Archive for the 'All-Star Game' Category

From the Celebrity Hitting Challenge

Friday, June 21st, 2013

Here’s a great video from Monday’s Celebrity Hitting Challenge shot and produced by our friends at E-Video Productions. Check them out on the web here.

All-Star Gameday Thread

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

UPDATE: FIRST PITCH will be at 9:45 pm. Listen here.

Good morning from FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood, where tonight, the BlueClaws will host the 2013 South Atlantic League All-Star Game, presented by Barnabas Health’s Kimball and Community Medical Centers, OceanFirst Bank, and Shore Point Distributing.

Last Night: For a recap of last night’s Home Run Derby and Celebrity Hitting Challenge, click here.

On this thread today, we’ll have some updates, notes, and nuggets, so be sure to keep refreshing this page.

Tickets: To order tickets, please call 732-901-7000 option 2 or click here to order online.

Listen Live: Beginning at 6:50 on 1160/1310 WOBM-AM and or

Rosters: Northern Division, Southern Division

Managers: Luis Rojas of Savannah manages the South and Tripp Keister of Hagerstown manages the North. Both teams won their respective divisions in the first-half, with Savannah clinching Friday and Hagerstown on Sunday night when Hickory lost to Delmarva.

About This Game…The SAL All-Star Game dates to 1960 (this is the 54th), but this is only the 34th meeting in the current North vs South format, with the North leading 17-15-1 (the teams tied 5-5 in 2010 at Greenville).

The First SAL All-Star Game…The South Atlantic League All-Stars defeated Salisbury (NC) 6-2 in 1960.

Last Year…Last year’s game was a 3-2 win for the North and BlueClaws RHP Colin Kleven was the winning pitcher.

Some Past SAL ASG MVPs…Steve Carlton (1964), Ryne Sandberg (1979), Don Mattingly (1980), David Cone (1982), Tom Glavine (1985), Josh Hamilton (2000), BJ Upton (2003).

We’ll be back throughout the day.

11:49…Did you know, the North won four straight from 2006-2009, before the team’s went 1-1-1 the last three years? That makes the North 5-1-1 in the last seven SAL All-Star Game.

11:51…There are some great players that have played in this game. Click here for a list.

12:56…What SAL All-Star will be in the building tonight (outside the regular All-Stars in the game)? Mickey Morandini, 1989 Spartanburg Phillie.

1:51…The tarp is on the field but please note that absolutely every effort will be made to play tonight’s game as scheduled, and that is the expectation.

2:33…As today’s game is a South Atlantic League event, it is their decision on the game’s status. Again, the full expectation is to play and everything will be done to play.

2:54…Four BlueClaws (Yoel Mecias, Steven Inch, Delvi Francisco, and Chace Numata) will play tonight. What other BlueClaws have been All-Stars? Click here.

4:53…Game is still on and again, every effort will be made to play.

4:54Starting lineups.

5:42…Gates are open and again, every effort will be made to play. This is a South Atlantic League decision and event.

6:11…Sorry I don’t have an update but…I don’t have an update. We’re still waiting out the rain.

6:32…Sorry again, but see 6:11 pm update. Still waiting. Rain is lighter now.

7:19…Still raining here unfortunately.

7:52…Still raining here and we still hope to play. Please remember that the League would have called the game already if they felt there was no chance of playing.

8:44…The rain has let up significantly here in Lakewood. The hope is still to play tonight’s game.

9:11…Good news! First pitch will be at 9:45.

9:30…Seven inning game…Post-game fireworks.

SAL Players, High School Sluggers, In Hitting Challenge Too

Friday, June 14th, 2013

Gallo All-Star BattingWe’ve already released the rosters of celebrities for Monday’s Celebrity Hitting Challenge (here). But…there’s more! Each team will feature four South Atlantic League All-Stars, and two local high school players.

First, the SAL All-Stars, among them three of the league’s four leading home run hitters (alphabetical order, stats through games of June 13th).

Stetson Allie – WV – A former 2nd round pick as a pitcher, Allie has moved off the mound and into the lineup this year. He is hitting .326 (6th in the league) with 16 HRs (3rd) and 61 RBIs (1st). He’s already hit two home runs in Lakewood this year, one of which short-hopped the billboard to the right of the scoreboard in center, and probably went about 450 feet. He’s the starting first baseman for the North.

Joey Gallo – HIK – Gallo, the 39th pick in the draft last year from Henderson, Nevada, leads the league in home runs with 21, including three in a game on June 11th and seven in his last eight games. He’s 5th in the league with a .585 slugging percentage. He’s the starting third baseman for the North.

Chace Numata – LAK – The BlueClaws catcher, a Hawaii native, represents the home team in the Celebrity Hitting Challenge. Chace has hit two home runs this year and had a 23-game on-base streak from April 19th – May 19th. He’s the starting catcher for the North.

Viosergy Rosa – GBO – A Bronx native, Rosa is 4th in the league in home runs with 13. He was drafted in the 29th round in 2010 from Odessa College in Texas. He’s the starting DH for the North.

Josh Elander – ROME – Elander is hitting .321 this year with 11 HRs and 58 RBIs (2nd in the league to Allie) and is the starting left fielder for the Southern Division squad. He was a 6th round pick last year from TCU, who was drafted as a catcher.

Rosell Herrera – ASH – This switch-hitting shortstop has had a marvelous season with Asheville, hitting .344 (2nd in the league) with 12 home runs and 45 RBIs. He leads the league with 84 hits and a .426 on-base percentage, and while it won’t help him in this contest, he’s thrown in 16 stolen bases for good measure.

Peter O’Brien – CHC – The league’s 3rd leading hitter is Yankees prospect Peter O’Brien, who is batting .336 with 11 home runs and 41 RBIs. O’Brien. His .648 slugging percentage is second best in the league. He was a 2nd round pick last year from the University of Miami.

Kevin Plawecki – SAV – A first-round pick of the Mets last year from Purdue, the catcher is hitting .322 with a league-leading 22 doubles this season.

High School Participants
Unfortunately, the Shore Conference All-Star Game that was to take place last night was rained out and will be made up on Thursday. There was to be a home run derby prior to the Shore Conference ASG that would have put two players in the hitting challenge. While the HR Derby won’t happen prior to the CHC, we will still have two high school players in the CHC.

Joe Sadler of Holmdel and Russell Messler Toms River South will both participate. Sadler, who hit 6 home runs, led the Shore with a .552 batting average and Messler, who hit 7, was 6th in the Shore with a .500 batting ave.  Both players had 37 hits.

14 Days to Go; All-Star Game Rosters Announced

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

With 14 days left until the 2013 South Atlantic League All-Star Game, league president Eric Krupa announced the All-Star Game rosters, which include two BlueClaws players, Chace Numata and Steven Inch.

Numata, 20, will be the starting catcher for the Northern Division, and through games of June 3rd, is hitting .268 with 2 home runs and 20 RBIs. He reached base in 23-straight games between April 19th and May 22nd and has thrown out 23 opposing base-stealers, most in the league. Numata was a 14th round pick of the Phillies in 2010 from Pearl City, Hawaii.

Inch, 22, leads the BlueClaws with seven saves and 1-1 with a 2.28 ERA. He earned his first save on April 18th and after five three-out saves, has earned six-out saves in each of his last two appearances (through games of June 3rd). He was a 6th round pick of the Phillies in 2009, hailing from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Downloadable Rosters – Northern Division, Southern Division

South Atlantic League Northern Division All-Stars
Pitchers – Dixon Anderson (Hagerstown), Robert Benincasa (Hagerstown), Orlando Castro (West Virginia), Alexander Claudio (Hickory), CJ Edwards (Hickory), Tyler Glasnow (West Virginia), Josh Hader (Delmarva), Steven Inch (Lakewood), Ivan Pineyro (Hagerstown), Frankie Reed (Greensboro)

Catchers – Jorge Alfaro (Hickory), Chace Numata (Lakewood), Pedro Severino (Hagerstown)

Infielders – Stetson Allie (West Virginia), Joey Gallo (Hickory), Dilson Herrera (West Virginia), Micah Johnson (Kannapolis), Tony Renda (Hagerstown), Viosergy Rosa (Greensboro), Ryan Rua (Hickory)

Outfielders – Josh Bell (West Virginia), Lewis Brinson (Hickory), Jason Coats (Kannapolis), Walker Gourley (West Virginia), Brandon Miller (Hagerstown)

Field Staff – Manager Tripp Keister (Hagerstown), Coach Mickey Morandini (Lakewood), Coach Franklin Bravo (Hagerstown), Athletic Trainer Mickey Kozack (Lakewood)

South Atlantic League Southern Division All-Stars
Pitchers – Martin Agosta (Augusta), Christian Binford (Lexington), Rafael De Paula (Charleston), Dietrich Enns (Charleston), Alec Mills (Lexington), Bret Mitchell (Savannah), Tyler Mizenko (Augusta), Shae Simmons (Rome), Chris Stratton (Augusta), Gabriel Ynoa (Savannah)

Catchers – Tom Murphy (Asheville), Peter O’Brien (Charleston), Kevin Plawecki (Savannah)

Infielders – Mookie Betts (Greenville), Jayce Boyd (Savannah), David Chester (Greenville), Mitchell Delfino (Augusta), Matt Duffy (Augusta), Rosell Herrera (Asheville), Levi Hyams (Rome)

Outfielders – Josh Elander (Rome), Jesus Galindo (Augusta), Derek Jones (Asheville), Brandon Nimmo (Savannah), Francisco Sosa (Asheville)

Field Staff – Manager Luis Rojas (Savannah), Coach Frank Viola (Savannah), Coach Hector Borg (Augusta), Athletic Trainer Tom Truedson (Savannah)

VIDEO: Justin Pugh Accepts Invitation Into Celebrity Hitting Challenge

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

SAL Announces 2013 Hall of Fame Class

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

The South Atlantic League and President Eric Krupa announced the 2013 South Atlantic League Hall of Fame class, which will be inducted at the SAL All-Star Game at FirstEnergy Park on June 18th.

From the release –

This year’s class certainly has a New Jersey flavor, and includes an elected official and the supplier of a very specialized product used in every professional baseball game. New Jersey State Senator Robert Singer will be inducted along with Lena Blackburne, whose famous baseball rubbing mud is taken from a riverbank somewhere in New Jersey.

Senator Robert W. Singer has served in the New Jersey State Legislature for over 20 years as well as on the Lakewood Township Committee for over 30 years. His leadership helped lure the Lakewood BlueClaws to New Jersey in 2001, and the success of the franchise would not have been possible without his steadfast support. His vision of a successful franchise has been fulfilled as the BlueClaws have led the South Atlantic League in average attendance in each of its 12 years in Lakewood.

Lena Blackburne’s solution to preparing baseballs for a game by rubbing them with mud to dull the shine without softening the cover has been used by Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball teams for nearly 75 years. Located somewhere in New Jersey, the actual source of the mud has been a well-guarded secret. Blackburne, a coach for the Philadelphia Athletics at the time, came up with the idea to use the mud in 1938. The mud did not scratch the baseballs, and it had no odor. Soon thereafter, every MLB team was using it. Its use then spread throughout the Minor Leagues, and has been used in every Minor League Baseball game for many years. Jim Bintliff, President of Lena Blackburne Baseball, will accept the honor on behalf of Lena Blackburne.

Bruce Harper, Pepper Johnson Added to Hitting Challenge

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

A lot of news this morning. We mentioned the roster moves in the previous post, and now we’ve added two to the June 17th Celebrity Hitting Challenge.

The BlueClaws are excited to announce that New York Giants legend Pepper Johnson and New York Jets legend Bruce Harper have been added to the June 17th Celebrity Hitting Challenge as part of ClawStar Spectacular festivities.

Here is the full release.

For those that don’t know, the Celebrity Hitting Challenge takes place on June 17th, the night before the 54th South Atlantic League All-Star Game. The two events together comprise the ClawStar Spectacular, and we’re excited to bring them to the Jersey Shore this June.

2013 Catch of the Day

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

We’ve noted here many times that the BlueClaws will host the 2013 South Atlantic League All-Star Game.

This year, as part of the hype and build-up surrounding the game, each of the 10 Catch of the Day game programs (free for all fans) will feature one former BlueClaws All-Star on the cover and highlighted with a story inside the program.

The first issue, which is handed out to fans at the first homestand of the year, features 2011 BlueClaws All-Star Jim Murphy.

Featured All-Star: David Cone

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

We’re two days late to the party this week but we continue our countdown to the 2013 South Atlantic League All-Star Game at FirstEnergy Park, which will be here on June 18th, less than 12 weeks from now!

Each week, we are profiling one former South Atlantic League All-Star (previously). This week – David Cone, who played in the game as a member of the 1982 Charleston Royals.

Cone grew up in Kansas City, Missouri and was a homegrown talent, attending Rockhurst High School in KC, when the Kansas City Royals drafted him in the third round of the 1981 first-year player draft. Following the draft, Cone went to the Gulf Coast Royals Blue squad and appeared in 14 games in his first professional campaign. He posted a 6-4 record with a 2.55 ERA and 45 strikeouts.

After his inaugural season, the 19-year-old righty moved up to Single-A where he split time between the Charleston Royals and Fort Myers Royals in 1982. He excelled for both teams and started 9-2 with a 2.06 ERA in 16 starts for the Charleston Royals of the South Atlantic League. In 104.2 innings, he allowed just 84 hits, and struck out 87 hitters en route to being named to the SAL All-Star team. He joined Charleston teammates Danny Jackson and Cliff Pastornicky on the 1982 SAL All-Star squad. Following his stellar stint with Charleston, Cone progressed to Fort Myers where he posted a 7-1 record with a 2.12 ERA.


Featured All-Star: Andrew McCutchen

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

We are now just 13 weeks away from the 2013 South Atlantic League All-Star Game at First Energy Park. We’re continuing our weekly profile of one former South Atlantic League All-Star.

Links: To view all of the profiles, scroll through the All-Star Game category of this blog…For more on the All-Star Game or to order tickets, click here.

This week’s featured SAL All-Star is 2006 Hickory Crawdad Andrew McCutchen.

Andrew McCutchen was born in Fort Meade, Florida and attended Fort Meade High School where he hit .474 with eight home runs, 40 RBI, and 45 stolen bases and garnered the attention of many MLB teams. He had signed to play at the University of Florida, but when the Pittsburgh Pirates picked him 11th overall in the 2005 MLB Draft he chose to start his road to “The Show”.

Following the draft, McCutchen headed to the Gulf Coast League Pirates for 45 games where he hit .297, and finished the year with the Williamsport Crosscutters for 13 games where he hit .346. In his first pro season, the centerfielder picked up 18 extra-base hits and 17 stolen bases in 19 attempts.

In 2006, he broke Spring Training with the Hickory Crawdads of the South Atlantic League and didn’t miss a beat. McCutchen hit .291 with 14 home runs and 62 RBI. In 114 games he added 77 runs, 20 doubles, four triples, and was tabbed an SAL All-Star for his performance. McCutchen was at the top of the North Division All-Stars’ lineup and went 1-for-3 with a run scored in the North’s 4-0 blanking of the South. He finished the season with the Altoona Curve of the Eastern League and hit .308 with three homers and 12 RBI.

McCutchen returned to the Curve for the first 118 games of the 2007 season before he moved to Triple-A Indianapolis for the final 17 games. He remained in Indianapolis until he got the call to the bigs on June 4, 2009 at the age of 22. Since then McCutchen has hit .290 with 82 home runs and 295 RBI. He has anchored the Pirates lineup for the three-plus years he has been in “The Show”. He has been named to two MLB All-Star games, a gold glove, and a silver slugger award.

His best season statistically came in 2012 where he hit .327 with 31 homers, 29 doubles, six triples, 96 RBI, and 20 stolen bases.

Extra Bases: McCutchen played along side Elvis Andrus, Mat Gamel, Austin Jackson, Steven Lerud, Brent Lillibridge, Jon Niese, Jose Tabata, and Eric Young, Jr. in the 2006 South Atlantic League All-Star Game…Lillibridge and Lerud were on the Crawdads with him and Tabata (then a Yankee) is on the Pirates with him currently.

All-Star Game Golden Ticket

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Inspired by, of course, Willy Wonka, the BlueClaws have partnered with five local bars and will give five total winners will win a series of All-Star Game prizes and experiences as part of an All-Star Game Golden Ticket promotion.

One winner will be selected from each participating location to win the following: on-field access to the VIP food & drink area during the June 17th Celebrity Hitting Challenge (two tickets), a picnic buffet at the All-Star Game on June 18th (two tickets), invites to post-game parties on both Monday and Tuesday nights (two tickets each, locations TBD), and a special souvenir prize.

Fans can register (for free) at any of the five following locations:

  • Hemingways’s (612 Boulevard, Toms River)
  • Tiffany’s (270 Route 37 East, Toms River)
  • Jack & Mike’s Brickhouse (979 Cedarbridge Avenue, Brick)
  • Shore House (2114 Route 88, Point Pleasant Beach)
  • Club Maggie’s at Lakewood Country Club (145 Country Club Drive, Lakewood)

Links: Full Story / All-Star Homepage

Featured All-Star: David Wright

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

One of the more star-studded South Atlantic League All-Star Games in the last 15 years was the 2002 game held in Lakewood. Not only did it include Ryan Howard, Jose Bautista, and Angel Pagan, but also participating was a reserve infielder from the Southern Division representing Capital City and the Mets – David Wright.

As we’ve done every week, we are profiling one South Atlantic League All-Star as we close in on the 2013 game in Lakewood. We’re 14 weeks away from this year’s All-Star Game at FirstEnergy Park. For more information, please click here.

For previous All-Star profiles, take a look at the All-Star Game category along the side.

With Wright’s success in the World Baseball Classic, we thought this was as good a time as any to look at his career and his path through Lakewood as a South Atlantic League All-Star.

David Wright has been an arch nemesis of Phillies fans since the day he was drafted by the New York Mets in the 1st round of the 2001 MLB Draft. Straight after he signed, Wright went to the Kingsport Mets of the Appalachian League where he posted an even .300 average in 36 games.

The following year, the third baseman reached the South Atlantic League and played for the Capital City Bombers in Columbia, South Carolina. In 135 games with the Bombers, Wright hit .266 with 11 home runs and 93 RBI. In addition, he picked up 30 doubles, two triples, scored 85 runs and was named to the South Atlantic League All-Star Team.


Featured All-Star: Nolan Ryan

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

We had some big All-Star Game developments this week, with fans now being able to purchase single-game All-Star Game & Celebrity Hitting Challenge tickets for the first time. Details are available at the All-Star Game Ticket Timeline page on

This week’s featured All-Star is a 1966 Greenville (SC) Mets pitcher that you may have heard of – Nolan Ryan.

Nolan Ryan began his baseball career at Alvin High School in Alvin, Texas before he was drafted by the New York Mets in the 12th round of the 1965 MLB Draft. That summer Ryan was sent to the Marion, Mets of the Appalachian League to begin his long illustrious career. In 13 games, 12 starts, the righty went 3-6 with a 4.38 ERA in his first professional season.

In 1966, Ryan broke spring training with the Greenville Mets of the Western Carolinas League (currently the South Atlantic League) and exploded onto the scene. In 29 games, 28 starts, the “Ryan Express” delivered a 17-2 record with a 2.51 ERA. He allowed an astounding 109 hits in 183.0 innings and was named to the 1966 Western Carolinas League All-Star Team. Ryan was honored as the Most Outstanding Pitcher of the game.

Following his stint with the G-Mets, the Texan advanced to the Williamsport Mets of the Eastern League for three starts before he ended the season with the New York Mets. Ryan pitched in two games and gave up five runs in three innings prior to the end of the season. 1967 was full of illness, an arm injury, and service with the Army Reserves and just 11.0 innings pitched for Ryan.

In 1968, he went wire-to-wire with the Mets and never looked back to the Minors. He began his career in and out of the starting rotation for the Mets and compiled a 29-38 record with a 3.58 ERA in 105 games. Ryan’s lone World Series Championship came as part of the 1969 Amazin’ Mets.

He would go on to bolster the starting rotations for the California Angels, Houston Astros, and Texas Rangers over his 27-year career. He finished with 324 wins, a 3.19 ERA, an MLB Record 5,714 strikeouts, and 7 no-hitters. He was named to the MLB All-Star game eight times and has his number retired by the Angels, Astros, and Rangers. In 1999 he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot with 98.79% of the vote.

Extra Bases: The 1969 “Amazin’ Mets” team included Nolan Ryan and catcher Duffy Dyer both of whom were teammates and battery mates with the Greenville Mets in 1966…Despite all of Ryan’s career marks and accolades he never won a Cy Young Award…The closest he came was second in 1973 when he went 21-16 with a 2.87 ERA with the California Angels…Jim Palmer of the Baltimore Orioles beat out Ryan with a 22-9, 2.40 ERA season.

Featured All-Star: Tom Glavine

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

Each week, we are profiling a former South Atlantic League All-Star, as we count down to the 2013 game in Lakewood on June 18th, 16 weeks from today.You can view the previous profiles by using the category sorter along the right side.

For more on the 2013 SAL All-Star Game and Celebrity Hitting Challenge, please click here.

NOTE: Individual game tickets for the SAL All-Star Game and Celebrity Hitting Challenge go on sale for the first time at FanFest on Saturday, along with single-game tickets for all 70 BlueClaws regular season home games.

This week’s SAL All-Star player profile is of 1985 Sumter Braves, Tom Glavine:

Tom Glavine was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 1984 out of Billerica High School and began his career with the Gulf Coast League Braves that season. The southpaw went 2-3 with a 3.34 ERA in his first season before jumping to the Sumter Braves of the South Atlantic League in 1985.

With Sumter, Glavine posted a 9-6 record with a miniscule 2.35 ERA. He had two complete games, one of which was a shutout, and struck out 174 opposing batters in 168.2 innings. With those incredible numbers, the southpaw was tabbed a South Atlantic League All-Star.

Following his break out year in Sumter, Glavine backed it up with a 12-11, 3.88 ERA effort between Double-A Greenville and Triple-A Richmond. He made 22 starts in Greenville and won 11 of them with a 3.41 ERA. He struggled a little at the end of the Triple-A season, but made 22 starts for the Richmond squad before heading up to The Show for good in August of 1987.

1988 proved to be a rocky year for Glavine as he posted a 7-17 record with a 4.56 ERA, but he really never looked back after that. Over his 22-year career he went on to win 305 games and posted a 3.54 career ERA. He won 20 games five times, with a 22-6 record in 1993 being the high-water mark. Over his career he won a World Series, two Cy Young Awards, four Silver Slugger Awards, and made 10 MLB All-Star appearances.

Extra Base: Joining Glavine on the 1985 Sumter Braves were Jeff Blauser, Mark Lemke, and Ron Gant…All four would play in the 1991 World Series against the Minnesota Twins.