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 BlueClaws.com.
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.
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.
Friday, September 23rd, 2011
As 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!
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.
Wednesday, November 10th, 2010
=”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:
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.
John P. Kelly
John C. Bartlett, Jr.
Joseph H. Vicari
Gerry P. Little
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.