BlueClaws Unveil Nine "Hole of Famers"
LAKEWOOD, NJ - The BlueClaws have unveiled the nine players recognized on the Holes of Fame at the new BlueClaws Mini Golf Course at FirstEnergy Park, led by former BlueClaws and Phillies legends Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels, and Carlos Ruiz.
The 'Holes of Fame' cover Phillies legends going back to the team's first three seasons at the Jersey Shore all the way through to record-setting members of the 2017 BlueClaws.
Howard, who had his number 29 was retired by the BlueClaws in 2010, will be recognized on the first hole while Hamels, who had his number 19 was retired by the BlueClaws in 2014, will be recognized on the ninth and final hole.
"When we began to brainstorm this project in the fall, one of our first goals was to recognize our long-standing partnership with the Phillies. We're able to accomplish this with the 'Holes of Fame' that fans will see designated around the course," said Art Matin, managing partner of Shore Town Baseball. "We hope the fans enjoy this unique element and and are excited to add this fixture to FirstEnergy Park."
BlueClaws Holes of Fame (including text written on signage that appears at each hole)
1st Hole - Ryan Howard - Howard hit 19 home runs as a BlueClaw in 2002, his first full professional season. Just three years later, he would win NL Rookie of the Year and was the 2006 National League MVP. The BlueClaws retired his #29 during a rehab appearance at FirstEnergy Park in 2010.
2nd Hole - Scott Kingery - Kingery joined the BlueClaws straight out of the University of Arizona, from where he was the Phillies 2nd round pick in the 2015 draft. He spent the 2nd half of that season with the BlueClaws before quickly rising through the system and reaching the Phillies in 2018.
3rd Hole - Carlos Ruiz - An original BlueClaw, Ruiz spent the 2001 season with the BlueClaws and worked his way up to the big leagues, debuting in 2006. He was the catcher on the Phillies 2008 World Series Championship team and became a fan-favorite in Philadelphia.
4th Hole - Rhys Hoskins - A 2015 BlueClaw, Hoskins hit .322 with nine home runs over 68 games with the BlueClaws before a promotion after the SAL All-Star Game. He made his Phillies debut in 2017, bursting onto the scene by hitting 18 home runs over his first 50 major league games.
5th Hole - JP Crawford - Crawford, a 2013 first-round pick, became the first high school draftee to play for the BlueClaws in the year he was drafted. After returning to the BlueClaws in 2014, he was promoted after an All-Star first half. The Lakewood, California native made his Phillies debut in 2017.
6th Hole - Mark Leiter, Jr. - The Toms River North product was drafted in 2013 out of NJIT and spent time with the BlueClaws in both 2013 and 2014. Just the second Shore Conference alum to play for the BlueClaws, Leiter became the first to reach the Phillies when debuting in 2017.
7th Hole - Darick Hall - Playing in one of MiLB's toughest hitters' parks, Hall smashed BlueClaws-records with both 27 home runs and 96 RBIs. Additionally, Hall became the first BlueClaw to win South Atlantic League Most Valuable Player.
8th Hole - Nick Fanti - Fanti made BlueClaws history twice in 2017. On May 5th, he recorded 26 of 27 outs in a combined no-hitter with Trevor Bettencourt at Columbia. Then on July 17th, he got all 27 outs in a nine-inning no-hitter against Charleston, just the second, and first in a win, by a BlueClaw.
9th Hole - Cole Hamels - Hamels pitched to a 0.84 ERA over 13 starts with the BlueClaws in 2003, his first professional stop. The left-hander would go on to a successful big league career and was named 2008 World Series Most Valuable Player. The BlueClaws retired his #19 during a pre-game ceremony in 2014.
The course was designed by leading miniature golf course design firm Harris Miniature Golf and offers a feel of the Jersey Shore with a series of Shore-themed items.
The BlueClaws start a seven-game homestand on Wednesday night with three games against the Charleston RiverDogs (Yankees) and four against the West Virginia Power (Pirates).
Tickets for all 2018 BlueClaws games are available by calling 732-901-7000 option 2 or online.
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