Archive for the 'Community Events' Category

Home Runs for Heroes Closing In on $100k, Podcast

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Through the first three years of the Home Runs for Heroes program, $80,000 was donated by OceanFirst Foundation to military-based non-profit organizations in Ocean and Monmouth Counties.

Now in its fourth season, the landmark program will eclipse the $100,000 mark this year.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, OceanFirst Foundation, the official non-profit foundation of OceanFirst Bank, donates $1,000 to one of nine military-based non-profits for each BlueClaws home run hit at FirstEnergy Park.

It’s a great program and we love sitting down with OceanFirst President Vito Nardelli to talk about it, as we did in this new podcast.

You can listen to the podcast below or pop it on you iPod (right click this link, save link as, drop it in your iTunes).

One of the elements that Nardelli talks about in the interview is how this program hits home for him, as he served at Fort Dix as a reserve officer for 20 years.

Click here for the updated standings maintained on

Jim Murphy-Baseball Clinics

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

In this interview with BlueClaws 1B Jim Murphy from earlier this summer, he said that coaching was something he would like to get into when he finished playing.

I don’t like anything else. This is what I grew up wanting to do and when I can’t play anymore I want to coach, be involved somehow, something in the game. I’d like to manage in the minor leagues.

Now, he is laying the groundwork for that.

For the first time, the BlueClaws will host a youth baseball clinic from a current-year player.

Murphy, a Seattle native, hit 22 home runs with the BlueClaws this year, tying Juan Richardson’s single-season franchise record set originally in 2001. In two seasons with the BlueClaws (2009 and 2011), Murphy hit a total of 36 home runs and drove in 144 runs, putting him atop the BlueClaws all-time list in both categories.

Click here for more information about the clinic.

Rising Tides

Friday, October 21st, 2011

Lifting boats, so the saying goes…Wednesday night in Spring Lake, the BlueClaws were presented with the Rising Tide Award from the Jersey Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau and were one of five businesses/entrepreneurs honored at the event.

BlueClaws Assistant GM Brandon Marano is shown (3rd from the left) accepting the award in the photo below (not on the right, that photo is a Van Gogh painting).

All joking aside, the BlueClaws are honored to receive this award and also congratulate the other honorees: the Storino Family of Jenkinson’s in Point Pleasant, Six Flags Great Adventure, local restaurateur Danny Murphy and Frank Sementa of D’Jais in Belmar.

The full release is below.

LAKEWOOD, NJ – The BlueClaws were presented with the Rising Tide Award from the Jersey Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau at their 2nd annual Jersey Shore Big Wave Awards on October 19th.

The Rising Tide Award is given to “an individual or organization that, although somewhat new to the Jersey Shore, has quickly made an exceptional impact on tourism.”

The BlueClaws, who in April will start their 12th season, have drawn over 4.8 million fans to FirstEnergy Park since their 2001 inception.

Click here for the full story.


Jim Murphy: Fundraising Machine

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

jimmurphyblogAs part of the annual Home Runs for Heroes program, OceanFirst Foundation (charity of OceanFirst Bank) donates $1,000 to a local-military based charity for every BlueClaws home run hit at FirstEnergy Park.

This year, $25,000 was donated, $11,000 thanks to home runs by Jim Murphy. Four of those were in the second inning, meaning he raised $4,000 for VetGroup of the $7,000 they earned through the program.

There was a check presentation at the ballpark yesterday and here is the full story.

“When our young men and women leave to serve their country, they leave families behind here in the States. We support those organizations that help those families and we support those organizations that help our soldiers when they come home,” said OceanFirst Bank President Vito Nardelli.

How the Program Works
Each of the nine organizations participating in the program is paired up with an inning in the game. If a BlueClaws player homers in the first inning, then said organization (in this case Catholic Charities) gets $1,000, so on and so forth.

Navy-Marine Relief Earle had the 9th inning plus extras, and the lone home run was courtesy of Anthony Hewitt on May 1st.

American Recreational Military Services had the 5th inning, and they received $1,000 despite no BlueClaws home runs in that frame. For those that listen to BlueClaws games on the radio, that is the Asbury Park Press 5th inning, so we can assign all blame to BlueClaws beat writer Tony Graham.

Home Runs for Heroes has now raised $79,000 over its three year existence for these nine military-based non-profit organizations. Thanks to OceanFirst for their fine support.

UPDATE: Murphy also hit seven HRs at home in 2009, meaning he has accounted for $18,000 raised through this program of the $79,000!

Burt Young to Donate Picture for “Holding Onto Hope”

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

We have some really cool news…

Next Saturday, July 23rd, the BlueClaws will welcome Burt Young, who played Paulie in the Rocky series, to the ballpark for an autograph signing. That night, the BlueClaws will also honor Lakewood Officer Christopher Matlosz, who was killed in the line of duty in January. $3 from each ticket purchased will go to Holding Onto Hope, a charity established by Matlosz’s finace.

Young, meanwhile, who is now an accomplished painter, will paint an exclusive baseball-themed picture which will be raffled off during the game.

All proceeds from the raffle will go straight to Holding Onto Hope.

Young will also sign autographs and pose for pictures at the game.

Here is his official website and here is the full story on the Officer Matlosz fundraiser for next Saturday.

Ocean County Freeholders Proclamation

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Cheap levitra online

=”327″ />The BlueClaws recently received a proclamation from the Ocean County Board of Freeholders in regards to the team’s recent success. You can click the image to see an enlarged version. The text of the proclamation reads as follows (their emphasis):

Whereas, once again, this year proved to be an extraordinary and exciting one for the Lakewood BlueClaws; and

Whereas, on September 18, 2010, the BlueClaws captured their third South Atlantic League Title, making them back to back South Atlantic League Champions and tying the franchise record of 84 wins against 55 losses; and

Whereas, the Lakewood BlueClaws clinched the championship, beating the Greenville Drive 4-2 in Game Four. The BleuClaws took three of four in the best of five series, becoming the first team in South Atlantic League history to win the first half, second half, and league titel; and

Whereas, in addition to their title win, the Lakewood BlueClaws produly boast the Number 1 rank in attendance for the South Atlantic League and all of New Jersey for the tenth straight year; and

Whereas, the BlueClaws once again partnered with OceanFirst Foundation and donated $30,000 to local-military-based charities. Each home run hit resulted in a $1,000 donation; and

Whereas, as Ocean County has followed its hometown team, the Lakewood BlueClaws, from pitches to runs to plays, we say congratulations on an historic season and an outstanding job.

Now, therefore, I, James F. Lacey, Director, of the Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Ocean, State of New Jersey, on behalf of this Board, hereby honor and congratulate the:

Lakewood BlueClaws
2010 South Atlantic League Champions

and thank them for an outstanding season; and further extend warm wishes and congratulations to the coaches and families of the players.

Presented by:

John P. Kelly
John C. Bartlett, Jr.
Joseph H. Vicari
Gerry P. Little

Freeholder Director
James F. Lacey

We thank the Freeholders for this proclamation, which was presented to General Manager Geoff Brown and Director of Community Relations Jim DeAngelis.

Buster Goes Trick-Or-Treating

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

That’s right. With the Mad Hatter.

Also, Brian from Glen Rock, NJ sent over this great photo of a BlueClaws pumpkin stencil.



Thursday, October 21st, 2010

tballblueclawsSome miscellaneous leftover items…

  • We hit on this briefly the other day, but it was noted again by Dave Murphy at High Cheese that Jonathan Singleton was working in left field down in Instructional League.
  • At right, you see a picture of the Tyrone (Georgia) T-Ball BlueClaws. They are a part of BlueClaws Across America, a program through which teams can call themselves the BlueClaws, and we’ll dress you like the BlueClaws. Details here.
  • Loved this article from Rob Neyer on I’m not saying that Charlie Manuel managed a great Game 4. I’m saying that Game 4 was so entertaining and could have gone so many different ways that it seems, while we’re still basking in the afterglow of so much excitement, churlish (if not pointless) to examine every move under a microscope with a wicked wit.  The Giants and the Phillies played a wonderful baseball game, and either team could easily have won. Tonight, maybe that’s enough.
  • Championship Merchandise is available in the ClawsCove (hats, shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies).
  • Blaming a manager can be hit or miss, writes Mike Lupica (through a Yankee perspective, though you could look at it through a Phillies lens too).
  • Below is what Chris Russo said to us on the radio during a BlueClaws game in August (he is a big Giants fan). How has it translated?

“I didn’t like Sunday’s loss. Lincecum has not pitched well. The Giants cannot make thep layoffs unless Lincecum pitches like Lincecum and he has not pitched well. From what I heard he wasn’t terrible but they scored five runs against him. They can’t win without him, bottom line. The offense is better, I’ll give you that. And Posey is going to be great.

“Now, the one negative about the Giants. Their record in a lot of ways is a product of beating Arizona, Milwaukee, the Cubs, the Mets and the Nationals. They are 21-5 against those teams since July 1st. And they have a road trip, Philadelphia and St Louis this week. They have San Diego and Colorado later on. The Padres are going to win the division. They’ve been the best team since day one.

On the Phillies acquiring Roy Oswalt: “Good for the Phillies. it was the right move. I think he’s hittable. He’s a good number two man, a great wing man for Halladay. Their bullpen is the problem. They could have won one last year with Lidge. I don’t think they’re going to win one last year with Lidge.”

For starters, Lincecum has pitched like Lincecum lately.

Trick Or Treat With Buster

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

trick-or-treat-buster-fullHere’s a chance to trick or treat with Buster this Halloween.

Buster will come to your neighborhood and trick or treat with your family, adding to an already fun afternoon.

The opportunity is on eBay, with all proceeds benefiting BlueClaws Charities.

Click here to bid. Best of luck!

Buster in Philly

Friday, October 8th, 2010

Seen here with the Phanatic mascots from Reading, Lehigh Valley and Clearwater dousing a Reds fan with silly-string. I wonder if the Reds fan was late reacting to the silly-string because he lost it in the lights.


That Time Of The Year

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

Well, yes, the baseball post-season, but also scarecrows.

We’ve entered the scarecrow you see below in a contest put on by the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce.

A bunch of other businesses have entered scarecrows too, and you can see all of them and vote for the best one by clicking here.


Home Runs for Heroes Nets $30k for Military Based Charities

Friday, October 1st, 2010

OceanFirst Foundation donated $30,000 to local military-based charities in 2010 as part of the Home Runs for Heroes program with the BlueClaws.

Home Runs for Heroes, presented by OceanFirst Foundation, 92.7 WOBM and 1160 WOBM-AM, pairs nine military-based charities with positions on the field (including designated hitter, not including pitcher).

Every time a BlueClaws hit a home run at FirstEnergy Park, one of the nine charities received a donation from OceanFirst Foundation.

“When our young men and women leave to serve their country, they leave families behind here in the States. We support those organizations that help those families and we support those organizations that help our soldiers when they come home,” said OceanFirst Bank President Vito Nardelli.

Army Emergency Relief-Fort Dix led the way with $8,000, $7,000 of which came courtesy of home runs by BlueClaws first baseman Jonathan Singleton.

VETGROUP, which benefitted from five home runs by BlueClaws catcher Sebastian Valle, earned $6,000.

Below are the 2010 standings in full:

Organization Position Home Runs Total
Army Emergency Relief-Fort Dix 1B 8 $8,000
VETGROUP C 6 $6,000
American Red Cross RF 4 $4,000
Catholic Charities CF 3 $3,000
Navy/Marine Relief-Lakehurst LF 3 $3,000
NJ National Guard Family Readiness SS 2 $2,000
A.R.M.S DH 2 $2,000
Navy/Marine Relief-Earle 2B 1 $1,000
Army Emergency Relief-Fort Monmouth 3B 0 $1,000

Founded in 1996, OceanFirst Foundation is the first foundation in the country to be established by a bank as part of an initial public offering. OceanFirst’s contributions to local charities continue to grow. In 2009, OceanFirst Foundation donated more than $1.2 million to community initiatives. OceanFirst Foundation has contributed approximately $20 million to over 600 local charities in Ocean, Monmouth and Middlesex counties since its inception. Its four priorities include Housing, Health and Wellness, Improving the Quality of Life, and Youth Development. For more information, visit

The Roof-man

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Just went up on the roof to say hello to the Roof-man, where he was interviewed by Erin Vogt of Thunder 98.5, Hit 106 and the Breeze Radio. You can here the interviews over the next few days and he’ll appear live on the Thunder 98.5 morning show with Chris Van Zant later this week.

Anyway, Ragan was highly amused by those learning how to drive motorcycles in the parking lot, driving around in circles all day. But got a kick out of those learning how to drive trucks in reverse, leading to a constant “beeeeeeeeep beeeeeeeeep” sound from his perch.

He’s well stocked with all the essentials: Doritos, Fritos, and movies like Old School and The Hangover.

On a more serious note, here are the details on the Saturday blood drive and you can sign up online here.

All donors receive a free BlueClaws ticket voucher and are entered to win tickets to see Broadway Shows including 39 Steps (Tony Award winner, Hitchcock play), The Gazillion Bubble Show, and Stomp, the International Sensation.

Remember Him?

Monday, August 9th, 2010

roofmanThe Roof-man is back.

Central Jersey Blood Center COO Ryan Ragan will return to the roof at FirstEnergy Park before the BlueClaws and CJBC host a blood drive on August 21st.

“We’ll go up on the roof, set up the tent and have a little fun. I just hope it’s not windy,” said Ragan, who spent a week on the roof last year leading into the playoffs. “Ultimately, however, we’re trying to raise awareness about the need to donate blood, and raise the blood itself.

“There’s always a shortage, especially this time of year, when it’s the toughest to get donations and we have the highest demand of the year.”

Blood donated to Central Jersey Blood Center helps to treat premature babies, burn and trauma victims, patients suffering from leukemia and other cancers, cardiac disease, and many other conditions that depend on blood products for recovery.

Fans can now sign up for the blood drive by clicking here. The BlueClaws & CJBC encourage fans to sign up early.