Lakewood BlueClaws

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Lakewood BlueClaws
Founded in 1987
Lakewood Township, New Jersey
LakewoodBlueClaws.PNG BlueClaws.PNG
Team logo Cap insignia
Class-level
Current Single-A
Minor league affiliations
League South Atlantic League
Division Northern Division
Major league affiliations
Current Philadelphia Phillies (2001–present)
Previous
Minor league titles
League titles 2 (2006, 2009, 2010)
Division titles 3 (2006, 2009, 2010)
Team data
Nickname
Colors Navy blue, red, white, blue
                   
Ballpark FirstEnergy Park (2001–present)
Previous parks
J.P. Riddle Stadium (1987–2000)
Manager Mickey Morandini
General manager Brandon Marano

The Lakewood BlueClaws are a minor league baseball team affiliated with the Philadelphia Phillies. They are based in Lakewood Township, New Jersey. They play in the Class A South Atlantic League. Their home field is FirstEnergy Park.

History[edit]

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[edit]

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 have topped 10,000 fans at a game three, most recently in 2010 when they retired Ryan Howard's #29. They have led the South Atlantic League and New Jersey in attendance in all 13 years of existence.

Each season a group of fans choose one person on the BlueClaws to cheer for, and in 2008, these fans chose third baseman Travis "Moose" Mattair. These fans, who called themselves "Mooseketeers" in reference to Mattair's childhood nickname, cheered loudly for both Mattair and the team in general. They are known for displaying homemade signs and jerseys, and their novelty moose hats were a regular fixture at FirstEnergy Park throughout the 2008 season.

Other developments[edit]

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.

One key member of the 2008 Phillies was Joe Blanton, acquired through a trade with the Oakland Athletics. In exchange the Phillies sent over three minor leaguers, including two former BlueClaws in Adrian Cardenas (2007) and Josh Outman (2006).

Recently, the BlueClaws announced via their blog (blog.blueclaws.com) that Darryl Strawberry would be appearing at FirstEnergy Park to sign autographs on August 1.

On February 17, 2009, the Lakewood BlueClaws announced that instead of doing just Monday Kids Eat Free presented by ShopRite, they will be doing Kids Eat Free every game of the 2009 season. All children under the age of 12 will be presented with a voucher for a free hot dog, bag of chips, and fountain drink as they enter the gates.

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. These changes are expected to be made for the 2010 season

Records[edit]

Season records[edit]

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

Post-Season Records[edit]

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.

It was announced that the Phillies had extended their affiliation agreement through 2014.

Alumni[edit]

Ownership[edit]

The team is part-owned by New-Jersey-born Joe Plumeri. He is Chairman & CEO of Willis Group Holdings, and also owns the Trenton Thunder.[1][2][3]

Current roster[edit]

Lakewood BlueClaws roster
Players Coaches/Other

Pitchers

  • 30 Alejandro Arteaga
  • 27 Tyler Buckley
  • 26 Ranfi Casimiro
  • 28 Jesen Therrien
  •  6 Cody Forsythe
  • -- Delvi Francisco Injury icon 2.svg
  •  5 Ulises Joaquin
  • 31 Mark Leiter
  • -- Ervis Manzanillo Injury icon 2.svg
  • 55 Shane Martin
  • 34 Manny Martinez
  • -- Yoel Mecias Injury icon 2.svg
  • -- Christopher O'Hare ‡
  • 14 Julio Reyes
  •  7 Yacksel Rios
  • 36 Keivi Rojas
  • 21 Tyler Viza
  • -- Shane Watson Injury icon 2.svg

Catchers

  • 11 Willians Astudillo
  • 22 Gabriel Lino
  • 20 Jose Mayorga
  • -- Chace Numata Injury icon 2.svg

Infielders

Outfielders

  •  8 Dylan Cozens
  • 18 Larry Greene
  • 23 Samuel Hiciano
  • 15 Carlos Tocci

Manager

Coaches


Injury icon 2.svg 7-day disabled list
* On Philadelphia Phillies 40-man roster
∞ Reserve list
§ Suspended list
‡ Restricted list
# Rehab assignment
Roster updated April 9, 2014
Transactions
More MiLB rosters
Philadelphia Phillies minor league players

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Board of Directors". willis.com. Retrieved July 15, 2010. 
  2. ^ Dave Fairbank (March 21, 2009). "Plumeri warmly reflects on decade". Daily Press. Retrieved July 15, 2010. 
  3. ^ Gregory J. Volpe (July 24, 2000). "In Lakewood, They're Coming Before its Built". The Press of Atlantic City. Retrieved July 16, 2010. 

External links[edit]