AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
Byline: Paul Hagen
May 24--LAKEWOOD, N.J. -- The kids leaned across the dugout, searching, beseeching. They were looking for somebody.
"Who's Ryan Howard? He doesn't play for us," joked Lakewood BlueClaws coach Joe Alvarez. "You guys are at the wrong ballpark."
There was no chance they were falling for that. Ever since the Phillies announced last week that Howard, the reigning National League Most Valuable Player, would be doing a rehab assignment with their Class A South Atlantic League affiliate yesterday and tonight, FirstEnergy Park became the place to be.
"The phone started ringing right away," said BlueClaws general manager Geoff Brown, who calculated that Howard's presence translated into about 2,000 additional tickets sold.
Howard, who is recovering from a strained left quadriceps, received a warm ovation and chant of "Ry-an! Ry-an!" from the overflow crowd of 8,063 (seating capacity: 6,588) when he stepped to the plate. And he didn't disappoint.
Batting cleanup and starting at designated hitter, he went 2-for-3, including the …