The recent home stand has just ended, so it’s time for the newest edition of Brown for the Count. Once again this is Kevin Brown, the special assistant with the Keys and I got you covered during the 2011 Keys season.
The July weather is scorching and the action at the Grove is even hotter. The home stand was a solid six game set against Potomac and Kinston, and it ran from Wednesday to Monday. This home stand saw presented fans with peanut free night,Fort Detrick night, bobbleheads, Salute to the Orioles, Faith night, and a special four o’clock game to wrap it all up. This was another big home stand and the Keys faithful continued to pack the Grove each night.
With it being the forth of July weekend and no home games for a week, the Keys staff got some much needed rest. Many of us went home for the holiday and others went on vacation. Now with a rested staff it was time to hit hard for the home stand. Wednesday night brought Potomac to town and it was peanut free night. The staff did our very best to clear the stadium of any peanut products or shells. It was our one night of the year where those fans who suffer from peanut allergies can come out to the stadium and there will be no threat to them and their allergy. We had several booths set up for groups that worked with allergies like the peanut one. It was a nice night and for one time this year all could come check out great baseball action with no fear of nuts.
Batting second on the home stand was FortDetrick night. This was a night where the people fromFort Detrick take over the Grove and get to partake in a pre game parade. Also the players wear special patriotic hats during the game. Then these hats are raffled off with the proceeds going to the charity Welcome Back Veterans. During the game we had several individuals selling raffle tickets both at a table on the concourse and through the seating bowl. We were able to sell a lot of tickets and during the game we called out ticket numbers and a select few were lucky enough to take home a signed hat after the game. The visitors fromFort Detrick got to see exciting Keys action and several people took home hats, and we raised money for veterans, a triple play combo that made for a riveting night.
After these two big week nights, it was time for the weekend and it was go big or go home. The Keys presented Jayson Werth bobblehead give away night. The 1st 1,000 fans would take home this one of a kind keepsake. The problem was that during the day it poured in Frederick and the grove was a big puddle. Then late in the afternoon the sun came out and chased the rain away and it was time to give out some bobbleheads. Despite the rain being around most of the day, we had a huge crowd Friday night and people were very happy when they received their bobbleheads. With this big crowd, the Keys did not disappoint. Oliver Drake threw a gem, Manny Machado went deep, and Sean Gleason tied a Keys record with his 24th save of the year. Then the perfect end to the night was a spectacular fireworks show. What started as a dreary day full of rain ended with a bang and the fans went home happy.
Saturday night brought a new team in to town in the form of the Kinston Indians. It was a special night in Frederick because it was Salute to the Orioles, the major league team that all Keys players hope to get to one day. The night contained former Oriole players, the Oriole Bird, and several videos that highlight great moments in Orioles history. The night started off big because former Orioles Al Bumbry and Garrett Stephenson threw out ceremonial first pitches, as did the Oriole Bird. Then for about an hour the two former players signed autographs and mingled with fans on the concourse. During the night the Oriole Bird was at the grove, doing his thing both on the dug out and in the stands. Also encompassed in the night was Phil and Arianna from 106.9 the Eagle, the special emcees for the night. Then Rentals Unlimited sponsored another wonderful fireworks display that capped off another loaded night for the Keys.
After four nights of thrills and amazing moments, we kept rolling with faith night on Sunday. We opened the gates at 3:30 for a special pre game concert. People were flooding the grove as we opened the gates to enjoy the fine music and have a good time amongst friends and family. After the concert, the performers and Keys staff broke down the stage quickly and got the field ready for the game. Then crowd that was already there for the concert plus people that came later for just the game got a treat because again we had fireworks and we gave out free chips as people left for the night. Sunday’s are always family fun days but this one had families, faith, music, and chips, what a night!
Finally we hit game six of the home stand and although it is Monday, the traditional start of a work week, it was the end of the home stand for us with four office days on the horizon. We welcomed fans out for a special four o’clock start time. The Keys got out to a fast start in the game and cruised to victory. The fans that endured the strong heat of the day game were delighted by a strong showing by the Keys. That wrapped up another crazy set of games here at the Grove.
Looking into my crystal ball, I see that the Keys are not home again till Friday July 22nd. The next home stand has more great promotions and events at the Grove. These include three nights of fireworks, going green, super heroes, Christmas Eve in July, Salute to the Stink Bug and Camp Day. It is sure to be a good time at the Grove, but until then check out the Keys on the radio each night and online on our web site, and Shake Your Keys. You can also listen to the Keys by going to www.wthu.org and clicking “Listen Live” in the upper right hand corner of the site.