Inside of six weeks to go until the BlueClaws opener on April 9th. Today’s 70 in 70 item looks back at what was just a fun, great day (they’re all like that but this more so) back in May of 2007. Number 41 refers to the number of media members on hand on Wednesday May 23rd, 2007 at FirstEnergy Park to see Ryan Howard rehab with the BlueClaws.
Howard went on the disabled list about two weeks prior, and we saw that he would be eligible to come off on Friday the 25th. So we went to the schedules, and saw that in the days leading up to his anticipated return, both AA-Reading and AAA-Ottawa would be on the road. We put two and two together, and later received confirmation that Howard would be coming to Lakewood.
As you’re aware, 41 media members is a lot of media members. We had to set up tables for some on the concourse. But it all worked out on that end and Howard hit a home run to boot.
The Hagerstown pitcher, Yunior Novoa, struck out Howard in the 5th inning, and he spun around and pumped his fist, showing up, and maddening, Howard. When Howard came up in the seventh, he responded with his bat.
“He just jumped in “He just jumped right in and was part of the team just like us,” said shortstop Jason Donald.
All told, the BlueClaws had over 17,000 fans on the two days and that pushed them towards the 3-million mark reached in July of 2007.
Could the push for 4-million fans begin with a rehab assignment? Chase Utley may or may not be ready for Opening Day…