Brown for the Count

Asst. Groundskeeper Brandon Dougan (left) and Kevin Brown (right) at Frederick’s Alive at Five

This is a new segment for this blog, and it’s called Brown for the count. This is Kevin Brown Jr. and I am one of the assistants here with the Keys. It’s one thing for people that have been around the block in this industry to blog and tell you things. For me this is my first taste of a full year in minor league baseball and I feel like people would like to hear things from every direction.

It’s been awhile since us here with the Keys have blogged so let’s look back. Brian Matusz was here on a rehab start on Monday May 16th and a big crowd showed up cheering him on. It also worked out that it was Bark in the Park night so not only was the Baltimore Media here but also a good portion of the canines. For me it was exciting to see the Media come toFrederick and come for the rehab start here inFrederick. In my experience leading Matusz around and taking him to his Autograph location, he was very humble and appreciative to throw back here atFrederick where everything started for him a few years ago.

The home stand continued to be a good one for the Keys as they played well and had the college fair and a lot of young people at the park for our history day. Then we had two thrilling fireworks shows and a day game on Sunday to end the home stand. It’s a lot of long days when we have these seven day home stands. For me it is a learn as you go and adapt to the long hours and now as we are mid way into June I am quite comfortable with the hours.

There was no time to rest for the Keys staff as we had to prepare over the next week for spring fest. I was out in the community giving out flyers and working each day to prepare the stadium for our big event. During the week I was able to get my fork lift certified, something I thought I would never have done in my life. It’s something that I’m glad I got to learn. Then the weekend came and Friday night the staff spent eight hours putting down flooring for Spring Fest. It was a lot of work but in the end everyone worked together and we were ready for Saturday. Saturday May 28th was thebig Spring Fest event. We had a lot of Brewers out and a lot of people at the stadium ready to enjoy the beer and the live music. It was an all day event and took contributions from everyone to make the event go smooth. I was in the box office for most of the day but when I came out late in the day I saw how everything was working and clicking. From the Ice and Kegs being moved around to all the people at the front gate getting people in quickly and efficiently, it was a good day at Harry Grove Stadium. We then used the next few hours to remove the flooring and although everyone was tired and ready to quit, no one did and we got it pulled up and put back on trucks as quick as possible. I look back now and I am glad that I got to see the before, during, and after for Spring Fest and glad that everything worked out well.

Next up was Memorial Day and for many it was time to cook out and spend time with family. For the Keys it was time for another home stand, and time to provide a good time for all the Keys Faithful as we push toward a potential play off birth. The Keys were out in the community as Keyote and other Keys staff went toRockvillefor the Memorial Day parade, it was nice to see so many people gathering for the parade and the loud response the Keys go as they went through the parade route. The Keys then celebrated Memorial Day with a day game so that our fans could also enjoy other plans either before or after our game. The rest of the week was very fun for me and my staff as we had half way to Halloween Night and Disney Night. There were a lot of costumes from our staff members and I heard there was a good looking fisherman. Then on Disney Night I saw Aladdin and Jasmine, Tinker bell, Mr. Incredible and a plethora of others all at the stadium in support of the Keys. It’s fun to wear something different and just be goofy for a night or two. I personally like to show my spirit and try to get in to bounce off to others. The weekend was also big for the Keys, it was starting to be warmer and the action on the field was heating up too. Friday night we had Girls Night Out and several lucky ladies got to dig on the field and try to find one of four diamonds hidden under the infield. I was not on the field for this but I heard that it was crazy down there and these ladies gave it their best to try and find the hidden jewels. After the dust had cleared we shot off Fireworks and let the kids run the bases and everyone went home happy. As a former little league it’s nice to see that we give kids the chance to run the bases every night and let them feel like they are a Keys superstar trying to score that winning run. Like the last home stand we ended this one with a game day and then the staff player picnic. These are ball players but they are also individuals and the relationship between the players, the full time staff and the game day staff tightened with this event and it was a delicious way to wrap it all up.

Now with the Keys and the weather really heating up, we had a four day stretch with out a home game. Everyone here at the Keys is still busy doing their everyday duties with sales, sponsorships, marketing, etc. We had three more games this weekend and knew we had to be working feverishly in the office and in the community generating interest with the Keys. I personally have been on numerous appearances and people are always interested in how we are doing and when are we home next. The minor league teams rely on the community and I can see that the Keys and the outlining communities have a strong relationship. Finally we reach the weekend and the Keys put on three nights of exciting baseball action, on field promotions, and we light up the sky with our fireworks show. We are almost at the all star break now and things are really rolling for the Keys.

I can see through being on the dug out during the game getting people to shake their keys, that people support us and love what we do here. We bring fun every night and I am glad that I am here for the ride. I will be blogging on here more often now about my experiences with the Keys and I hope it gives everyone a new perspective. For now you can catch me on the dugout, I’m the crazy one dancing like there’s no tomorrow.

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