This 25th season of Keys baseball is coming to an end, but we made sure to make it as action packed as possible. Let’s take a quick look at the happenings at The Grove for the final weekend of 2013.
Before we get into the games, make sure you come out to the final Flying Dog Left Field Movie series showing of E.T. The Extra Terrestrial. That is tonight, August 30th, at 8PM with gates opening at 7PM. Even if you have seen the movie before, you probably haven’t inside the friendly confines of your neighborhood baseball stadium. Tickets are cheap and still available ($7 for adults and $5 for youth). You can purchase tickets at the gate. May I also mention, there is FREE Fun Zone for kids, you can have catch in the outfield from 7-8pm and we will also have a special happy hour featuring beer exclusively from Flying Dog Brewery. Great event for the family, so come on out tonight.
Starting tomorrow, the 31st, the Keys welcome in the Carolina League powerhouse in the Potomac Nationals. Going into tonight, the P-Nats lead the league with a record of 82-53, winners of the first and second half. They will play Lynchburg in round one of the playoffs. Enough of that yip-yap…let’s get to the good stuff.
The big event tomorrow night is the appearance of Redskin Hall-of-Famer, Joe Jacoby. Joe will be here from 6-8PM signing programs, footballs or perhaps even your hog nose. That is right, the first 600 fans through the gates will receive the hog nose pictured above. For more information on Joe’s appearance, check out our earlier blog post here. If you aren’t a Skins fan, make sure to sport your favorite team’s football jersey as part of Salute to the Gridiron Night.
In addition to Jacoby, make sure to also get here early for a performance on-field by the Oakdale High School Marching Band. They will be performing from 5:25-5:35 in right field. There is also a fundraising event going on with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, so all funds from our wheel of fun (located on the 1B concourse) and 50/50 raffle with benefit their cause. It also wouldnt be a weekend night game here at The Grove without a Fireworks spectacular (presented by Verizon Wireless), so make sure to stay in your seats after the final out. Kids, per usual, will run the bases as well.
Sunday, we have some early pre-game activities as we host the 2nd annual Guns vs. Hoses softball game. The Frederick County Fire Dept. and Police Dept. will go head to head at 3:30PM. Last year, the Hoses (Fire Dept), came out on top so make sure to come see if the Guns can even the series on Sunday. Tickets will benefit the local police & fire departments and are just $10. For more info on that, head on to their website by clicking here. The $10 ticket includes admission to the Charity Softball Game and the Keys game against the Nationals that evening. Regular gates open at 5PM for the 6PM contest. Sunday, as always, is Sunday Funday, presented by the Fun Bus. For the final time this season, fans can have catch in the outfield from 5-5:30 and get autographs from two Keys players on the concourse. Pre-game there will be a special Police K-9 demo along with a Police Athletic League Parade. All proceeds from our wheel and 50/50 will benefit the P.A.L. at Sunday’s game, so make sure to show your support. Sunday marks the final fireworks game of the season as well.
Monday marks the final game of the 2013 season and a game where we salute to you, the fans. Each fan upon entry will receive a raffle ticket that will be good to win a plethora of available prizes including signed memorabilia from former Keys players and Orioles tickets! The Labor Day matinee will begin at 2PM with gates opening at 1PM. If the Fan Appreciation raffle isn’t enough for you, we will also have another raffle for game-worn 25th season hats. The hats will have the Frederick Eagle insignia on it. Make sure to enter to win a hat at Guest Services when you enter the gates.
If you’re wondering what is going to be done with the throwback jerseys the Keys have worn on Thursdays this season, we will be conducting a post-season online auction for those hot ticket items. Stay tuned for more info on that.
Monday is also our final Open Club Day of the year. Anyone with a ticket can check out the Mattress Warehouse Club upstairs for FREE. Enjoy baseball from a great view and purchase food from a phenomenal sports pub menu. Check out that menu here. Kids 12 & Under also eat free, courtesy of Key 103. Every kid will receive a voucher upon entry for a free hot dogs, chips and soft drink.
We hope to see everyone here for the final weekend of baseball here in Frederick for 2013. You can buy tickets online 24/7, via the phone at 301-815-9939 or at our box office as well.
*Michael Ohlman & Tim Berry join other O’s prospects this fall in the Arizona Fall League. Check out that story here.
*Ohlman was honored as the Carolina League’s top catcher as he was the lone backstop selected as a member of the Carolina League Postseason All-Star Team. He leads the league in slugging and is tops in other categories during his best professional season thus far. You can check out the press release for that here.
*The Keys look to get back on track against Salem tonight in their final road game of 2013. Zach Clark takes the hill against the Red Sox Brian Johnson. Clark, the Keys knuckleballer, enters the night with a 9.60 ERA but has improved lately, allowing no earned runs over his last two starts, which covered 11 innings. In case you missed it, Zach was featured in a NY Times article not so long ago. Check that out here.
*Former Key, Xavier Avery, was traded to Seattle today in exchange for outfielder Mike Morse. Avery hit .280 and swiped 28 bags in 2010 as a member of the Keys. He is the second prospect to be dealt to the Mariners this season. Ty Kelly was traded for Eric Thames back in June.
Shake your Keys.
*WEDNESDAY UPDATE: The hog snouts have arrived. Be one of the first 600 in the gates to get yours Saturday, then meet the Hog himself, Joe Jacoby.
Get your sundresses, wigs and garden hats ready. We’ll provide the pig noses (to the first 600 fans).
Yes, former Hog and Washington Redskins great Joe Jacoby will be in attendance for Saturday’s 6 p.m. game against Potomac, which will serve as our annual Salute to the Gridiron Night. He’ll be signing autographs from about 6-8 that night and all Hogettes (see picture above) are more than welcome to attend.
As I mentioned in the second sentence of this post, we’ll be giving away free hog snouts to the first 600 fans in the gates, which open at 5 p.m. More on Joe Jacoby below and you can get your tickets here. Read the press release here.
*If you need a Joe Jacoby reminder, it’s probably best to start with the what is maybe the greatest play in Redskins history:
It’s 1983, 4th and 1 in the 4th Quarter of Super Bowl XVII and the Redskins trail 17-13. The play call, “70 Chip,” a handoff to John Riggins right behind Jacoby, the left tackle:
Note how Jacoby blows his man off the line and flattens him, clearing the way as the rest of the ‘Skins hold their blocks. A good article on the play was published last in 2012 in The Sporting News. Jacoby’s quote in the story:
“I didn’t know (Riggins scored) until I looked up and saw him down in the end zone, because I was in the bottom of the pile in the mass of humanity that was all piled up there,” Jacoby says.
More footage of Jacoby and the Hogs blasting holes in the Dolphins’ defensive front.
*Things to know about Joe Jacoby:
- He went undrafted out of Louisville in 1981 and signed with the Redskins as a free agent that year
- An offensive tackle for essentially his entire career, Jacoby played all 13 years with Washington, winning Super Bowls in 1983, 1988 and 1992
- He was selected to the NFL Pro Bowl in four consecutive seasons (1983-86) as a left tackle
- Named an All-Pro in ’83 and ’84
- Selected to the NFL’s 1980s All-Decade Team
- One of 45 players, coaches and owners that have been inducted into the Redskins Ring of Fame at FedEx Field
- Nickname during playing days was “Jake”
- One of the original five Washington offensive linemen that became known as The Hogs, a dominant, bruising group that cleared the way for the Redskins’ rushing attack and protected quarterbacks Joe Theismann, Doug Williams and Mark Rypien in the early ’80s through the early ’90s
- Jacoby helped lead the way on John Riggins’ iconic touchdown run in Super Bowl XVII, in which the Redskins set a Super Bowl rushing record, one they would break five years later in Super Bowl XXII
- Retired from the NFL in 1993 and currently coaches the offensive line at John Handley High School in Winchester, Va.\
*Did you know that after 30 years, the Hogettes retired in January?
See you Saturday. Shake your Keys. And Hail.
When gates open this evening at 6 p.m., 1,000 of these will be given away:
If you can’t tell by its likeness, that’s a bobblehead of ESPN baseball analyst Tim Kurkjian, who will be at Harry Grove Stadium tonight when the Keys host Wilmington in a 7 p.m. game. Thanks to St. John’s Catholic Prep, we’re able to give away one beautiful bobble to each of the first 1,000 fans through the gate tonight. On Art in the Park Night, Kurkjian, the David to our Michelangelo, will be at The Grove throwing out a first pitch, signing autographs and meeting and greeting fans.
*If you’d like a Kurkjian bobblehead (and of course you do), here are some tips:
1. Get here early. The earlier the better. There will be a line and it will be long, like a Chris Davis home run to straight-away center field in San Francisco.
Ok, maybe not that long, but you get my point. Get your tickets and get here early.
2. We give out one bobble per warm body through the gate, not per ticket purchased.
3. Bring some water, sunscreen, maybe an umbrella in case of drizzle. Stay hydrated and protected from the elements while you wait.
4. Bring a magazine or something to entertain yourself. Might I suggest watching Tim Kurkjian’s son, Jeff, who interned with us this summer, taste the field during the Taco Bell Sauce Race.
*Tim Kurkjian chatted with former Keys broadcaster Tim Murray on his show on ESPN980 last weekend about many things, including his Keys bobblehead. Listen here.
* In-non Kurkjian news, the Keys will be wearing these fashionable jerseys tonight and then they’ll be signed and auctioned off to the highest bidders:
*Keys players also painted baseballs, which will also be auctioned off during the game.
Shake your Keys.
The Keys take on the Wilmington Blue Rocks tonight for the second game of the three game home stand. The opener last night was an exciting one to say the least as the Keys played the role of the comeback kids; scoring four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Keys trailed 3-1 in the top of the 8th but thanks to an RBI single by Tucker Nathans followed by another single by Dariel Alvarez which scored two runs, and finally a two run double by Travis Adair, the Keys gained a four run lead over the Blue Rocks. Matt Hobgood got the win on the night, which was his second of the year, and Gene Escat got the save, his sixth of the year.
The Keys are handing the ball off to left hander Trent Howard, who has yet to lose a game this season. The twenty three year old has an impressive ERA of only 2.0 paired with an equally impressive sinking fastball. The Keys will be facing the Blue Rock’s left hander, Angel Baez. Baez is a twenty two year old from Puerto Rico with a record of 6 and 7 and 3.17 ERA. Wilmington sure is barking up the wrong tree tonight!
The Key’s line up is looking sharp tonight, check it out!
Want more game info? Here are the game notes -
Tonight is also the seasons last Throwback Thursday! Be sure to come out and check out the Keys players rock their Throwback jerseys for the final time.
Be sure not to leave your four legged best friend at home on your way out the door because tonight is Dog Days of Summer brought to you by Crossroads Animal Referral & Emergency. Did you register your beloved dog? Let’s hope so because it’s the last Dog day of Summer of the season! The game is set to start at 7PM, gates opening at 6PM.
See you and your dog at the ballpark!
As stated in the video above, we need more dogs!
Tonight is the final Dog Day of Summer at Harry Grove Stadium, your last chance this season to bring your pooch to the park. Give us a call at 301-815-9906 to register and make sure to have your rabies tag certification number handy.
If you don’t swing by for tonight’ s 7 p.m. game against Wilmington, you’ll miss out on all of this:
And butt sniffing
Also, Keys baseball. Watch Johnny Ruettiger get creative and tie up last night’s game in the eighth.
Yo ho, yo ho, it’s a pirate life for the Keys tonight at the Grove. Players will be turning in their bats for swords and their baseball caps for captain hats; it’s Pirate and Swashbucklers theme night! Make sure to stop by guest services to get your treasure map and help Keyote find the gold loot that’s been hidden in the stadium.
The Keys will be crossing swords the Wilmington Blue Rocks in the first of a three game series. The Blue Rocks have a record of 23-35 in the second half of the season and will be handing the ball to the twenty three right hander, Leonel Santiago. Zach Clark, also a right handed pitcher, will be on the helm tonight for the Keys, who is looking for his first win. For more details on tonight’s game, check out the game notes below.
Sails will be hoisted at seven with gates opening at six. Grab your bandannas and swords and come out to the stadium for a night for swashbuckling adventures! Staff and interns are ready to set sail and will be on the lookout for keys fans in buccaneer attire.
Shake your keys or ye be walking the plank!
On Thursday, July 18, I had the chance to sit down with Keys catcher Michael Ohlman for a “Keys Q & A” for this week’s edition of Rounding the Bases.
Chaz Packan: How do you feel about playing in the Australian Baseball League last winter?
Michael Ohlman: “It was fantastic the whole experience and the culture were amazing, I got setup with a great host family and the guys on the team were great”.
CP: What has been your key to success at the plate this season so far?
MO: “Not getting myself out and getting good pitches to hit”.
CP: What was your first reaction to being drafted by the Orioles in 2009?
MO: “It was one of the best feelings I have ever had, I had a chance to attend Miami which is a great school but I have no regrets.”
CP: What Was Your Favorite MLB Team Growing Up?
MO: “At first I was an Atlanta Braves fan because there was no teams in Florida, then the Rays came and I became a Tampa Bay Rays fan”.
Saying that tonight is a “big” night at Harry Grove Stadium would be somewhat of an understatement. Despite losing the last five games, the Frederick Keys are back in town for seven games at the Grove. The Keys face off against the Winston-Salem Dash tonight in the first of four games. The game is set to start at 6pm.
Tonight is jammed packed with more than just baseball. Dariel Alvarez, the recent Orioles signee, is playing his first game at the Grove tonight. He made his Carolina League debut in Potomac on Thursday, slapping a single through the middle in his first at-bat and finishing 2-for-5 with an RBI in Frederick’s 5-4 loss. In last night’s game, he went 3-for-5 but the Keys lost 7-3. To read more about Alvarez’s trip to Frederick, click here.
Dariel Alvarez taking BP at Harry Grove Stadium. vine.co/v/hOAu1QrrvYU—
Jeff Kurkjian (@jpkurkjian) August 17, 2013
Alvarez will bat third in tonight’s lineup. Travis Adair, who has been nothing but hot lately will bat second. He has played in eleven games in the second half of the season and he is batting .366 (15-for-41). He is gotten just one hit in eleven at-bats batting second this season.
Trent Howard will start for the Keys tonight. He is 3-0 as a reliever this season with a 0.62 ERA. In eleven starts, he has yet to factor into the decision. He faced the Myrtle Beach Pelicans last week and gave up just one run and five hits in five innings.
For everything you need to know about tonight’s game, check out the game notes below.
*In addition to an awesome match-up between the Dash and the Keys, tonight is also the Cowboy Monkey Rodeo. Confused as what that means exactly? I understand. Check out this video! There will be a full show after tonight’s 6pm game.
One of the monkeys, Megan, paid a visit to the press box earlier today.
Hello, monkey vine.co/v/hOAWjJ5v97J—
Mike Mueller (@flapjackmemphis) August 17, 2013
Monkey in the press box! vine.co/v/hOA715rOw6O—
Jeff Kurkjian (@jpkurkjian) August 17, 2013
*Tonight is also the Rubber Ducky Giveaway Night. The first 1,000 fans to come to tonight’s game get a special Rubber Duck unlike any other.
*The Taco Bell Sauce Race became a huge hit on our blog last week. Two of our interns wiped out making for one of the more interesting/hilarious races we have ever had here at the Grove. Tonight, in front of a sellout crowd, the sauce packets are at it again. The rematch race will take place at the end of the seventh inning, so be sure to come out and check it out. If you missed the first race, check out this article.
*Tonight is also a firework night here at the Grove! After the game and following the Cowboy Monkey Rodeo, the Keys will light up the sky beyond our centerfield fence.
While the Keys lost their fifth game in a row last night at Potomac, the team got a boost from an intriguing newcomer.
The Orioles’ latest import from Cuba, 24-year-old outfielder Dariel Alvarez, made his Carolina League debut in Potomac last night, slapping a single through the middle in his first at-bat and finishing 2-for-5 with an RBI in Frederick’s 5-4 loss.
Alvarez was signed by the Orioles in July, several months after Baltimore signed fellow Cuban Henry Urrutia, who demolished Double-A and Triple-A pitching before being called up to Baltimore just days prior to Alvarez’s signing.
Here’s the Orioles release on his signing. From the release:
Alvarez played for Camaguey in the Cuban League from 2007-11 and Tuxpan in Mexico in 2012. In five seasons with Camaguey, he batted .297 (341-1147) with 37 home runs and 180 RBI. In 2011, Alvarez set career-highs, batting .363/.404/.613 (125-344) with 20 home runs, 81 RBI, 22 doubles and 65 runs scored in his age 22 season. In 2012, he hit .317/.355/.464 in 192 plate appearances for Tuxpan.
Alvarez is listed a 6-2, 180 pounds and was promoted from the Gulf Coast League before last night’s game. Alvarez went 4-for-9 with two doubles, a triple and a home run in three games with the GCL O’s.
*Tonight, the Keys hope to avoid their second consecutive series sweep. Knuckleballer Zach Clark starts for the Keys. More in tonight’s game notes: