Lakewood BlueClaws

The Lakewood BlueClaws are a Minor League Baseball team affiliated with the Philadelphia Phillies that play in the Class A South Atlantic League. They are based in Lakewood, New Jersey, and their home field is FirstEnergy Park.

Lakewood BlueClaws
Founded in 2001
Lakewood, New Jersey
LakewoodBlueClawsBlueClaws
Team logoCap insignia
Class-level
CurrentSingle-A
Minor league affiliations
LeagueSouth Atlantic League
DivisionNorthern Division
Major league affiliations
CurrentPhiladelphia Phillies (2001–present)
Previous
Minor league titles
League titles (3)
  • 2006
  • 2009
  • 2010
Division titles (5)
  • 2006
  • 2009
  • 2010
  • 2016
  • 2018
Team data
Nickname
  • Lakewood BlueClaws (2001–present)
ColorsNavy blue, red, white, blue
                   
BallparkFirstEnergy Park (2001–present)
Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Shore Town Baseball[1]
ManagerMarty Malloy
General ManagerJoe Ricciutti

History

The BlueClaws moved to Lakewood from Fayetteville, North Carolina, where they had been known as the Fayetteville Generals and later as the Cape Fear Crocs. Their first season in Lakewood was 2001. The Phillies' previous South Atlantic League affiliate was based in Kannapolis, North Carolina, and known as the Piedmont Boll Weevils from 1995 to 2000 (the team is now known as the Kannapolis Intimidators). Prior to that, the team was based in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Fan support

Since their arrival in New Jersey, the BlueClaws have been a success at the gate. In each of their first five seasons, they averaged over 6,500 fans per game. On August 26, 2002, in a game against the Hickory Crawdads which the BlueClaws won 3–0, attendance was a South Atlantic League record 13,003. The BlueClaws have led the South Atlantic League in either average or total attendance every year, and became the fastest team in South Atlantic League history to reach the 2 and 3 million fan attendance mark. On August 24, 2009, Phillies pitcher Brett Myers threw a scoreless inning in a rehab assignment on the same day a seven-year-old from Toms River, New Jersey became the 4 millionth fan in team history. This box office success comes in the absence of great success on the field. In their first five seasons, the BlueClaws failed to qualify for the playoffs. Their overall record topped the .500 mark for the first time in 2004. All told, in their first eight seasons, the BlueClaws topped 10,000 fans at a game three times, most recently in 2010 when they retired Ryan Howard's #29.

Other developments

On September 1, 2004, Ryan Howard became the first former BlueClaw to play in the major leagues, playing first base for the Phillies in a 7–2 loss to the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park. He played for the BlueClaws in the 2002 season. In 2005, he was named the National League Rookie of the Year, and in 2006 he was named the National League Most Valuable Player. In May 2007, while on the 15-day disabled list, Ryan Howard played two rehab games with the BlueClaws after suffering a hamstring injury. Each game drew over 8,000 fans and helped push the BlueClaws to a new team attendance record for the month of May.

The 2008 World Champion Philadelphia Phillies featured several former BlueClaws on their roster. Former NL MVP Ryan Howard was with the BlueClaws in 2002. World Series MVP Cole Hamels was with Lakewood in 2003, and starting catcher Carlos Ruiz was a member of the original Lakewood BlueClaws roster, in 2001.

The team offers a post-game fireworks show after every Friday home game, and at the ballpark, and seniors eat free every Tuesday night. Thursday nights are "Thirsty Thursdays", with discounted beverages and live music all night.

During the 2009 season, the BlueClaws announced that the team would adopt a new logo, color scheme, and uniforms for the 2010 season.

Records

Season records

Season Affiliation Manager First Half Record Second Half Record
2001 Phillies Greg Legg 28–42, 7th place North 32–37, 5th place North
2002 Phillies Jeff Manto 33–36, 6th place North 36–34, 5th place North
2003 Phillies Buddy Biancalana 22–47, 8th place North 35–34, 3rd place North
2004 Phillies P. J. Forbes 31–36, 7th place North 39–30, 3rd place North
2005 Phillies P. J. Forbes 25–45, 6th place North 31–38, 7th place North
2006 Phillies Dave Huppert 37–32, 4th place North 47–23, 1st place North
2007 Phillies Steve Roadcap 33–32, 3rd place North 36–33, 2nd place North
2008 Phillies Steve Roadcap 38–32, 3rd place North 42–28, 2nd place North
2009 Phillies Dusty Wathan 42–26, 1st place North 36–32, 4th place North
2010 Phillies Mark Parent 42–28, 1st place North 42–27, 1st place North
2011 Phillies Chris Truby 33–35, 7th place North 35–34, 5th place North
2012 Phillies Mickey Morandini 26–43, 6th place North 36–33, 4th place North
2013 Phillies Mickey Morandini 26–41, 7th place North 30–39, 6th place North
2014 Phillies Greg Legg 27–42, 6th place North 26–42, 7th place North
2015 Phillies Shawn Williams 33–35, 6th place North 40–30, 2nd place North
2016 Phillies Shawn Williams 29–40, 6th place North 45-25, 1st place North
2017 Phillies Marty Malloy 40-30, 2nd place North 33-36, 5th place North
2018 Phillies Marty Malloy 41-28, 1st place North 46-23, 1st place North
2019 Phillies Mike Micucci 29-41,6th place North

Post-Season Records

The BlueClaws won the 2006 South Atlantic League Championship on September 15, first defeating the Lexington Legends in the Northern division final, two games to none, then defeating the Augusta GreenJackets in a dramatic 5–0 victory, winning the championship series three games to one.

In 2009, the BlueClaws won the South Atlantic League Championship by first defeating the Kannapolis Intimidators 9–0 and winning the series by two games to none in the Northern Division final. In the championship round, the Blue Claws defeated the Greenville Drive 5–1 in game four and then taking the series three games to one.

In 2010, the BlueClaws won both halves of the season. They became the first team to do so and win the championship, defeating Hickory 2 games to 1 in the Northern Division Final and the Greenville Drive 3 games to 1 in a rematch series.

In 2016, the BlueClaws opened the first half of the season in 6th place of the Northern Division but rallied in the second half to take the second half crown. The BlueClaws then defeated the Hagerstown Suns 2 games to 0 but fell in the SAL final series 3 games to 1 versus the Rome Braves.

Notable alumni

Retired Numbers

Cole Hamels' #19 and Ryan Howard's #29 have been retired by the BlueClaws.

Ownership

The team originally belonged to New-Jersey-born Joe Plumeri and Joe Finley also owners of the Trenton Thunder.[2][3][4] The team was sold to the Shore Town Baseball group in July 2017. The new owners includes Minor League Baseball veteran and former Mandalay Baseball Properties CEO Art Matin, as well as local investors Bob Tamashunas and Bill Luby.[5][6]

Current roster

Lakewood BlueClaws roster
Players Coaches/Other

Pitchers

  • 44 Connor Brogdon
  •  4 Andrew Brown
  • 32 Ismael Cabrera
  • 16 Luis Carrasco
  • 37 Luis Cedeno
  • 24 Julian Garcia
  • 18 Jonathan Hennigan
  • 22 Spencer Howard
  • 55 Damon Jones
  • -- Robinson Martinez
  • 20 David Parkinson
  • 27 Will Stewart
  • 33 Zach Warren
  • 12 Kyle Young

Catchers

  • 17 Rodolfo Duran
  • 25 Colby Fitch

Infielders

  • 36 Jose Antequera
  • 21 Daniel Brito
  •  5 Dalton Guthrie
  •  6 Nick Maton
  • 10 Quincy Nieporte
  • -- Greg Pickett
  • 26 Edwin Rodriguez
  • 14 Jake Scheiner
  •  7 Cole Stobbe

Outfielders

  • 34 Jesus Alastre
  • 30 Kevin Markham
  • 3 Simon Muzziotti
  • 13 Jhailyn Ortiz
  •  8 Josh Stephen
  • 46 Matt Vierling

Manager

  • -- Mike Micucci

Coaches

  • -- Adam Godwin (coach)
  • -- Matt Hockenberry (pitching)
  • -- Christian Marrero (hitting)

Injury icon 2.svg 7-day injured list
* On Philadelphia Phillies 40-man roster
# Rehab assignment
∞ Reserve list
‡ Restricted list
§ Suspended list
† Temporary inactive list
Roster updated March 16, 2019
Transactions
→ More rosters: MiLB • South Atlantic League
Philadelphia Phillies minor league players

References

  1. ^ Reichard, Kevin (July 27, 2017). "Shore Town Baseball Acquires Lakewood BlueClaws Operating Interest". Ballpark Digest. August Publications. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  2. ^ "Board of Directors". willis.com. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  3. ^ Dave Fairbank (March 21, 2009). "Plumeri warmly reflects on decade". Daily Press. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  4. ^ Gregory J. Volpe (July 24, 2000). "In Lakewood, They're Coming Before its Built". The Press of Atlantic City. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
  5. ^ "BlueClaws: New owners Shore Town Baseball has local ties and big ideas". Asbury Park Press.
  6. ^ "About the BlueClaws - Lakewood BlueClaws About Us". Lakewood BlueClaws.

External links

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FirstEnergy Park

FirstEnergy Park is a stadium in Lakewood Township, New Jersey. It is primarily used for baseball and is the home field of the Lakewood BlueClaws single A minor league baseball team, affiliated with the Philadelphia Phillies Major League Baseball team. It is also used for outdoor concerts, featuring touring musical artists such as Bob Dylan. It was built in 2001 and has 6,588 seats and seats 8,000 with berm seating.

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List of Philadelphia Phillies minor league affiliates

The Philadelphia Phillies farm system consists of nine Minor League Baseball affiliates across the United States and in the Dominican Republic. Six teams are owned by the major league club, while three—the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Lakewood BlueClaws, and Williamsport Crosscutters—are independently owned.

On April 14, 1934, the Phillies entered into their first affiliation agreement with the New York–Penn League Hazleton Mountaineers. The Phillies have been affiliated with the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws of the South Atlantic League since 2001, making it the longest-running active affiliation in the organization among teams not owned by the Phillies. Their newest affiliate is the Lehigh Valley IronPigs of the International League who became the Phillies' Triple-A club in 2008.

Geographically, Philadelphia's closest domestic affiliate is the Reading Fightin Phils of the Double-A Eastern League which is approximately 51 miles (82 km) away. Philadelphia's furthest domestic affiliates are the Clearwater Threshers of the Class A-Advanced Florida State League and Gulf Coast League Phillies of the Rookie League Gulf Coast League which share a facility some 931 miles (1,498 km) away.

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