The 2012 season has been a year of highlights for the Lakewood BlueClaws.
From having hard hitting slugger Ryan Howard do a for the Philadelphia Phillies to announcing they will hold next years it has been a year of big news for the squad.
On Thursday night the Claws announced they had signed a two-year extension of their Player Development Contract with the Phillies that will keep the Major League affiliation through at least the 2014 season.
It was a video announcement by Howard himself that told fans at Thursday's game of the new agreement. Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. and BlueClaws General Manager Geoff Brown then signed the agreement on the field to make the decision official.
Benny Looper, the Phillies Assistant General Manager for Player Personnel said there was excitement on both sides about continuing the partnership. "The Phillies couldn't be happier to extend their relationship with both the BlueClaws and the city of Lakewood," he said. "It's been a wonderful 12 years and we look forward to many more."
The agreement between the BlueClaws and their Philadelphia big league club started when they first took the field back in 2001. Since then 46 players have made it to the Major Leagues. Of those 28 suited up for the Phillies starting with Howard and his teammate Gavin Floyd a few days later.
Brown said he was glad to see the agreement continued after a dozen years of working together. "It's been a magnificent relationship over the last 12 years and we've been graced with some great players who have come through Lakewood," he said.
Since their first season the team has won three South Atlantic League titles including back-to-back crowns in 2009 and 2010.
There is still time left to see this year's group of players. The team is home through Sunday evening as they wrap up a series against the Kannapolis Intimidators. They will then be home starting Aug. 31 for a series against the Greensboro Grasshoppers.
To learn more about the team check out their website.