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VOLTink, Awards, Mills Cup & Voting

Well, the season has come to a close here and your Frederick Keys are the 2011 Mills Cup Champions. The Keys won 80 games, which broke their franchise record and top prospect, Manny Machado, was named the MVP of the Championship Series and got mentioned in MiLB’s Players of the Postseason. Keys reliever Ryan Berry was also a big part of the championship run and he was named the Carolina League Pitcher of the Postseason. There are plenty more honorable mentions that I will touch upon later, but there is more good stuff to get to….so, here we go…

VOLT Night returns to Harry Grove – After a successful night on July 27th of 2010, Harry Grove Stadium is welcoming the Voltaggio Brothers back for an event that is sure to please your taste buds. On October 18th from 6-10pm, the Voltaggio Brothers will take over the concession stands at the stadium and cook their famous food that is well-known nationwide. The big reason for this event is for Bryan and Michael to give their hometown an early release party of their cookbook, VOLTink. Many of their cooking styles are inspiring by their upbringings in Frederick. Not only will the concessions be having their food but Flying Dog and Brewers Alley will be on hand as well. Also, The Regal Beagles Yacht Rock Club Band will be providing live music throughout the event, which runs from 6-10pm. Other events include a Frederick Adult Co-ed Kickball double-header and a FREE fun zone for kids. The best part of it all is that you can enjoy all of this for just $8. Children 12 and under are free but need a ticket from the box office anyway.

If you want to purchase tickets, call the Keys box office at 301-815-9939 or order online by clicking HERE. The event homepage can be found HERE. The video on the cookbook release party can be viewed by clicking HERE. The event press release can be viewed by clicking HERE.

Gomez, Schoop Honored at Camden Yards – This past Monday, Keys manager Orlando Gomez and second basemen Jonathan Schoop were honored at Camden Yards before the O’s game. Gomez took home the Cal Ripken Sr. Development Award and Schoop took home the Brooks Robinson Prize as the organization’s most outstanding position player. Schoop hit .290 with 13 homers and 71 RBI’s between Delmarva and Frederick this season. The Orioles #10 prospect hit .314 in the playoffs with a homer and four RBI’s to help the Keys win the Mills Cup for the first time since 2007. Schoop also participated at the All-Star Futures Game in Arizona. Keys manager Orlando Gomez took home the Ripken award, which is best known for a staff member who exemplifies the qualities of Cal Ripken Sr. Gomez is in just his second season as the Keys manager and has  led the team to the postseason in both of them. Gomez also became the winningest manager in Keys history this season while leading the team to their best record ever.

General Manager Ziedelis Named Carolina League Executive of the Year –In addition to Gomez and Schoop taking home Oriole’s awards, Keys GM Dave Ziedelis earned Executive of the Year of the Carolina League this season. In 2011 the Keys recorded their highest attendance since 2002, drawing 296,296 fans to Harry Grove Stadium. Recently the Keys had a ten-year lease approved by the City Board of Alderman to keep the Keys in Frederick through the 2021 season. On the field the team won its third championship in its last seven seasons. Dave is in his 23rd year of professional sports and has been the general manager in Frederick since 2004.

Mills Cup is back in Frederick – Since 2007, Harry Grove Stadium and the Keys have just been missing something. Recently, that has all changed. The Carolina League Championship Trophy, also known as the Mills Cup, has returned home. The trophy currently resides on the front desk of the Keys offices so please stop by if you feel the need to take a photo-op with the cup. The Mills Cup has already been toured around the area and was also on the field on Monday before the Orioles game when Gomez and Schoop were honored. Keys staff members and other players were also in attendance to be recognized on Monday.

Keys & Bundy Nominated for MiLBY Awards – Each year, Minor League Baseball compiles the best plays, homers, starters, relievers, teams and more for yearly awards. Fans are given the opportunity to vote for different categories until October 20th and unlike political elections, there is no registration and it is SO easy. Your Carolina League Champion Keys are nominated for Class ‘A’ Advanced Team of the Year after breaking their franchise record in wins (80), winning their third title since 2005 and fourth in franchise history. Let’s make the 2011 campaign even better by voting the Keys as the Best Team in our class. Frederick is up against the Kinston Indians, Daytona Cubs, Lake Elsinore Storm, Dunedin Blue Jays and San Jose Giants. To vote, please CLICK HERE. Also, Keys starter Bobby Bundy is up for Class ‘A’ Advanced Starter of the Year. Before being called up to Bowie in the middle of the season, Bundy posted an 11-5 record and a 2.75 ERA for the Keys. Bundy is up against pitchers from St. Lucie, Myrtle Beach and more. To vote for Bobby, visit the Starter of the Year page by clicking HERE.

That will wrap up this post…Keep on voting for the Keys and Bobby Bundy in those MiLBY awards and make Frederick proud!


Brown for the Count – Final Edition

 Me jamming out with Keyote on the dugout during the playoffs

The 2011 Frederick Keys baseball season was an exciting one full of new records, star prospects, and great times at the Grove. It would only be fitting in this great season that the Keys would make a big push through the playoffs. When the dust had cleared and 7 teams had been eliminated, it was the hometown Frederick Keys that stood tall as the 2011 Carolina League Champions! It was a great run but it did not happen over night, so we will look back at the 2011 playoffs.

The first round of the playoffs featured the Keys welcoming the Potomac Nationals into Harry Grove Stadium. With Potomac not being that far away we had several Nationals fans come toFrederickfor games one and two. Game one was on Wednesday night and a gloomy cloud cover settled over the stadium early in the night. The game started on time and the Keys got off to a fast start, grabbing a comfortable lead through five and a half innings. The rain started coming down in the fifth and sixth inning and after a while, the umpires called for the staff to put the tarp on the field. We waited for a while watching rain torch the tarp and the outfield grass. After a meeting between coaches, umpires, and the groundskeeper, they made a decision to call the game final after the six innings that were played. This meant the Keys were victorious and up one game to zero heading into game two the next night.

The next day, Thursday, would be the planned day for game two of the series. During the day it did not look good; it was a combination of cloudy skies and periods of heavy rain. The staff worked feverishly during the day to have the tarp on and do what we could to prepare for the game. We opened the gates at six to allow our loyal Keys fans to come into the stadium. However, after a constant period of rain, the Keys had no choice but to call the game and move it to Friday night. The Keys and the Nationals would take the field Friday night and the weather was warmer, there was no rain, and it was an ideal night for baseball. The problem on this night was the Keys bats were ice cold and the Nationals took game two.

As the weekend approached, the Keys would go to Potomac and look to win two in a row and win the series on the road. At the same time, the Keys staff stayed busy by working In the Streets. It is a day long street fair on the streets of downtownFrederick. The Keys were there with their prize wheel, inflatables, and the always fun loving Keyote. The whole full time staff took turns working the event and it was a fun time for all the people ofFrederick. As the staff had a Saturday night and Sunday off, the Keys took care of game three but fell short Sunday in game four. The series was going to the maximum that it could and the Keys would host a pivotal game five Monday night. Monday night came and it was go big or go home for the Keys and they sent their most dominant pitcher of the second half on the mound. The Keys used a big first inning and solid pitching to hold the lead and the Keys won the game which meant they were heading to the Carolina League Championship against the Kinston Indians.

As a member of the front office staff as an assistant this year, it is great to work here a year when the Keys were championship bound. Also with extra games we added earlier in the year and five playoff games this would mark games 77 and 78. The Keys virtually played a full number of home days that the big boys of the majors play. It was a long year, we had worked a lot of hours but we knew we had to provide a great time and a solid work effort for two final nights. Game one was on Tuesday night and the Keys looked to come out of the gate fast and take the series lead. This was stalled by a great effort by the Indians who won the game and took the one to zero lead in the series. Then, drained on energy and emotion we had to play another game the next night. As 6:30pm approached, the rain came and it came hard. The staff and fans watched on the concourse as the rain pounded the area for almost three hours. The players were in the dugout or the clubhouse waiting to see if we would get this game in. Then, after looking at the radar it was decided that the rain would be leaving the area and we could start this game at 10:05. It took a full staff effort to get the tarp off, squeegee the water near the bullpens, and ready the infield for the game. When it was all said and done, the field was ready, the fans that stuck around rooted hard and the Keys played their hearts out that night. The Keys trailed in the eighth inning but mounted a comeback and scored two runs in the inning. The Keys won the ball game around 12:45 in the morning. It was a long night for everyone but it was worth it because the series was tied at one.

The Keys hopes of winning a title would have to be done on the road because the next three games were in Kinston. The Keys swung the bats real well on Thursday night and won the game. Then it came down to Friday night September 16th. The Keys had their eyes on the Mills Cup and nothing would stop them. The Keys scored early in the game and then had to sit out an hour rain delay. After the delay, the Keys finished out the Indians and were the Champions of the Carolina League for 2011! I would like to congratulate the team on a job well done and for everyone involved in this season. It was a great year and it ends with the cup.

This was an exciting year of Frederick Keys baseball; it had its share of crazy games, great players, giveaways, promotion, and famous celebrities. I hope through my perspective and recaps of everything that went down this year that the fans got a different view of things. The world of working in minor league baseball has been a great experience for me. It has its highs and lows but in the end I can take the experience and build on it moving forward. As the off season approaches I hope that the fans continue to support the team proudly and it won’t be long till games are back at the Grove. So enjoy the fall and winter months and always Shake Your Keys.

Mills Cup Championship Series By the Numbers

Well, your Frederick Keys defeated the Potomac Nationals in an exciting Game Five on Monday night to advance to their first Mills Cup Championship Series since 2007. The Keys used great pitching and solid defense to seal the Northern Division Pennant for 2011.

Up next, the Keys will battle the Kinston Indians for the championship. Games one and two will be played in Frederick while games three through five will be in Kinston. This series is definitely an odd one on many accounts in terms of stats, specifically offense. Both teams found themselves at the bottom of the league in offense.

Let’s take a look at the 2011 Mills Cup Championship Series by the numbers….

11-9 – The Keys record against the Kinston Indians this season

7th – The Keys placed 7th out of 8 in the Carolina League in batting average

8th – The Kinston Indians placed 8th in the league in batting average

1.08 – The combined ERA of Jacob Pettit, Scott Copeland and Ryohei Tanaka in the Northern Division Championship Series against the Nationals

3.22 – The Keys 2011 season ERA that led the Carolina League

527 – The amount of runs the Kinston Indians scored in 2011…last in the league

569 – The amount of runs the Keys scored in 2011….good for 6th in the league

3.22 – The Keys team ERA for 2011. 1st in the Carolina League

3.68 – Indians team ERA for 2011. 3rd in the Carolina League

80 – Number of wins for the Keys in 2011. Best in the league and best in franchise history

0 – The number of hits the Keys had after the first inning of game five of the NDCS

25 – Runs scored by Kinston against Myrtle Beach in the Southern Division Championship Series

14 – Runs scored by the Keys against Potomac in the NDCS

.255 – 2011 average of Keys center fielder Miguel Abreu, the highest among active players on the team

.254 – 2011 average of Tyler Holt of the Kinston Indians, the highest on their team.

34-31 – Tyler Holt had 34 steals in 2011, Abreu had 31

3.60 – Kinston’s Brett Brach’s 2011 ERA, the best on his team

1.62 – Keys starter Jake Pettit’s ERA in 2011 with Frederick

3 – The number of wins the Keys need to bring home the Mills Cup to Frederick for the first time since 2007

I hope you stat geeks got your fix. It looks as if the Keys will go with the rotation of Haughian, Zagone, Copeland, Tanaka, Pettit for the championship series. Runs may be hard to come by in this series, so hopefully the Keys pitching stays lights out and the offense comes alive.

Hope to see everyone at Harry Grove tonight (Tuesday) and Wednesday at 7pm for games one and two. Let’s bring home the championship…SHAKE YOUR KEYS!


Let the Playoffs Begin

To start things off, here is the 2011 Keys playoff video, courtesy of Creative Production Manager Paul Denillo…

Well, the regular season is over and your Frederick Keys are entering the Northern Division Championship Series against the defending Carolina League Champions, Potomac Nationals. The teams have evenly split 20 games between them this season and the Keys will look to bring home their first Mills Cup since 2007. The team has endured a tough stretch entering the postseason, tallying just one win over their final seven games. That being said, the 2011 Keys are still the most winningest in franchise history at 80-69.

The playoffs mean more of the same for front office staff members despite the time of year. With kids in school and cooler weather upon us, attendance is not necessarily at its peak when it comes to minor league baseball playoffs. There are some good things though at this point in time. The Keys are the only Orioles affiliate that is in the playoffs. The Baysox were close, but missed out by a half of a game.

Sean Gleason tallied 32 saves for the Keys during 2011, the most in franchise history

Also, players from the team that were promoted and demoted return to Frederick for the playoff run. Fan favorite Sean Gleason will be back closing games for the postseason. Sean was promoted to Triple-A a few weeks ago. He went 0-1 with a 4.22 ERA over 10.2 innings. Gleason broke the Keys record for most saves in a season earlier this year with 32. Ryohei Tanaka also returns after a short stint in Norfolk. Tanaka made two starts and went 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA and is 9-5 with a 3.33 ERA with Frederick this season. Jacob Julius will also be back along with first basemen, Aaron Baker. Baker will be a big part of the playoff roster with Tyler Townsend on the DL. Baker hit .386 over his 12 games with the Keys before being promoted to Bowie, where he saw limited playing time. Aaron hit two homers and knocked in nine runs during his short time in Frederick.

Game one will be played tonight, Wednesday the 7th and game two will be played Thursday the 8th. Thursday will be NFL Night with an appearance by Redskins Hall of Famer, Brian Mitchell. Mitchell was originally scheduled to appear on August 27th, but Hurricane Irene had other plans. The former Redskin, Eagle and Giant will be around signing autographs on the concourse following his ceremonial first pitch. Mitchell is currently a host on the DC sports station, 106.7 The Fan.

Thursday is also Fan Appreciation Night. As fans enter the gates, they will receive raffle tickets. Throughout the game, we will draw tickets for different prize packs that include Keys trinkets, bobbleheads and more!

We hope to see you here at the Grove for games one and two of the NDCS and hopefully our Keys will bring another championship to Frederick! If necessary, game five will be in Frederick at 2pm on Sunday, September 11th.

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