Players and coaches taking part in this month’s All-Shore Gridiron Classic gathered at FirstEnergy Park last night for a welcome picnic which was hosted by the Lakewood BlueClaws. 

The Shore Sports Network crew at the All-Shore Gridiron Classic welcome picnic at FirstEnergy Park (Townsquare Media NJ)

The 37th annual All-Star football  game will be played on Thursday, July 17th at Brick Township High School.  Throwing out ceremonial first pitches last night were All-Star head coaches Rob Dahl of Brick and Don Klein of Ocean along with recently-graduated Green Dragon lineman Matt Ulufanua and Spartans linebacker Dan Loizos.  Klein was proclaimed as having the most impressive arm of the quartet but that is very unofficial.   For more on the game visit shoresportsnetwork.com

Today is the final day for fan voting for Baseball’s All-Star game and while he likely won’t be selected as a starter by fans it’s looking more and more like Toms River’s Todd Frazier might be on his way to Minneapolis for the mid-summer classic on July 15th.   There is a three-way battle for the National League starter at 3rd base among Milwaukee’s Aramis Ramirez, David Wright of the Mets and San Francisco’s Pablo Sandoval. Ramirez is the leader heading into the final stretch while Frazier was fifth in fan voting although he clearly is having the best season of all the top candidates.

Todd Frazier #21 of the Cincinnati Reds ( Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The general consensus seems to be that the 28-year old former Toms River South and Rutgers standout is going to make his first National League All-Star team when rosters are announced Sunday night on ESPN.  Frazier comes into the weekend with a .289 batting average along with 17 homers, 47 RBI’s, 52 runs scored and 13 stolen bases.  He ranks first in all five of those categories when compared to the top three vote getters at his position.  If you do want to vote today then simply visit www.mlb.com

Of course Todd first made a name for himself playing Little League baseball and the District 18 All Star Tournaments are well underway.  In the Little League division which is made up mostly of 12-year olds there are four teams left competing for the division crown.  Holbrook and Brick have reached the winners bracket final and will meet tonight (weather permitting) in Jackson while at the same time Toms River and Jackson play in Holbrook  with the winner to stay alive in the double-elimination tournament. The Holbrook team has been the most impressive group, rolling through the round-robin portion of the tournament which is the first stop on the road to Williamsport.