Archive for October, 2008

2009 EL All-Star Game Officially In Trenton

October 14, 2008

I’ve been reporting this for quite a few months now, but the Trenton Thunder finally made it official today, announcing that they’ll be hosting the 2009 Eastern League All-Star Game.

Here’s their press release…

The top players from the 12 Major League Baseball organizations that call the Eastern League home will converge on Trenton, New Jersey next July.

On Tuesday, the Trenton Thunder, the Double-A Affiliate of the New York Yankees, announced at a press conference the team will host the 2009 Eastern League All-Star Game. The press conference took place at the Trenton Marriott at Lafayette Yard. The game is scheduled to be played at Mercer County Waterfront Park on Wednesday, July 15th at 7:05 PM.

The Thunder also announced that the Trenton Marriott at Lafayette Yard is now the official team hotel of the Trenton Thunder. The Trenton Marriott will host the Thunder’s visiting teams as well as serve as the host hotel for the players and front office executives for the 2009 All-Star Game.

“My team is truly excited to be able to partner with the Trenton Thunder to provide accomodations to visiting teams,” Trenton Marriott General Manager Jeffrey M. Zeiger said. “This represents another example of Trenton assests partnering to drive people to our great city.”

Below is important ticket dates and pricing information:

All-Star Ticket ORDER DATES

General Public – Beginning February 2, 2009
2009 Season Ticket Holders & Sponsors- Now until February 2, 2009
2009 Mini Plan/Pic-A-Plan holders & Group Leaders (PRIORITY SEATING) – Now until February 2, 2009

All-Star Ticket PRICES

Season Ticket Holders $12
Sponsors $12
Club Seats $17
Pavilion Seats $15
Standing Room Only (upon sell-out) $8

“We are thrilled at the opportunity to host the Eastern League players and staffs at Waterfront Park for what will be a special night for the city, county and Thunder organization,” said Thunder General Manager Will Smith. “We are very excited to form this partnership with the Trenton Marriott and look forward working together for years to come.”

The 2009 Eastern League All-Star Game will feature the top talent from the Northern Division taking on a roster of Southern Division All-Stars. Each of the All-Star rosters will consist of 24 players, with each Eastern League franchise being represented by at least one pitcher and one position player.

The Thunder hosted the 1996 Double-A All-Star game and drew 8,369 fans, which was the stadium record at the time. It now stands as the sixth most highly attended event in Trenton Thunder history.

This event will allow fans in Trenton to see the top Double-A players from the following Major League organizations:


Boston Red Sox (Portland Sea Dogs)

New York Mets (Binghamton Mets)

San Francisco Giants (Connecticut Defenders)

Toronto Blue Jays (New Hampshire Fisher Cats)

Minnesota Twins (New Britain Rock Cats)

New York Yankees (Trenton Thunder)

Philadelphia Phillies (Reading Phillies)

Pittsburgh Pirates (Altoona Curve)

Cleveland Indians (Akron Aeros)

Detroit Tigers (Erie SeaWolves)

Washington Nationals (Harrisburg Senators)

Baltimore Orioles (Bowie Baysox)


Austin Jackson, Still Good

October 8, 2008

The Arizona Fall League got underway yesterday, and it looks like Austin Jackson hasn’t missed a beat since winning an Eastern League Championship about a month ago.

Jackson, playing center field and hitting third, went 2-for-4 with a triple and four RBI in Peoria’s 10-3 win over Surprise.

Kevin Russo started at third base and was 0-for-3 with a run scored.

Phil Hughes pitched well, spinning five scoreless innings.  A Thunder standout in 2006, Hughes allowed just one hit and five walks, striking out seven.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT

Arizona Fall League Starts Today

October 7, 2008

Chad Jennings has a great look at the seven Yankees prospects who will be playing in the Arizona Fall League this year.

I’m hoping to get a hold of at least one of them during the AFL season for an interview on here, but we’ll see how that goes.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT

Q&A With Pinstripes Published

October 7, 2008

I did a quick Q&A over at Pinstripes Published, which you can check out here.

Of course, if you guys ever have any questions for me…or if there are any other blogs that want to do something similar, I’m always available for that.  You can either post your questions here or send me an e-mail.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT

Alumni Sunday: Brett Gardner

October 5, 2008

Current New York Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner showcased his blazing speed and ability to get on base during the second half of the 2006 season and first half of the 2007 season at Waterfront Park.

Gardner’s quick ascent through the system culminated with the 25-year-old getting a chance to wear the famous Yankee pinstripes in the last year of “The House That Ruth Built” before the team moves across the street for the 2009 season.

During one of my recent trips to Yankee Stadium, I had a chance to catch up with Gardner and ask him about his experiences in the big leagues and a few other topics as well…

Mike Ashmore: The last time I spoke to you was before the exhibition game in Trenton, and now here you are in the big leagues.  What has the whole experience up here been like?

Brett Gardner: “It’s been great.  This season, everything just happened a lot quicker than I expected.  Obviously, the ultimate goal is to play in the major leagues.  And now I’m here, and I’m having a great time.”

Ashmore: Your whole story is pretty interesting, going from being a walk-on in college to playing in the outfield at Yankee Stadium.  Have you been able to take the time to sit back and think about what an incredible ride its been for you?

Gardner: “I don’t think so, I don’t think I really ever will.  Going from a little kid hoping to play baseball one day to playing at Yankee Stadium, in the last year that Yankee Stadium will exist, it’s pretty surreal.  It’s definitely a dream come true.  One day, I’ll probably look back on everything and say, ‘Wow, that was something.’  But right now, I just try and stay level-headed and realize that I’m here for a purpose, which to hopefully help this team win some ballgames.  I try not to think about all the other stuff.”

Ashmore: With the way this Yankees team looks right now, there are a lot of other young guys in here with you.  How beneficial is it to you to look around and see some of the guys that you played with at the minor league level in here with you?

Gardner: “It’s good.  It’s good to see guys that are successful in the minor leagues get an opportunity up here to prove themselves.  Every guy that’s here has earned the right to be here and has earned the right to get an opportunity, so it’s very excited.”

Ashmore: Talk to me a little bit about getting to play at Yankee Stadium.  I’m sure you’d seen this place a bunch of times on TV, how different is it getting to actually play here?

Gardner: “Nothing ever looks the same on TV as it does in person.  The main thing is the way it feels.  You can walk out into a baseball field anywhere across the country and have the excitement to be on the field, whether it’s a park that doesn’t even have the grass mowed or whether it’s a Triple-A stadium.  But when you walk out on that field at Yankee Stadium in front of 55,000 fans, you know you’ve made it.  It’s definitely a privilege to be here and be in this clubhouse and to play on this field.”

Ashmore: How much do you feel like playing in Trenton prepared you for where you are now?

Gardner: “The Yankees have a really good minor league system.  Playing in Trenton and Scranton, you have good guys in the front office who take care of the players, and really good coaching staffs alongside of you.  I think the main thing with Trenton and Scranton is the fans.  They have such good fans.  Being with the Yankees, I think there’s more media involved with their minor league affiliates, so that also helps prepare you for being in New York.”

Ashmore: Do you still keep up with the minor league affiliates and how they’re doing?

Gardner: “Sure.  A lot of my friends and a lot of the guys I’ve played with are in Trenton or Scranton, so I keep in touch with some of those guys and see how they’re doing.  I check in on them and keep in touch.”

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT

From The Shameless Self-Promotion Department…

October 4, 2008

I mentioned this in the comments, but in case you missed it, I’ve started a blog covering the Trenton Devils.

You can find it here.

The layout is basically identical, which is fine by me since I think this one served everyone pretty well.

I can’t imagine that a lot of the people who read this blog will be checking out the T-Devils blog as well, but if you do happen check out the blog or come to a game, please feel free to comment or say hello, just as you would on here or at the ballpark.

Hockey blog or not, I absolutely cannot wait for the Thunder’s 2009 season to get underway.  This year was probably the most fun I’ve had in my career, and I can’t wait to return next year.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT

Looks Like I’ll Be In The Trenton Area Again…

October 1, 2008

What could be better than spending the entire year in the Trenton area?

OK, maybe I shouldn’t answer that…

But although the details on exactly what I’ll be doing are a little sketchy, it looks like I’ll be covering the ECHL’s Trenton Devils for the 2008-09 season.

People who know me well — and I think I’ve said this on this blog a few times as well — know that I consider myself to be more of a hockey guy than a baseball guy, so I’m very grateful for this opportunity to finally cover hockey on a full-time basis.

I’ve more or less taken a few weeks away from doing the Thunder blog on a day-to-day basis to focus on covering the Somerset Patriots during their championship run…apparently, all I do is cover championship teams these days.

But, with that said, I obviously do plan on getting some Thunder talk going in the next few days.  I’m going to announce my post-season award winners, churn out some original and exclusive features with never-before-seen quotes, and quotes from your favorite big league stars on what their favorite memories of Yankee Stadium are.

I also plan on bringing back the best photos I took from the course of the season, as well as taking a look at which players from this year’s team I think you’ll be seeing on the field at Waterfront Park in 2009.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT