A Wintry Wonderland
It’s about that time of year when baseball fans itch for the beginning of spring training. Countdowns begin to emerge for the reporting dates for pitchers and catchers and of course, the first game of the spring. While many fans eagerly await the excitment of spring baseball, those who work within the minor league system are preparing for another season filled with wacky promotions, long work days and the fun, family atmosphere involved with it all.
My name is Brandon Apter and I am the Promotions Manager for the Frederick Keys, Advanced ‘A’ Affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles. I started working here in November this past year after working two seasons in minor league baseball prior. I am hoping that this blog gives not only Keys fans a chance to see how we operate, but for baseball fans everywhere. I will be posting every few days about how community appearances work in the offseason, updates as players arrive, and the craziness of a game day when they arrive. This time of the year is known to be a slow time but January is when everything picks up for this industry
The weather here in the northeast is kind to kids. Snow = no school for most here in Maryland but it is just another day at work for everyone here. Outgoing sales calls, incoming donation requests and sponsorships are in full swing at this time of year. For myself, planning a lot of community appearances takes up a lot of time. The Keys are in the midst of kicking off another year of the Keys for Reading Program which covers schools in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. Students who participate receive a bookmark and have to read four books within a two month period. When they turn in their bookmark with the completed books listed, they receive a free ticket to a game here at Harry Grove Stadium. My job along with Marketing Assistant, Bridget McCabe, is to travel to these schools with our mascot, Keyote, to get kids excited about baseball and most importantly, reading. This part of minor league baseball is one many people do not see. Community outreach and getting out there to get kids more amped to read is a very rewarding process for all involved.
These appearances are highlighted by us going to these schools and telling the students about this program and then having our mascot act out the book “Casey at the Bat” for them. It shows kids that reading can be fun and if you use your imagination, it can be used to achieve many things. One of the biggest rewards of going to these schools is seeing that you are indeed making a difference to the younger generation.
The Keys for Reading program is only one aspect of community outreach that we do and as we do them, I hope to inform everyone on how they work. One of the best parts of working in baseball is the reward of seeing a kid smiling at his first game and the satisfaction of the fans. I want to show you how all of that is done!
Stay tuned for more posts in the coming weeks!….Oh, only 75 days until Opening Day here at Harry Grove Stadium! Keyote is ready, are you?