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Crab Claw Classic is 'two days of baseball fun'

Anne Arundel County native Lou Holcomb’s successful baseball playing career included a foray into the Texas Rangers minor league system. Some of his fondest memories of playing the sport, however, come from his competitive days in the Greater Glen Burnie recreation program as a youth.

“I always thought all-star games were fun and exciting,” Holcomb said. “Back as a little league player in the GGB program, each team would pony up three or four of their best players. We would play an all-star game at the halfway point and it was always a lot of fun to be selected to play and play with other top players in a ball game.”

Sixteen years ago, Holcomb decided to combine that love for all-star games with his drive to bring collegiate recruiting exposure to players in the Mid-Atlantic area into the two-day event he dubbed the Crab Claw Classic, which will be held Aug. 3-4 at Joe Cannon Stadium and Johns Hopkins University.

“My game is a combination of childhood memories with an added twist of providing exposure for our region’s high school baseball players as they compete in front of college recruiters and pro scouts,” Holcomb said. “It is two days of baseball fun.”

The classic begins Friday, Aug. 3 with a combine at Joe Cannon Stadium from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pitchers and catchers will display their skills in the first session with position players showing their talents in the second session, which will also include the hitting sessions.

The top performers will then be selected for play in a nine inning all-star game Saturday at Johns Hopkins University, the first move from Joe Cannon since the all-star game was held at the University of Maryland in College Park during the classic’s early years. The all-star game is slated for 4 p.m.

“I was very proud to be a part of the long ling of baseball talent that came from Anne Arundel County, programs like Arundel High School with Bernie Walters,” Holcomb said. “Severna Park with Jim Pitt, Brooklyn Park High School teams, and Chesapeake were all tough teams in the ’80s. So having the event in Anne Arundel County is like coming home each summer.

“I get to catch up with my high school coach Mel Montgomery (who coached at Old Mill High School). I enjoy being at Joe Cannon Stadium. The game at JHU gives it a collegiate feel that I think the players like. I used to have it at the University of Maryland at College Park and it carries that same college feel to it.”

The influx of numerous college recruiters will help with that “college feel.” In years past, a host of colleges, including Maryland, Georgia Tech, West Virginia, Old Dominion, Michigan State, Richmond, Notre Dame, James Madison, and George Washington, have been represented at the combine/all-star game.

Interested players in the high school graduation dates of 2019, ’20, ’21, and ’22 can register at diamondrecruiting.com/crab-claw-classic. The fee for pitchers is $125 and $150 for catchers and position players with a sum of $50 for an additional position.

“There are countless times where a player's performance received college scholarship offers directly from participating in the combine and or game portion of the event,” said Holcomb, who included in that list Severna Park graduate Kyle Convissar, who played at Maryland.

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