No BlueClaws or Thunder games this summer as MILB cancels season
There are no words to describe what no baseball in the summer means to the thousands of fans at the Jersey Shore and across the state and country, but that is now the reality.
No catching foul balls, running around the bases after games, playing catch on the field with your Dad or son, no watching home-runs fly a great distance and so much more.
Yes, the Major League Baseball season will begin in late July and without fans, but Minor League Baseball announced on Tuesday that there will be no season this summer for the affiliated teams.
"These are unprecedented times for our country and our organization as this is the first time in our history that we've had a summer without Minor League Baseball played," Minor League Baseball President & CEO Pat O'Conner, said in a statement. "While this is a sad day for many, this announcement removes the uncertainty surrounding the 2020 season and allows our teams to begin planning for an exciting 2021 season of affordable family entertainment."
Locally of course, we have the Lakewood BlueClaws who are the Low-A Affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies and the Trenton Thunder who are the AA Affiliate of the New York Yankees.
Both teams released individual statements on Tuesday letting their fans know the tough news.
"We are disappointed to share with our fans and partners that the 2020 season has been canceled due to COVID-19," Trenton Thunder GM/COO Jeff Hurley said. "Our staff is already making exciting plans for your Trenton Thunder baseball to return Bigger, Better and Safer than ever in April 2021. We look forward to hosting all the smiles at the newly upgraded ARM & HAMMER Park, home of the best entertainment in the region in a very safe environment. Our entire Thunder family of fans and sponsors will be a part of the Great Comeback of your Trenton Thunder when we celebrate together the 2021 season on the banks of the Delaware River."
Hurley explains that you'll still be able to see a lot of the same fun activities at the ballpark next season.
"The Thunder will continue our bat dog tradition in 2021 with Rookie and Dash. A must see for all fans will be the big day Dash retrieves his first bat! The "Home of the Four Day Weekend" will return for the 2021 season with Thursday Night Fireworks, Thirsty Thursday, Case's Pork Roll Fridays, Saturday Night Fireworks and Kids' Sundays. Re-imagined on-field promotions will be introduced during the season and the new Thummers Parade will take place after each first inning with Boomer and his newly added Thunder mascot friends marching throughout the ballpark with fans free to join in the fun.
Fun filled giveaways will continue in 2021 at ARM & HAMMER Park. You will want to plan your summer for the return of the Thunder Firework Spectacular shows along with many new giveaways.
Delicious Hot Dogs and Pork Roll will be the staple at the ballpark and fans will continue to enjoy Chickie's & Pete's Crab Fries as well as other new and improved food choices. We are planning some new desserts that are already added to the menu. Fans (21 and over) will be able to grab an ice cold beer from one of 55 different taps located on the concourse at ARM & HAMMER Park and all fans will enjoy our new zone called The District filled with games, Hi-Tops, and more craft beer selections.
Any fan holding individual tickets for the 2020 season can exchange their tickets for any game during the 2021 season based upon availability. Trenton Thunder Makes Members and Groups will earn a credit for the 2021 season off the tickets purchased from the 2020 season. Any ticket holder can request a credit by filling out the form here. If you have questions or would like to request additional information about tickets, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We want to thank everyone for their support and patience during this time period. For general inquiries, please email email@example.com or reach out to the Trenton Thunder Front Office at 609-394-3300."
The Lakewood BlueClaws who have been many family friendly upgrades to First Energy Park in recent years to make it an event just as much as attending a ballgame, are looking forward to being with their fans again next season as well.
“This is news that we had hoped we wouldn’t have to share, but unfortunately we will not be playing baseball at the Jersey Shore this summer,” BlueClaws Team President Joe Ricciutti said in a statement.
“We understand and cherish our place as a much-needed outlet for fun and entertainment across our communities, but we also understand and support the need to prioritize the public health crisis,” Art Matin, the managing partner of BlueClaws ownership group Shore Town Baseball, said.
BlueClaws ticket package holders will be contacted by staff members to go over their options and ticket staff members will coordinate with group leaders that have booked 2020 outings as well.
If you have tickets as part of a group outing you expect to hear from the group leader directly.
Communication from BlueClaws staff members will begin on Wednesday morning, and the team asks that ticket holders be patient as the BlueClaws work through outreach on an individual basis.
“We thank each of our ticket package holders and group leaders for their patience while we waited for a resolution,” Ricciutti said. “This has been a trying time for us all and we want to make sure that each ticket holder hears directly from the BlueClaws.”
2020 was going to be a big one as it was going to be the 20th season in BlueClaws history.
The team will shift many of these 20th season promotions into 2021.
“We are already working on making 2021 the biggest and most exciting season in team history,” Ricciutti said. “We’ll just celebrate our 20th season and our 20th anniversary all together!”
“The BlueClaws have many amazing fans and partners and we appreciate each and every one of them. We had lots of plans to celebrate our 20th season this year. Our message is simple - we want everyone to stay healthy and we can't wait to open the gates and welcome people from across the Jersey Shore for some family entertainment and great baseball," Matin said.
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