|Jersey Shore BlueClaws|
Founded in 2001
Lakewood, New Jersey
|Minor league affiliations|
|Previous classes||Class A (2001-2020)|
|League||High-A East (2021-present)|
|South Atlantic League (2001-2020)|
|Major league affiliations|
|Team||Philadelphia Phillies (2001-present)|
|Minor league titles|
|Name||Jersey Shore BlueClaws (2021-present)|
|Lakewood BlueClaws (2001-2020)|
|Colors||Phillies red, dark Atlantic blue, crab blue, golden yellow|
|Ballpark||FirstEnergy Park (2001-present)|
|Shore Town Baseball|
|General Manager||Joe Ricciutti|
The Jersey Shore BlueClaws are a Minor League Baseball team of the High-A East and the High-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. They are located in Lakewood, New Jersey, and are named for their location on the Jersey Shore and blue crabs native to the area. The BlueClaws play their home games at FirstEnergy Park. From 2001 to 2020, the team was known as the Lakewood BlueClaws.
Following the 2000 season, the Cape Fear Crocs of the Class A South Atlantic League relocated to Lakewood, New Jersey, and became the Lakewood BlueClaws. The BlueClaws became an affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, who moved their Class A affiliation from the Piedmont Boll Weevils in Kannapolis, North Carolina, to Lakewood beginning with the 2001 season. The team was owned by the New-Jersey-born Joe Plumeri and Joe Finley, also owners of the Trenton Thunder.
Since their arrival in New Jersey, the BlueClaws have been a success at the gate. In each of their first five seasons, they averaged over 6,500 people per game. The team led the South Atlantic League in either average or total attendance every year through 2016, and became the fastest team in league history to reach the two and three million fan attendance mark. On August 26, 2002, the BlueClaws set a South Atlantic League record when 13,003 people attended a 3-0 win over the Hickory Crawdads. This box office success comes in the absence of great success on the field. In their first five seasons, the BlueClaws failed to qualify for the playoffs. Their overall record topped the .500 mark for the first time in 2004.
On September 1, 2004, Ryan Howard became the first former BlueClaw to play in Major League Baseball, playing first base for the Phillies in a 7-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park. He played for the BlueClaws in the 2002 season. In 2005, he was named the National League Rookie of the Year, and in 2006 he was named the National League Most Valuable Player. In May 2007, while on the 15-day disabled list, Howard played two rehab games with the BlueClaws after suffering a hamstring injury. Each game drew over 8,000 fans and helped push the BlueClaws to a new team attendance record for the month of May. In addition to Howard, several former BlueClaws played for the 2008 World Champion Philadelphia Phillies. World Series MVP Cole Hamels was with Lakewood in 2003, and starting catcher Carlos Ruiz was a member of the original Lakewood BlueClaws' roster in 2001.
The BlueClaws were sold to Shore Town Baseball in July 2017. The new ownership group includes Minor League Baseball veteran and former Mandalay Baseball Properties CEO Art Matin, as well as local investors Bob Tamashunas and Bill Luby.
The team rebranded as the Jersey Shore BlueClaws after the 2020 season. In conjunction with Major League Baseball's restructuring of Minor League Baseball in 2021, the BlueClaws were organized into the 12-team High-A East.
|Season||Affiliation||Manager||First Half Record||Second Half Record|
|2001||Phillies||Greg Legg||28-42, 7th place North||32-37, 5th place North|
|2002||Phillies||Jeff Manto||33-36, 6th place North||36-34, 5th place North|
|2003||Phillies||Buddy Biancalana||22-47, 8th place North||35-34, 3rd place North|
|2004||Phillies||P. J. Forbes||31-36, 7th place North||39-30, 3rd place North|
|2005||Phillies||P. J. Forbes||25-45, 6th place North||31-38, 7th place North|
|2006||Phillies||Dave Huppert||37-32, 4th place North||47-23, 1st place North|
|2007||Phillies||Steve Roadcap||33-32, 3rd place North||36-33, 2nd place North|
|2008||Phillies||Steve Roadcap||38-32, 3rd place North||42-28, 2nd place North|
|2009||Phillies||Dusty Wathan||42-26, 1st place North||36-32, 4th place North|
|2010||Phillies||Mark Parent||42-28, 1st place North||42-27, 1st place North|
|2011||Phillies||Chris Truby||33-35, 7th place North||35-34, 5th place North|
|2012||Phillies||Mickey Morandini||26-43, 6th place North||36-33, 4th place North|
|2013||Phillies||Mickey Morandini||26-41, 7th place North||30-39, 6th place North|
|2014||Phillies||Greg Legg||27-42, 6th place North||26-42, 7th place North|
|2015||Phillies||Shawn Williams||33-35, 6th place North||40-30, 2nd place North|
|2016||Phillies||Shawn Williams||29-40, 6th place North||45-25, 1st place North|
|2017||Phillies||Marty Malloy||40-30, 2nd place North||33-36, 5th place North|
|2018||Phillies||Marty Malloy||41-28, 1st place North||46-23, 1st place North|
|2019||Phillies||Mike Micucci||29-41,6th place North|
The BlueClaws won the 2006 South Atlantic League championship on September 15, first defeating the Lexington Legends in the Northern Division final, two games to none, then defeating the Augusta GreenJackets in a dramatic 5-0 victory, winning the championship series, three games to one.
In 2009, the BlueClaws won the South Atlantic League championship by first defeating the Kannapolis Intimidators, 9-0, and winning the series by two games to none in the Northern Division final. In the championship round, the BlueClaws defeated the Greenville Drive, 5-1, in game four and then took the series, three games to one.
In 2010, the BlueClaws won both halves of the season. They became the first team to do so and win the championship, defeating Hickory, two games to one, in the Northern Division final and the Greenville Drive, three games to one, in a rematch series.
In 2016, the BlueClaws opened the first half of the season in sixth place in the Northern Division but rallied to take the second half crown. The BlueClaws then defeated the Hagerstown Suns, two games to zero, but fell in the South Atlantic League final series, three games to one, versus the Rome Braves.
Cole Hamels' number 19 and Ryan Howard's number 29 have been retired by the BlueClaws.