Brown for the Count – Volume 5
It’s time for another edition of Brown for the Count. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve checked in so let’s review the latest events from the Grove. Your Frederick Keys have been playing solid baseball and are on pace to have the best season in franchise history. Since the last major home stand in July, the Keys have had two more road trips, a small three game home set and a huge seven game home stand. The huge home stand was the 2nd to last one of the regular season and it ran from Thursday the 11th to Wednesday the 17th. This home stand was highlighted by 80’s Night, Jerry the King Lawler, Cancer Awareness, Keyote’s Birthday, Moustache Mania, and saying goodbye to our college game day interns. Despite some rain and hot temperatures, it was still another fabulous week for the Frederick Keys.
We had just had a six game road trip and the 2nd consecutive weekend with no games at the Grove. That meant two weekends free for the staff here with the Keys but we all knew that the toughest stretch of games was on the horizon. Thursday August 11th marked the first game of 14 home games in an 18 day period. A daunting task nonetheless, we were ready to start strong. Wednesday night was 80’s night and the staff at the Keys was dressed in varying 80’s attire like band t-shirts and layers. Despite the fact that much of our staff and our fans were born in the late 80’s or after, people still appreciate the 80’s and respect that decade and do their best to wear the styles.
Game two on the home stand was Friday night and it was a memorable evening for everyone, especially for me. It was the usual firework night and it was salute to the blue collar worker, but we also had a very special guest in attendance. We had WWE Commentator, Wrestler, and Hall of Famer Jerry “The King” Lawler at our stadium for the whole entire night. Let me first say how excited I was personally to have him at the Grove because the truth is I am a huge wrestling fan and still watch it today. He got to our stadium before the game and he greeted and mingled with our staff and players. Then he signed autographs and took photos with fans before the game, then he threw out the first pitch, then went right back to signing for the 1st six innings of the game. While this was going on I had the pleasure of working Jerry’s table and greeting fans and helping out the process in any way I could. He was very friendly and welcoming with all fans and signed for every fan for almost three straight hours.
After the signing was over, we took Jerry into our press box and he was able to watch a few innings of what ended up being a Keys win. Then at the end of the eighth inning was one of the biggest moments at the Grove of the year. Like every home game, The Burger King crowns one fan the king of the game and gives them a crown and a coupon for a free meal. Tonight we had the Burger King being accompanied by Jerry Lawler. Then while the Burger King was looking for the lucky fan, a fan in a Winston Salem hat stole the crown and started gloating and acting like a fool. The crowd was stunned and no one knew what to do. Jerry Lawler saw a metal folding chair near by; he picked it up and hit the fan in the back from behind. The crowd cheered as the fan came crashing to the ground and the King picked up the Burger King crown and gave it to a deserving Keys fan. Jerry and the Burger King left to a solid stream of cheers and a few people shocked at what had just occurred. The Winston Salem fan was able to get up to his feet and walk away on his own terms.
Witnesses to the event said it was a sound steady shot to the guys back and said it came out of no where. It was an awesome evening inFrederick and was the highest Friday attendance of the season. The night was capped off with a huge victory for the Keys and a fireworks show. For me it was one of the most fun nights we had this season and it was great having a huge WWE celebrity with us for the night.
It would be tough to top Fridays spectacular events, but Saturday night was another big night and it was for a special cause, Cancer Awareness night. Every year the Keys do their part in spreading cancer awareness in having a bat auction and a pre and post game ceremony. With the severity of Cancer and the impact it has on everyone, it’s good that sports organizations can help in the efforts. Saturday night for me was another night of doing the PA announcing, and it was time to step up and deliver on a major weekend night. I felt like it went pretty solid with an occasional slip up, but for it only being my third time and it being a Saturday night with a bigger crowd and more going on, it went pretty well. After the game we had kids run, a cancer awareness ceremony and fireworks. It was a busy night and once the last guest had left, we were far from being done. The winds blew in all night long and we felt the effects for fireworks clean up. Firework debris was everywhere on the infield, outfield, and warning track. With a huge effort from the staff and interns, we were able to get the debris cleaned up and everyone was able to get out and enjoy the rest of their Saturday night at a decent hour.
Sunday was a day game for the Keys and it was another huge day, it was Keyote’s birthday. It was time to celebrate Keyote and we did it with a star wars theme, several star wars characters and other local mascots all at the ball park to celebrate with us. The mascots that attended were Poe from the Ravens, Doc from Towson, Red from Red Robin, Iggy from Loyola, Dash from Hood College, and our very own Frank Key. Then for the Star Wars theme we had ten to fifteen characters that were in full attire and carrying light sabers. The day was fun for all fans and mascots and we had several on field star ways battles that climaxed at the end with a special battle sequence with the birthday boy. Keyote enjoyed the party and would like to thank all guests for attending and making it a special day.
After a wild and crazy weekend, the Keys welcomed in the Wilmington Blue Rocks for a three game set. The Keys flexed their first place muscles and swept the series. Wednesday night of the series was moustache mania and we gave out moustaches to fans that did not have one or could not grow one. Many of the staff wore fake moustaches in support of the evening. Then we had a name that celebrity moustache during the game. It was a fun little evening and a nice way to end a very busy home stand.
This home stand was the last one for most of our college game day interns. For those that do not know minor league teams bring in college students each summer and have them work during games in various capacities. The college students get hands on experience in minor league baseball and credit toward their degree at what ever school they attend. This summer the Keys have 13 interns from different universities in area helping us out. I was a college intern in minor league baseball last summer so I was able to relate to them throughout their journey with the Keys. These interns helped out with the groups table, signing up fans for on field games, helping run the on field games, passing out items for pre and post game, and helping out as the mascot for appearances and during games. We would like to thank all the interns for a great summer and wish them luck on all their future endeavors.
Looking into the future the Keys travel to Lynchburg for a four game set throughout the weekend. Then the Keys return home on Monday August 22nd for another seven game home stand. This will be the last regular season home game and the last chance to catch the Keys before the playoffs. The Keys are on pace to have the best season in franchise history, so make sure to come check them out before it’s over. For now this is Kevin Brown telling you to have a nice weekend and Shake Your Keys!!