Blue Claws
Apr 03, 2018

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

By Joanne Colella

Blue Claws

Whether it’s a front row seat behind home plate or a perch in the bleachers, there’s nothing quite like having someone take you out to the ballgame! Baseball is known as the great American pastime, and for most fans, it’s a great day when you can attend a ballgame to hear the roar of the crowd and the crack of the bat, take in the delectable smells of the hot dogs and popcorn, and cheer on your team in person.

Unfortunately, the cost of tickets for Major League Baseball games, particularly here in the New York area, can often be quite prohibitive – especially if you’re planning a family outing. Luckily for us, New Jersey boasts five minor league baseball teams that step up to the plate, playing at fun, affordable, and family-friendly stadiums throughout the Garden State. They include the Lakewood BlueClaws in Lakewood, the New Jersey Jackals in Upper Montclair, the Somerset Patriots in Bridgewater, the Sussex County Miners in Augusta, and Trenton Thunder in Trenton. Each year, these teams host schedules that offer a wide variety of special theme events, community group nights, promotional giveaways, holiday games, fundraisers, and the opportunity for unique celebrations for birthdays, corporate outings, and other special occasions. With opening day games coming up this month, now’s the time to start checking out what they have on the season calendar and book your seats for what is sure to be not only an exciting day of baseball with a roster of talented players, but an extravaganza of entertainment.

Closest to our area, and a popular destination for Monmouth County fans of all ages, is FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood – home to the Lakewood BlueClaws, a team affiliated with the Philadelphia Phillies. Tickets went on sale in March and their season opener at home will be April 12 against Delmarva (Orioles). The BlueClaws have announced some significant ballpark improvement and fan enhancement highlights for 2018 that will be the first step in a major development plan. This season will feature a new nine-hole miniature golf course with a Jersey Shore theme, plus adjacent boardwalk food and game attractions, around the outfield concourse. The team has also added seven Saturday night fireworks shows in June, July, and August to the current Friday Fireworks series that runs all season, plus Tuesday, July 3 and Sunday, September 2. Mark your calendar and prepare to look up to the skies those evenings!

With regular tickets already affordable, the BlueClaws will also again be offering Dollar Days weekend on April 14 and 15, when all reserve seating and general admission tickets cost just $1 each. This special promotion has been hugely successful in past years and is the park’s way of giving back to the community. Their giveaway item theme nights for 2018 include: BlueClaws Collapsible Dog Bowl for Bark in the Park (bring your doggie to see the dugout!) on May 12, 8-Bit Player Selection Shirt for Comic Con Night on June 1, Family Truckster Ornament for BlueClaws Christmas Vacation on June 15, Chew-Buster Bobble for Star Wars Night on June 29, Glow-in-the-Dark Pillowcase for Harry Potter Night on July 13, and Rhys Hoskins Dragon Bobble for Seven Kingdoms of Claws Night on August 3.

On April 22, the BlueClaws will host their free Spring Flea Market, with nearly 200 vendors selling a variety of merchandise. June 9 and 10 will be the Eighth Annual Jersey Shore Wine Festival, with samples of award-winning Garden State wineries, live entertainment, crafters, vendors, and food. And if all of that isn’t enough to keep you on the edge of your seat, the BlueClaws also offer weekly promotions such as Kids Eat Free Sundays & Mondays, Silver Sluggers Tuesdays, Thirsty Thursdays, Fireworks Fridays, Spectacular Saturdays, and Sunday FunDays.

Ready to root for the home team? Find out more about the Lakewood BlueClaws, including the various ticket options available, at www.blueclaws.com or look for Lakewood BlueClaws on Facebook.