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BlueClaws Honor an All-Star

Cole Hamels and jersey with his retired number at FirstEnergy Park
Cole Hamels and jersey with his retired number at FirstEnergy Park (Lakewood BlueClaws)

A little of this and a little of that on a Tuesday morning.

Cole Hamels speaks during BlueClaws night in his honor at FirstEnergy Park
Cole Hamels speaks during BlueClaws night in his honor at FirstEnergy Park (Lakewood BlueClaws)

The skies might have threatened but the Lakewood BlueClaws were able to get in their game last night against Hagerstown, a game they would eventually lose in 12 innings. However, most of those who came out were more interested in what took place before the game as the BlueClaws retired the #19 worn by Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels who as a 19-year old began his pro career with the BlueClaws in 2003.

Hamels spoke fondly about his time in Lakewood and said players who get to wear the BlueClaws uniform always have good things to say about their time at FirstEnergy Park. The 30-year old lefthander is a 3-time All-Star with the Phillies and is now the second player to have his BlueClaws number retired joining teammate and first baseman Ryan Howard.

The first time I glanced at the obituary it did not ring a bell but a second look had been shaking my head in recognition. Paul D. McLain was probably better known to many as “Pete” McLain for his many years of writing an outdoor column in the Asbury Park Press. However as former newscaster Ralph Hahn reminded me McLain used to broadcast an outdoor report on WOBM in the early 70’s.

Ralph says they would tape the segment over the phone and it would air the following day. A lifelong resident of Toms River, who spent more than 35 years with the New Jersey Division of Fish & Game, McLain passed away at the age of 88 over the weekend.

There will be a memorial gathering today from 3-7pm at Anderson & Campbell Funeral Home in Toms River. As you might expect the family is asking that donations be made to a scholarship in Pete’s name through the Barnegat Bay Student Grant Program and Save Barnegat Bay.

The Toms River High School South Class of 2016 will sponsor a Gift Auction this Saturday in the school’s cafetorium. Doors open at 1pm and the $25 entrance fee includes a bag of assorted tickets and catered dining. No one under the age of 18 will be allowed to enter.

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