Blue Crabs make announcements
Garcia named gold glove winner, Cliburn returns as manager and team’s 2019 schedule unveiled
While the 2018 season may not have gone according to plan for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, which finished well below .500, one of its genuine bright spots, shortstop Edwin Garcia, was recently named the Atlantic League’s defensive player of the year.
In his second season with the Blue Crabs, Garcia was named to his second consecutive spot on the Red, White and Blue All-Defensive Team. Not only lauded for his defensive skills throughout the Atlantic League, Garcia actually backed it up statistically by finishing with the highest fielding percentage among shortstops and recorded the third most assists at the position.
“Edwin has been a great player and an even better representative of the team in his two seasons with the organization,” Blue Crabs general manager Courtney Knichel said. “We are happy for Edwin that his play is being recognized across the league by earning this prestigious award.”
While Garcia could not be reached for comment, teammate Devon Rodriguez had high praise for the Blue Crabs shortstop.
“Every day when you watch him practice and watch him play you’re convinced that you are watching a major league shortstop,” Rodriguez said. “He just does everything so well and so fluidly and he’s always working to improve. He truly deserves to get a chance to play in a major league organization at some point. His range and his work ethic are both really outstanding and he really deserved the [Gold Glove] award.”
Late last week, the team unveiled its 2019 schedule, which begins on April 25 on the road in Texas against the Sugar Land Skeeters and then back at home on May 3 against the Lancaster Barnstormers. Also on the slate is the newest addition to the Atlantic League, the High Point (N.C.) Rockers who will join the Liberty Division and make their first appearance in Southern Maryland May 27-30.
“The schedule release is always a big day across the league as it generates the first excitement for the upcoming season,” Knichel said. “We have many new ideas for this year, and now with the schedule out we can get to work on our plans on and off the field for 2019.”
In addition to facing a new team in the league, the Blue Crabs will have a new face in the dugout, sort of.
Stan Cliburn, who guided the squad to the Freedom Division title in 2015 and a berth in the Atlantic League Championship Series where the Blue Crabs lost in four games to the Somerset Patriots. Cliburn also earned his 1,500th win as a manager that season.
“I loved my first season in Southern Maryland [in 2015], so coming back to this team and this league feels a lot like coming home,” Cliburn said in a team news release last Friday announcing his return. “The way this team engages with the community is something I really enjoyed, so I’m very excited to get back to a place that I’ve come to know very well.”
Cluburn spent 14 seasons playing professional baseball, advancing to the major league level in 1980 with the California Angels and spending the next seven seasons with the Angels and the Atlanta Braves before getting his first managing role with the Watertown Pirates of the New York-Pennsylvania League in 1988.
Cliburn would spend the next 16 years as a manager with various minor league clubs, including stints at Single-A, Double-A and Triple-A and finished with a record of 1,321-1,292. He returned to the independent leagues in 2011 and then eventually became the manager for the Blue Crabs.
“I have a lot of special memories in my career and earning my 1,500th win [in 2015] was a tribute to everything that I had been involved with from previous players and management to everyone I worked with that year,” Cliburn said. “We played great all season long in 2015, and that playoff series with Lancaster was one of the hardest that I have ever been a part of. We pulled off a big win to get the Freedom Division Championship and earn a chance to play for the title.”
Rawlings A’s Prospects will hold baseball tryouts for the summer 2019 season.
Tryouts will occur at 10 a.m. Nov. 3, 11 and 16 for 11-U and 12-U teams, at noon Nov. 3, 11 and 16 for 13-U and 14-U teams and at 10 a.m. Nov. 4, 10 and 17 for 2019 to 2022 graduates.
To register for a tryout, go to www. rawlingsprospectsmd.net/tryouts. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Southern Maryland Volleyball Club will hold tryouts for its teams competing in the upcoming USA Volleyball Chesapeake Region 2018-19 season.
Tryouts for all age groups, 12-U to 18-U, will be held on Nov. 11 at Capital Clubhouse in Waldorf.
For exact times and more information, go to somdvbc.com or email email@example.com.
Also, SOMDVBC is seeking coaches for the various age groups. If interested in coaching or assisting, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mid-Atlantic Tournament Baseball will hold a Thanksgiving Hitting Camp for children 8 to 17 on Nov. 23 and 24.
The cost is $150 per player. Group and team discounts are available. For more information and to register, go to matbaseball.com.
Youth basketball players wanted
St. Mary’s County Recreation and Parks will hold youth basketball registration through Nov. 25 or until filled.
The divisions are 3rd-4th grade coed, 5th-6th grade girls, 5th-6th grade boys, 7th-8th grade girls, 7th-8th grade boys and 9th-10th grade coed. They are divided by area of the county with the north being Mechanicsville to Charlotte Hall, central being Leonardtown and south being Lexington Park.
The cost is $80 per person. Registration can be done online or walk into the main office in Leonardtown in the Patuxent building. To register online, go to www.stmarysmd.com/recreate. For more information, call Kenny Sothoron at 301-475-4200, ext. 1830.
Learn to Play Hockey registration is open
Southern Maryland Sabres Hockey Club has teamed up with the Washington Capitals to bring the Learn to Play Hockey program back to the Capital Clubhouse in Waldorf, starting at 9:35 a.m. Dec. 1.
This program provides head-to-toe hockey gear for new players, along with eight weeks of on-ice instruction by USA Hockey certified coaches and Capitals Alumni for $170.
The gear includes skates, stick, bag, helmet and all safety pads, with a Washington Capitals logo jersey.
This initiative is an amazing and affordable way to introduce children to the game of hockey in a fun, safe environment. For more information and to register, go to https://learntoplay.nhl. com/capitals.
For more information about the program on the Southern Maryland Sabres, go to www.somdsabres.org/program/sabres-instructional/39
There will also be a Try Hockey for Free day at the Capital Clubhouse at 3:30 p.m. Nov. 11 to introduce your child to the ice.
For questions about hockey and the Learn to Play program, contact Megan Whalon, Little Sabres Coordinator, at Littlesabres@somdsabres.org.