Trenton Thunder Jay Bell
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

While the hot stove is quiet, the stove down in Trenton is ready and raring to cook. The New York Yankees Double-A affiliate has a whole new brand to rock this summer.

Buy me some pork roll and cracker jacks, once the Trenton Thunder indeed come back!

Trenton, the New York Yankees’ Class AA affiliate, announced that their 2018 season will feature a part-time rebrand, as they will go by the moniker of Thunder Pork Roll during Friday night home games at ARM & HAMMER Park. Through their social media accounts, the team also unveiled special jerseys that they will wear for the occasion.

Pork roll is a favorite on New Jersey plates, with debates raging throughout the state over its proper name. The processed meat was created in 1856 by Trenton businessman and politician John Taylor, under the name “Taylor Ham”. Many Thunder fans engaged in the eternal state debate, but the team could not be budged from its position in the debate.

Even the big club’s 2017 third baseman Todd Frazier, whose Toms River home is an hour drive from Trenton, got in the debate, steadfastly sticking with the club in its stand.

“Pork Roll is a New Jersey staple that can be served on everything from breakfast sandwiches to burgers and we’re thrilled to celebrate it on a daily basis at ARM & HAMMER Park,” Thunder general manager and chief operating officer Jeff Hurley said on the team’s official website. “Rebranding ourselves as the Thunder Pork Roll on Friday nights is the perfect way to celebrate a Garden State favorite!”

ARM & HAMMER Park, the Thunder’s home since their move to Trenton in 1994, has played host to the Trenton Thunder World Famous Case’s Pork Roll Eating Contest, held annually since 2015.

The Thunder won’t be the first team to turn their uniforms over to culinary delights on a weekly basis. The Fresno Grizzlies, the Houston Astros’ Triple-A squad, have taken the name of the Fresno Tacos on Tuesdays since 2015.

The first pork roll-themed game is slated to go down on May 18, when the Baltimore-affiliated Bowie Baysox visit Trenton.

Hours after the meaty announcement, the team announced who will oversee the Thunder/Pork Roll in 2018, welcoming in new manager Jay Bell. An 18-year MLB veteran, Bell played with four teams between 1986 and 2003. He earned All-Star nods in 1993 and 1999 with the Pirates and Diamondbacks respectively, and helped the latter win the World Series over the Yankees in 2001.

This marks Bell’s second year in the Yankees organization. Last season, he managed the Advanced Class-A Tampa Yankees (now Tarpons) to an 85-50 record, best in the Florida State League.

Well, it’s looking to be a delicious season in Trenton. At least it will be for their Friday night home games.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490