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The Lakewood BlueClaws Have Been Sold

FirstEnergy Park, home of the Lakewood BlueClaws. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

FirstEnergy Park, home of the Lakewood BlueClaws. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

The Lakewood BlueClaws have been sold to a new ownership group, the team announced late Thursday.

Under the new agreement, the team will be owned by a company known as “Shore Town Baseball,” headed by Minor League baseball veteran Art Matin, and including local investors Bob Tamashunas and Bill Luby, both residents of Monmouth County. The group of individuals will own a managing stake in the ball club, a Singe A affiliate of Philadelphia Phillies.

For fans, there were no immediate changes on the horizon and the team will remain in Lakewood. The team recently signed a contract to stay affiliated with the Phillies through the 2020 season.

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Matin was previously the CEO of Mandalay Baseball Properties, which owned and operated nine separate franchises over its existence, including among others the Dayton Dragons, Oklahoma City RedHawks, Frisco RoughRiders, and Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. This followed a successful career in the tech industry that included senior positions at IBM, McAfee Security, and Veritas.  He also served as chairman of MiLB’s Baseball Internet Rights Company (BIRCO) from 2010-2014.

Luby and Tamashunas are partners at Seaport Capital, a private equity firm that has a history of investing in minor league baseball through its majority ownership of Mandalay Baseball Properties.

“Our ownership group is made up of people who love the game of baseball, have extensive experience in owning minor league baseball franchises, and bring local knowledge and commitment to the table,” Martin said in a prepared statement. “We look forward to continuing the tradition of providing fun family entertainment and exciting professional baseball for decades to come here on the Jersey Shore. 

Martin said the new ownership will look for ways to improve the game experience and will reach out to fans to see what ideas they have to make visiting the park an even better experience.

I have always admired the previous BlueClaws ownership group and thank them for working with us on this opportunity and congratulate them on 17 terrific seasons with the team.

The team was previously led by Joe Finley of American Baseball Ventures, the outgoing ownership group. Finley said the team will be left in “capable hands” with Martin and Tamashunas at the helm.