BlueClaws Stay Busy in Winter Months

As the Philadelphia area digs out from a tough snowstorm, fans in Lakewood have some baseball fun to look forward to. Actually, the Lakewood BlueClaws have a lot going on even though there are still a couple turns of the calendar to go until baseball season arrives. Here's just a sample of some of the fun that BlueClaws fans can look forward to.

Perhaps the biggest news is that Gavin Floyd is coming to Lakewood. No, he won't be pitching there, although he did come through Lakewood in 2002 as he worked his way through the system. Instead, Floyd will be on hand to sign autographs and talk to fans as part of the Phillies Winter Tour.

"We're excited to have Gavin back to the community for the first time," said Geoff Brown, BlueClaws General Manager. "He's been one of those players people continue to watch and follow since his days here and we couldn't be happier about the success he's been able to have." Floyd becomes the first BlueClaws player to return as part of the Phillies Winter Tour.

The tour is a caravan of Phillies players, coaches and team officials that travel throughout the area each winter promoting the upcoming season and giving fans a chance to meet them, get autographs and ask questions. Ryan Madson, the Phillies Phanatic and Lakewood BlueClaws mascot, Buster will also be on hand.

There are events scheduled throughout the Philadelphia area, including the stop January 25th at the Recreation Station in South Toms River, New Jersey. For more information, call 732-901-7000.

Players need homes too!

Lakewood BlueClaws players need places to stay during the season. After all, these guys aren't rich millionaires - yet! If you live in the Lakewood area and would like to house a player in a spare room and want to help out or want more information, contact BlueClaws Robin Hill at 732-901-7000, extension 100.

The BlueClaws are looking to add to their list of families where someone speaks Spanish in the home because of the number of Latin American players in the organization.

Plenty of people to learn from

There are two opportunities to learn the game of baseball from the people who played the game.

The Lakewood BlueClaws will have plenty of experience to offer area coaches participating in the third annual "BlueClaws Coaches Clinic" on Saturday, February 5 at FirstEnergy Park. Philadelphia Phillies hitting coach, Milt Thompson will lead the crew of professional instructors. The pros joining the 11-year big leaguer will be 2004 BlueClaws and current Reading Phillies pitching coach Tom Filer and 2005 Clearwater Threshers skipper Greg Legg. Legg led the BlueClaws during their inaugural year in 2001.

And, the BlueClaws will welcome local product and former New York Mets Hitting Coach, Denny Walling, to FirstEnergy Park, Saturday January 29 and Sunday, January 30 for a two-day batting clinic. In addition to the clinic, the former big leaguer will be available for a free autograph session on Saturday. Fans wishing to visit with the slugger can visit ClawsCove Store from noon - 1 p.m. at FirstEnergy Park.

By the way...

This year, the Lakewood BlueClaws will surpass the two-million-fan attendance plateau. That means that they'll reach the mark faster than any other team in New Jersey professional baseball and South Atlantic League history.

Anyone interested in ticket opportunities can call the Lakewood BlueClaws ticket office at 732-901-7000, Option 2. The BlueClaws ticket office is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m.– 3 p.m.

Philly Baseball Insider Top Stories