Stephen M. Silverman
July 11, 2005 08:00 AM

Jennifer Garner’s hometown of Charleston, W. Va., threw a massive baby shower for the expectant mom and new hubby Ben Affleck – though the celebrated parents-to-be were nowhere to be seen.

Hundreds of fans bearing gifts – all of which will be donated to charity – arrived Saturday at a West Virginia Power minor league baseball game for “Jen and Ben Baby Shower Night.”

In all, some 4,248 fans showed up, the Associated Press reports. Free admission to the sporting event was granted if the entrant was named Jennifer or if he or she brought a gift.

The promotion benefited the baby pantry for Starting Points, a nonprofit group serving children and the families of children under age 8. Among the more than 400 donations were a car seat, diapers and baby food, a rep tells AP.

Alias star Garner, 33, and Affleck, 32, were married late last month, “and they’re expecting their first child,” their reps, Nicole King and Ken Sunshine, said in a statement on June 30.

The couple met on the set of the 2003 comic-book movie Daredevil. They didn’t begin dating until seven months after Affleck broke off his high-profile engagement to Jennifer Lopez, whom he was set to marry in September 2003.

For Affleck, this is his first marriage. It’s Garner’s second marriage; she and actor Scott Foley divorced in 2003.

Professionally speaking, Garner’s Alias costar Ron Rifkin said during a Live with Regis and Kelly appearance that Garner’s pregnancy will likely be worked into the ABC show’s storyline. “She’s with child,” he said, “and I think it’s going to be written in.”

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