Sunday, July 12, 2015

3rd Annual Lakewood @BlueClaws Outing (Thanks Herlis Rodriguez!)

2015 Chachi Almost #8
2015 Chachi Almost #9
2015 Chachi Special Edition #6
We made the hour-long trek to Lakewood last night for our third ever Lakewood BlueClaws game.  The BlueClaws play in the South Atlantic League, and they're the Low A affiliate of the Phillies.  Similar to the last two trips, we had an absolute blast and we're already talking about our next trip.

Our sons Doug and Ben both wanted team sets so that they could track down autographs of some of the BlueClaws players prior to the game.  Our biggest challenge was telling who was who on the BlueClaws roster since the team was wearing throw-back Piedmont Boll Weevils jerseys without names on the backs and several of the players were wearing different numbers than the uniform numbers on the 2015 team set or even in the game program.

2015 Choice Lakewood
BlueClaws #18
2015 Choice Lakewood
BlueClaws #11
2015 Choice Lakewood
BlueClaws #35
2015 Choice Lakewood
BlueClaws #31
Current year draft pick Kyle Martin (now wearing #27) politely handed back the Jason Zgardowski card the boys handed him to sign, since Zgardowski had worn #27 earlier in the season.  Ranfi Casimiro (who autographed a card for Doug last year) was wearing #55 last night, so we had him sign the team set header card not realizing that he normally wears #52 and he did in fact have a card in the team set.

The boys also got autographs from pitching coach Aaron Fultz (again) and local product Matt Hockenberry, as well as from Alexis Rivero.  And they were both handed baseballs by coach Nelson Prada in between innings.

2015 Choice Lakewood
BlueClaws #3
2015 Choice Lakewood
BlueClaws #19
2015 Choice Lakewood
BlueClaws #30
But the highlight of the night was interacting with outfield prospect Herlis Rodriguez.  At the end of the top of every inning, Ben waited faithfully for Rodriguez to jog in from right field so that he could give his new favorite BlueClaws player a high five.  Rodriguez obliged each and every time and even reached in to give Ben a high five as the later innings drained Ben's energy and he slumped down into his seat.  Rodriguez is listed as #33 on the team's roster and his card in the team set has him wearing #33, but he was wearing #20 last night.  Ben has started to refer to Rodriguez as "my #20" and his new favorite player.

We were especially thrilled when Rodriguez had a walk-off, RBI infield hit in the bottom of the 10th to give the BlueClaws a 4-3 win.  (The complete game story can be found here.)  The boys have already started asking if we can go back again this summer, and I would say that's a definite possibility.  Thanks again to the BlueClaws and Herlis Rodriguez for a fun, memorable night!

Memory Lane
2013 BlueClaws Game
2014 BlueClaws Game

2 comments:

shlabotnikreport said...

I'm sure Herlis Rodriguez made a number of fans last night... When I see something like that happen at a game I can't help but root for that player, even if I don't know the child he's interacting with.

It's kind of strange that the Blue Claws wore Boll Weevils throwbacks... I know that the Weevils were the Phillies affiliate, but the Weevils were based in North Carolina and are now the Kannapolis Intimidators. At least Lakewood didn't do it on a night when Kannnapolis was in town.

...And for my money, Boll Weevils is a way better name than Intimidators.

Jim said...

We're now big fans of Herlis Rodriguez and I'll be watching his career closely, rooting for him to make it.

The BlueClaws went all out with the Boll Weevils concept, changing the scoreboard to read "Piedmont" and giving employees Boll Weevils shirts to wear. I agree it's a strange jump for the team to make but they had fun with it. (I agree that Boll Weevils is way better than Intimidators.)