The first hole of the new BlueClaws Mini Golf Course will be named after Ryan Howard.
LAKEWOOD, NJ - Ryan Howard starred for the BlueClaws in 2002. The BlueClaws retired his number 29 in 2010. Now, Howard will have the first hole named in his honor at the all-new BlueClaws Mini Golf Course that will open April 12th at FirstEnergy Park.
Howard hit .280 with 19 home runs and 87 RBIs with the BlueClaws in 2002 after being drafted by the Phillies in the 5th round of the 2001 draft. He quickly worked his way to Philadelphia and made his big league debut on September 1, 2004, becoming the first former BlueClaw to appear in a Major League game.
He went on to win the 2005 National League Rookie of the Year Award and 2006 National League MVP Award. In 2008, he led the league with 48 home runs and 146 RBIs in helping the Phillies to the World Series title.
In 2010, Howard returned to FirstEnergy Park on a rehab appearance and the BlueClaws retired the #29 he wore while playing for the BlueClaws in 2002.
"We are excited to honor Ryan with the first hole at the new BlueClaws Mini Golf Course," said BlueClaws Team President Joe Ricciutti. "He starred here and went on to great things with the Phillies. As the first BlueClaw to reach the Major Leagues, it is fitting that the first hole is named in his honor."
Below, find the text on the commemorative sign to be displayed at the BlueClaws Mini Golf Course:
Howard hit 19 home runs as a BlueClaw in 2002, his first full professional season. Just three years later, he would win NL Rookie of the Year and was the 2006 National League MVP. The BlueClaws retired his #29 during a rehab appearance at FirstEnergy Park in 2010.
The nine-hole family course will be open during games and available for private events. The course was designed by leading miniature golf course design firm Harris Miniature Golf and will offer a feel of the Jersey Shore with a series of Shore-themed items.
Video: Mini Golf Comes to BlueClaws
Additional hole announcements will be made leading into Opening Night.
The BlueClaws open the season with a four-game series against Delmarva (Orioles).
- Thursday, April 12th (6:35 pm) - Opening Night presented by Jenkinson's Boardwalk, Thirsty Thursday presented by 95.9 WRAT
- Friday, April 13th (7:05 pm) - Hispanic Heritage Night, Post-Game Fireworks presented by Case's Pork Roll, Kids Run the Bases
- Saturday, April 14th (4:05 pm) - $1 Tickets thanks to the Asbury Park Press, Magnetic Schedule Giveaway (first 1,000 fans thanks to NJ Natural Gas), Kids Run the Bases
- Sunday, April 15th (1:05 pm) - $1 Tickets thanks to the Asbury Park Press, Magnetic Schedule Giveaway (first 1,000 fans thanks to NJ Natural Gas), Kids Eat Free thanks to ShopRite, Buster's Birthday Party, Kids Run the Bases
For tickets, call 732-901-7000 option 2 or order online by clicking here.
- BlueClaws -
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.