Blue Rocks Announce 2014 Holiday Card Contest Winner

5th Grader from Assumption B.V.M. School in West Grove, PA chosen out of thousands of entries.


Wilmington-Blue-Rocks-2014The Wilmington Blue Rocks are excited to announce the winner of the 13th Annual Holiday Card Contest. Thousands of entries were received, but unfortunately, there could be only one winner. After a tough decision process, Rocky Bluewinkle, Mr. Celery and the rest of the Holiday Card Contest Committee decided that the overall winner was Benjamin Trowbridge, a 5th Grader from Assumption B.V.M. School in West Grove, PA. His artwork will be featured on the cover of the Wilmington Blue Rocks Holiday Card. Benjamin will be rewarded with a team-autographed baseball, a ceremonial first pitch and 10 tickets to a 2015 Blue Rocks game.

The Blue Rocks also selected honorable mention recipients, whose artwork will be displayed on the back of the Holiday Card. The art teachers of the winner and honorable mention designers will be contacted by a Blue Rocks representative in the next week. Those garnering honorable mentions honors are:

Iyanna Flores
Assumption B.V.M.
West Grove, PA

Dafne Ruiz
2nd Grade
Assumption B.V.M.
West Grove, PA

Sophie Dodds
3rd Grade
Villa Maria Academy
Immaculata, PA

Emily Ford
4th Grade
Villa Maria Academy
Immaculata, PA

Adrienne Testa
5th Grade
Holy Angels School
Newark, DE

Erica Panico
5th Grade
North Star Elementary
Hockessin, DE.

The Wilmington Blue Rocks would like to thank all those who entered. Entries were received from students in Kindergarten thru 5th grade from Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey.

Each entrant will be rewarded with 2 tickets to a Blue Rocks game in 2015 as a thank you for participating. The tickets will be mailed to the participating teachers by February.

The Blue Rocks, who drew 284,701 fans to Frawley Stadium in 2014 and averaged more than 4,400 patrons per game, have season seats and group packages for the 2015 season on sale now. Fans should call 302-888-BLUE or visit for more information.

This article originally appeared on the official website of the Wilmington Blue Rocks. Click here to view the original story.

Blue Rocks honored with Minker Award

Community service award is named after Wilmington team’s founder

Wilmington-Blue-Rocks-2014The Wilmington Blue Rocks were honored by the Carolina League on Wednesday with the Matt Minker Community Service Award, which goes to the club that best demonstrates an outstanding, on-going commitment to charitable service, support, and leadership within its community. The award is named after the Blue Rocks’ founder, who owned the club until his death in 2007. Minker, whose construction company also built Frawley Stadium, is still the team’s honorary president. It is the first year the title has been awarded to an entire organization, after going to individual players since its inception in 2009.

“Matt Minker was instrumental in laying the foundation for the Blue Rocks and for the franchise’s success in the years to follow,” said Blue Rocks general manager Chris Kemple. “It is fitting and appropriate that this honor bears his name and we are absolutely privileged to be the first organizational recipient.”

The Blue Rocks won the award thanks in large part to their numerous school programs, charitable endeavors and hospital visits.

As an organization the Blue Rocks work with area schools to promote academic achievement (Rocky’s Reading Challenge), citizenship (Outstanding Student Program), and active lifestyles (Titus Sports Champions Physical Health Program). The team helped raise tens of thousands of dollars for good causes through partnerships with Habitat For Humanity, Boys & Girls Clubs of DE, Fight for the Gold, Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition and many other charities in 2014. It also contributed school supplies to the Red Clay School Consolidated School District during the Remax Stuff the Bus Campaign and donated thousands of tickets to other worthy community programs. Several times each season the team also visited the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital For Children, brightening the spirits of that facility’s patients and their families.

“We could not accomplish much of what we do without the partnership and cooperation of our players and the Kansas City Royals organization,” said Blue Rocks director of community affairs Kevin P. Linton. “Their commitment to community fits perfectly with the vision that Matt Minker set forth for the Blue Rocks franchise and that we continue to follow to this day.”

Community service is so engrained within the organization that three of the five times the award was presented to individual players it went to Blue Rocks. Everett Teaford was the inaugural winner in 2009 and was followed by Tim Melville in 2011 and Whit Merrifield in 2012.

As the Carolina League’s recipient of the Matt Minker Award, the Blue Rocks received the eight-team league’s automatic nomination for the John Henry Moss Community Service Award, given out by Minor League Baseball at its annual national convention, to be held this December in San Diego.

This article originally appeared on the official website of the Wilmington Blue Rocks. Click here to view the original story.


Team’s Efforts with Marketing Partners & Fans Touch Thousands

The Wilmington Blue Rocks continued their commitment of giving back to the community throughout the 2010 season. The year saw the team, in tandem with its marketing partners and fans, raise $744,721.99 worth of contributions to local charities, schools and community organizations. The sum includes many different types of contributions including cash, tickets and services.

“We take pride in being able to contribute at this level to youth and charitable organizations in the greater Wilmington area,” said Blue Rocks general manager Chris Kemple. “I’m certain that we could not have done this without assistance from our 2010 marketing partners and fans that also played a large role in raising these funds.”

Below is a breakdown of the team’s efforts in the community during the campaign:

Cash Donations – $19,115

The Wilmington Blue Rocks were able to donate $19,115 to local organizations in 2010. These donations included Little League sponsorships, specialty game-worn memorabilia auctions, ticket kickbacks, and a sponsorship with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Delaware.

During select games, the Blue Rocks wore special jerseys or hats. That apparel was then auctioned and raffled off during those games. Some items were auctioned off online as well. Below are a few examples:

Boots on the Ground – Blue Rocks wore Camo hats
Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition – Blue Rocks wore Pink jerseys
B+ Foundation – Blue Rocks wore Throwback jerseys

Other organizations that benefited from this included: The Ronnie Williams Foundation, the ING DIRECT Kids Foundation, United Cerebral Palsy of Delaware, and the Kelly Heinz-Grundner Brain Tumor Foundation.

Ticket Donations – 66,798 tickets, Value – $601,182

Each year, the Blue Rocks are able to accommodate almost every donation request. Through those donation requests, school programs, and by offering bulk tickets to select local organizations (Kind to Kids, USO Delaware, Delaware Police Departments, and more), the Blue Rocks were able to donate almost 67,000 tickets for the 2010 season.

Centerplate Concession Stand Money – $63,149.99

During the 2010 season, local organizations had the opportunity to work the concession stands during Blue Rocks games. In exchange, Centerplate, the concessionaire for the Wilmington Blue Rocks, gave them a portion of the revenue from that game. Throughout the season, over $63,000 was donated to these organizations for their efforts.

Non-Ticket Donations – $21,575

These donations are for extraordinary cases that call for something extra special. Non-ticket donations consist of:

Luxury Suites
Experience Items (first pitches, on-field inclusion)
Autographed Items (bats, baseballs)
Merchandise/Promo Items
Blue Rocks Baseball Camp Scholarships
Used Baseballs/Gloves/Equipment

Advertising Donations – $8,500

During home games, the Blue Rocks allowed select non-profits to promote themselves or upcoming events. This promotion was executed through the use of the RocksVision video board, the public address system, and by providing concourse tables.

Speaking Appearances

The Blue Rocks Front Office donated over 50 hours of their time to speak at community events. These events included speaking to children at local elementary schools, high schools, and colleges about careers in sports, and speaking to local organizations about the Blue Rocks.

Player Appearances

Wilmington Blue Rocks Players made many appearances over the 2010 season. Some of these appearances included visiting the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children (at least once a month), a youth detention center, local schools, United Cerebral Palsy’s summer camp, as well as other local summer camps.

Mascot Appearances – $7,500

Rocky Bluewinkle visited 196 community events this year. (Spanned over 240 hours; Value of free or discounted appearances – $7,500).

In-Stadium Fundraising at Frawley Stadium – $23,700

The Blue Rocks opened up Frawley Stadium to select charitable organizations during home games, and enabled them to raise money for their respective causes. Money was raised by selling t-shirts, raffle tickets, and by collecting donations. There have also been a number of check presentations before Blue Rocks games during the 2010 season.

K’s for Kids: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware donated money every time a Blue Rocks pitcher recorded a strikeout at home. At the end of the season, Delaware Guidance Services for Children and Youth, Inc. was presented with a $5,000 check.
Stolen Base Learning Initiative: SBLI Life Insurance donated money for each Blue Rocks stolen base during a home game. At the end of the season, BooksFirst! was presented with a $5,000 check.
Stolen Bases for Happy Faces: New Castle County Chamber of Commerce donated $5,000 to the Bear Babe Ruth Baseball League Miracle League Field project.
B+ Score for the Cure: AstraZeneca donated money for each Blue Rocks run scored at home. At the end of the season, the B+ Foundation was presented with a $5,000 check.


Make-A-Wish Night: On Aug. 31, the Blue Rocks hosted Make-A-Wish Night. Wish Kids were treated like stars. They were able to participate in some unique activities before and during the game, and they received lots of autographs and free stuff.
Challenger Little League: The Blue Rocks continued the tradition of working with the Challenger Little League to host its season’s Opening Ceremonies. Each player was introduced individually, and all teams get to play on Judy Johnson Field.
Stadium Tours: The Blue Rocks offer stadium tours for free. Tours are usually 30 minutes long. In 2010, the Blue Rocks hosted 60 tours, many to community organizations with little to no funding.
Toy Drive: The Blue Rocks were once again, able to contribute toys to the Mary Campbell Center. Rocky Claus surprised guests at the Mary Campbell Center’s youth and children holiday party with a sack full of donated toys.

Tackling Childhood Obesity

The Wilmington Blue Rocks are committed to tackling the epidemic of childhood obesity. To do so, the Blue Rocks have partnered with local programs like Nemours Health and Prevention Services, Titus Sports Academy (CHAMPIONS program), and Girls on the Run. Through these partnerships the Blue Rocks have been able to reward kids who participate in health/fitness-related extracurricular activities.

One of the many visits by Blue Rocks players and team mascot Rocky Bluewinkle to A.I. duPont Hospital included (left-to-right): Rocky, Ivor Hodgson, Buddy Baumann, Barry Bowden, Adrian Ortiz. (Photo by Dave Arthur)


Mascot Visits Over 100 Hospital Patients, Helps Deliver Gifts

The Blue Rocks’ own Rocky Bluewinkle joined forces with the Delaware State Police on Thursday for a visit to Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children to deliver gifts and holiday cheer. As part of the annual visit for the Delaware State Police, donations included gingerbread houses, stuffed animals, baseballs and more. The all-day delivery saw Rocky & Co. visit more than 100 patients.

Rocky did not make his journey solo. Everyone’s favorite furry pal had help from Delaware state troopers, Santa and Mrs. Claus, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph, a storm trooper, the Chick-fil-A Cow and Miss Delaware 2009 herself, Heather Lehman. The super squad posed for hundreds of pictures with patients and their families while dropping off goodies to lift their spirits.

While the dream team patrolled Alfred I. DuPont, other Delaware state police troopers also visited hospitals in Kent and Sussex counties. The Blue Rocks made special stops to Alfred I. DuPont monthly during the season with players and Rocky Bluewinkle in tow.

Link to original article by John Sadak

Rocky's "dream team" spread holiday cheer to over 100 patients at Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington. (Dave Arthur)

Blue Rocks Donate Nearly Half a Million for Local Causes

The Wilmington Blue Rocks proudly announce that the 2009 season saw the team, in tandem with its marketing partners and fans, donate and raise $424,000 worth of contributions to local charities, schools and community organizations. The sum represents a collective of many different types of contributions with the majority coming from monetary and ticket donations.

“We take pride in being able to contribute at this level to youth and charitable organizations in the greater Wilmington area,” said Blue Rocks general manager Chris Kemple. “I’m certain that we could not have done this without assistance from our 2009 marketing partners and fans that also played a large role in raising these funds.”

Blue Rocks concessionaire, Centerplate, allows community organizations the opportunity to volunteer at the concession stands during home games in return for a percentage of the money received at each stand. Thanks to this program almost $74,000 was given back to community organizations.

The Blue Rocks continue to support local youth baseball and donated over $1,600 as well as used baseball equipment to local Little League organizations.

Game-worn memorabilia auctions saw an increase in frequency and dollar amounts, helping to raise over $6,300. On April 19, the Blue Rocks wore purple hats to raise money for the Bernadette Farrell Memorial Fund as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Night. The Rocks sported pink jerseys on May 29 to benefit the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition.

The Rocks wore camouflage hats on May 30 and August 1 to raise money for Delaware Boots on the Ground and USO Delaware. On July 3, Wilmington donned patriotic jerseys to support United Cerebral Palsy of Delaware (UCP). The Rocks wore Red hats on June 25 to raise funds for the American Red Cross of the Delmarva Peninsula. The Rocks also sported gold jerseys on Aug. 13 for Elvis Night to benefit the local chapter of the American Lung Association. Blue Rocks players went beyond the laundry too, donating game-worn cleats and batting gloves that were auctioned off for charity.

Almost 60,000 tickets were distributed to area schools over the course of the season. Mascot Rocky Bluewinkle led the charge to promote literacy with

his Reading Challenge, presented by the Delaware State Education Association. The Blue Rocks worked with local schools to reward kids who met their reading goal. In 2009, over 150 area schools were awarded a total of 57,000 tickets. Along with Rocky’s Reading Challenge the Blue Rocks donated over 2,500 tickets through programs like the IFS Outstanding Students Program, which allows teachers to reward students who display excellence in behavior and performance in the classroom.

The team also donated over 8,000 tickets to community organizations throughout the 2009 campaign with 6,000 going to local fundraisers, 1,000 donated to the USO Delaware to use for their soldiers and staff, and the remainder finding a number of other local non-profit organizations in need. Those same non-profit groups received another $2,000 worth of free/discounted video board advertising and concourse tables to promote themselves and their worthy events.

The Blue Rocks organized special events to collect money and goods for those less fortunate. Before the season, the team held a gift drive for kids at the Mary Campbell Center. The team also offered ticket discounts to fans that donated items to the Food Bank of Delaware. The Blue Rocks Charity Golf Classic, held at Deerfield Golf and Tennis Club on Aug. 17, raised over $1,500 for UCP and CHILD, Inc. in one day.

Community appearances proved a regular item on the team’s calendar. Mascot Rocky Bluewinkle and numerous Blue Rocks players visited A.I. duPont Hospital for Children at least once a month throughout the season in addition to other appearances. Rocky logged over 60 community service hours at schools and charitable events as well. Rocks’ players put in over 20 hours despite their grueling 140-game schedule over five-plus months time. The Blue Rocks visited schools and community organizations throughout the Delaware Valley, tallying over 40 hours of their time throughout the season.

The K’s for Kids Program presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware (BCBSDE) completed its fourth season with great success. BCBSDE donated $10 to a local charity for every home game strikeout the Blue Rocks pitching staff recorded. Thanks to this program, BCBSDE presented Girls on the Run a check for $5,000 before the Blue Rocks game on Sept. 2.

Challenger Little League returned for its annual day of baseball on May 12. Teams from the league were able to play their games on Judy Johnson Field before the Rocks’ contest later that night in a tradition that has spanned over a decade.

During the last homestand of the regular season, the Wilmington police department collected donations for the daughter of a slain Georgetown police officer Chad Spicer. The generosity of Blue Rocks fans contributed over $5,000 to Aubrey Spicer’s trust fund.

Blue Rocks players (left to right) Clint Robinson, Adrian Ortiz and Ryan Eigsti joined with Rocky Bluewinkle for a visit at A.I. duPont Hospital during the season. (Brad Glazier)