Brown for the Count, Volume 2
Another awesome home stand ended on Tuesday night for us here at the Keys, and this home stand had big crowds and the Keys did not disappoint. To start off, it was officially released the day before our home stand started that Orioles top prospect Manny Machado would be promoted to Frederick and start the 2nd half of the season here with the Keys. The buzz caused by Machado has been very large and people are excited that he is making his way through Frederick on his road to the Orioles. Thursday night we opened the home stand and Machado was in our line up batting in the # 3 spot. The debut for a player is a crowning achievement and a player always wants to do well in that first game when everyone is watching. I was down in the seating bowl waiting for the inning to end and do a promotion on the dug out. I look out and Machado crushes a pitch to left field over the wall for his 1st Carolina League hit and homerun. Manny was not the only thing going on at the grove. We had the Principal Financial Dreams Tour at the stadium. They had a large set up on the concourse, and former Orioles Chris Hoiles was at the game as their special guest. As a kid growing up inBaltimore, Chris was one of the guys I admired and knew would come through in the clutch and it was nice to see him involved and at the Keys game. The large crowd that had came out for Machado’s debut was electric and even in a keys defeat the crowd went home excited over the future we have with Manny on our team and the fun time they had at the game.
Friday night brought in another large crowd and this time it was Fredneck night. Given that I am not from around here, this Fredneck idea was new to me but I had no problems dressing up for it and getting into the spirit of the night. The staff put on their best plaid shirts, t-shirts, and boots and welcomed in the crowd. We did a special on field promotion for Fredneck night with toilet seats being used as horseshoes. Then, the two lucky individuals competed against each other. It was a fun game and the crowd seemed interested in from start to finish. Friday nights are always big in Frederick, but this one was even bigger. A nice summer night with a post game fireworks show means a lot of families and a lot of children here at the Grove. Knowing we had this large crowd and we needed a rally in the 9th, several of the staff went to the dugouts and tried to pump the crowd with our rally video and music playing. I took it upon myself to take the Keys sign of the three lets go keys signs and work the crowd with my dance moves. The fans get into it and clap as I dance and make a fool out of myself. None of that matters though because it’s all in good fun. It’s all about getting the fans pumped for what may happen in the 9th that matters the most. I left the dugout to a large applause and many high fives. The crowd was excited and a majority stuck around for the fireworks show and again it was a great night at the Grove.
After two big nights, things kept going up. Saturday I was in the community at the Urbana Music Festival. A nice crowd of people, sunshine, and music made for a good afternoon. Then it happened, we had the largest crowd at the stadium since 2006. It was a beautiful June night and it was scout night. We had people everywhere in the stadium; it was to the point of standing room only. We had the boy scouts, the girl scouts, the scout leaders, the family of the scouts, and a lot of other people that came to spend their Saturday night with the Keys. The Keys staff did their best to give each person in attendance and a great experience. This included the many scouts who got to watch the game and then stay over night for a sleep over. All during the night I was at the table getting the parents to fill out waivers and as the night went on I could tell we were going to have a large group spending the night. It took a group effort to get the stadium emptied then set up for the sleep over, then get the scouts back in. Everyone was placed in an orderly fashion on the field, and then we aired Toy Story 3. At the end of the movie we turned the lights out and the scouts slept soundly on our field. It was not over for the staff as we needed people at the stadium all through the night. I worked my 2 to 3 am shift and then went home for some much needed sleep. The night ran smooth and the scouts had the time of their lives.
After the big three nights we just had, we still had three to go. Sunday night brought out the Heartly house and the stadium was purple for the night. Our players wore purple hats that were auctioned off during the game. The Heartly house was able to raise a lot of money and awareness and the crowd was treated to another night of fireworks. To wrap up the home stand we had back to back weeknight home games. On Monday night Oliver Drake thrilled the crowd with a complete game shut out, and all kids got to eat free as part of our Monday promotion. Finally Tuesday night was the end of a rocking home stand. To really send it off we had The King, Keyote, Frank Key, and the Hot Dog treat the crowd to a dug out dance party late in the game.
This home stand presented the Keys with some of the largest crowds of the year and we were able to deliver solid promotions and fun every night. The Keys hit the road over the next week and that means some office days for everyone here and then a much anticipated 4th of July weekend. Be sure to check back on Unlocking the Keys for more Brown for the Count and other interesting Keys articles and postings. For now I hope everyone enjoys the holiday and continue to Shake Your Keys.