Minor League Baseball's best will be converging on the Jersey Shore next year as the Lakewood Blue Claws host the 2013 South Atlantic League All-Star Game.

Team General Manager Geoff Brown made a public announcement at the Seaside Heights boardwalk Wednesday, saying it's the perfect timing for another all star game to come to FirstEnergy Park.

For the first time the All Star Game won't be contained to the nine innings in the park, come 2013 the game will be a two day extravaganza.

"Players are going to be down here [Seaside Heights], there's going to be some event. Some open up to the public also but everything will be in Seaside Heights."

Brown says there will be a Celebrity hitting Challenge on June 17th and the traditional All Star Game will follow on the 18th.

The Celebrity Hitting Challenges will feature local celebs, athletes, and other notables from their best to hit strategically placed targets throughout across the field.

"We might have the golf driving range card that picks up the balls, you hit that you get X amount of points. We'll have a big shore points distributing beer can you get some points, we'll have a guy on a trampoline. Who knows."

While the All Star game will obviously feature the marquee talents of the South Atlantic Division, Brown notes many of the names playing could very well become Major League Superstars.

"When you take fifty of the best players in the league and put them all in one game, there's going to be a whole lot more players that are going to make it in the majors and not only make it but they're going to be all stars in the majors."

Previous South Atlantic League All-Stars over the years include Steve Carlton, Nolan Ryan, Ryan Howard, David Wright, Josh Hamilton and Bryce Harper. Both Howard and Wright competed in Lakewood during the '02 game.


This is the second time the BlueClaws host the South Atlantic All Star Game, the first time being in 2002 when it hit a league record attendance 8.571. With the team hitting the five million fan attendance mark quicker than any other South Atlantic team in history, and Brown believes getting a chance to host another All Star game almost a decade after your first one shows a lot of confidence in the organization.

"It shows that we're doing a pretty good job within our league, within the baseball industry that the league feels we're going to put on a good show, and we know we are."



According to the BlucClaws, fans are encouraged to reserve their tickets in advance, and can do so through a 2013 BlueClaws ticket package or group outing. The All-Star Game will sell-out, and under the BlueClaws current policy, the crowd will be capped at 8,000.

Brown says this will give a chance for fans from throughout the eastern part of the country to see what the Jersey Shore is all about.

"There are going to be people from the South Atlantic League who have never been down the shore so they're going to enjoy all this and we're going to have some great events We're going to get them on the beach, we're going to get them on the boardwalk, we're going to get them out on the bay by the water."

Tickets for the All-Star Game and Celebrity Hitting Challenge will go on sale in phases. Beginning June 29th, full and half-season ticket holders that put down a deposit or pay in full on their BlueClaws 2013 tickets will be able to reserve tickets to the All-Star Game at their package rate and receive tickets to the Celebrity Hitting Challenge as a gift.

On July 30th, mini plan holders that pay in full for their 2013 ticket package will be able to reserve tickets for the All-Star Game in full at their package rate and receive tickets to the Celebrity Hitting Challenge as a gift.
In the fall, group leaders will be able to reserve tickets.

The full All-Star Game and Celebrity Hitting Challenge ticket schedule can be found at www.blueclaws.com/allstar.

Tickets for all remaining BlueClaws games are available by calling 732-901-7000 or online at BlueClaws.com.

Ilya Hemlin wrote this story.