It’s the final Friday of July as the summer continues to move faster than a speeding bullet. Some of you old-timers might remember that from the Superman TV series.

The Lakewood BlueClaws reached a milestone on the same day they announced an ownership change.17-year old Rob Merten of Clark was with his family and when he walked through the turnstiles at FirstEnergy Park last night he became the 7-millionth fan in franchise history.

Merten received a prize package that included 2018 season tickets, a special team jersey and replica stadium seat.  The BlueClaws are the fastest team in New Jersey and South Atlantic League history to draw 7 million fans.

Earlier in the day the team issued a press release announcing that Shore Town Baseball had purchased the operating interest in the minor league baseball team from American Baseball Ventures. Shore Town is a newly formed group headed up by Art Martin, who has owned and operated nine other minor league franchises and investors Bob Tamashunas and Bill Luby who both live in Rumson.

Tamashunas, who was born in Lakewood and graduated from Holmdel High School, has been a lifelong Phillies fan and of course the BlueClaws are the Class “A” affiliate of the Phillies.  Joe Finley and others had owned and operated the BlueClaws since their inception in 2001.

While on the subject of baseball a group of 12-year olds from Jackson Township got off to a fast start on the opening night of the New Jersey State Little League Tournament in Hampton which is home of the Kittatinny Little League.  Holbrook is seeking to become the fourth straight team from District 18 in Ocean County to win the state championship and they beat Washington Park Little League of Jersey City 6-4 last night.

Manager Rob Grano’s team will face Swedesboro-Woolwich tonight after that team from the southern part of the state blanked Wayne 5-0 in the other opening night game in the four-team event.  The state champion advances to Bristol, Connecticut for the Mid-Atlantic Regionals beginning August 6th.


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