataway were attending their first ever Somerset Patriots game.
“I love baseball and we hadn’t been to a game all year. We’ve been trying to get to the ballpark all summer, but it just never happened. It was beautiful all day and it was just perfect weather to head out to the game,” said Candelaria.
As the 5,000,000th fan, Candelaria won Season Tickets to the 2013 season, a team signed bat, a Patriots jersey, an iPad courtesy of P.C. Richard and Son, a year supply of hair cuts from Supercuts, a $100 gift card to Buffalo Wild Wings, and a case of Coca Cola in commemorative bottles.
While the prizes were being announced to the family, Patriots Chairman Steve Kalafer added a weekend trip to Disney World.
“It was an amazing feeling. When we first entered, I thought we did something wrong. But then everybody was explaining that we were the 5,000,000th fan. It was overwhelming, especially because we didn’t expect anything but to enjoy the game,” Candelaria added.
After being announced before the crowd during the second inning of the game, the Candelaria family was invited to the owner’s box to enjoy the game with Kalafer and his guests.
“We enjoyed the whole experience and look forward to next season. The way we were treated, it felt like being a part of the family,” Candelaria said.