Without minors, major league baseball would run out of players and sad songs would all sound like marching band tunes. Cheer on today's youth and tomorrow's pros with today's Groupon: for $19, you get two BluePen Party Zone tickets to any regular-season Lakewood BlueClaws home game (a $39.90 value) at FirstEnergy Park. The slug-filled season begins April 7.
As a minor-league affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, the BlueClaws's roster has induced crackerjack-fueled cheers from their legion of fans. The team has won three out of the last five South Atlantic League Championships and sent 36 of their players to the major leagues, including former NL MVP Ryan Howard and 2008 World Series MVP Cole Hamels. The BluePen Party Zone is directly flanked by the BlueClaws bullpen, allowing festive fans to observe warm-up pitches and receive player advice on how best to mend splintered baseball bats with chewing gum. Each fan receives an exclusive BluePen rally towel, a $10 gift card, and nightly contests exclusive to BluePen guests.
The BlueClaws make their home at FirstEnergy Park, a 6,588-seat facility boasting a full video scoreboard and 23-foot-by-23-foot high-definition video board with more than 4.4 trillion shades of color and 3.9 million video bloopers of Chase Utley using the washer and dryer next to second base. The sphere-clobbering festivities are further sweetened by myriad weekly promotions, including post-game fireworks on Fridays and Kids Character Sundays, which introduce pint-sized pee wees to beloved children's characters, including SpongeBob SquarePants.
After joining the South Atlantic League in 2001, the LakeWood BlueClaws didn't hesitate to make their mark. In less than a decade, the team won three league championships, including a landmark 2010 season in which they became the first club in SAL history to win the division in both halves of the season and go on to claim the title. As the Philadelphia Phillies' Class-A affiliate, the team has sent 50 players to the majors, including an eventual National League MVP and the 2010 Phillies' star 8-foot mutant crab at shortstop.