One example of the booming popularity of minor league baseball in New Jersey is the Lakewood BlueClaws. Since opening day on April 11, 2001, the team has drawn millions of fans, while reaching attendance records faster than any team in New Jersey and South Atlantic League history.
The BlueClaws have been among the top 20 teams in the country in attendance, drawing nearly 6,900 fans a game to FirstEnergy Park while leading in average or overall attendance in each year of existence.
The BlueClaws are also the team that produced 2008 World Series Philadelphia Phillies first-baseman Ryan Howard, ace pitcher Cole Hamels and starting catcher Carlos Ruiz. And eight former BlueClaws made their Major League debuts, bringing the total up to 25 in just eight seasons.