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A Hog at Harry Grove Stadium

*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.

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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.

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*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.

Tonight only at The Grove: Tim Kurkjian (life-size?) bobbleheads

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.

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*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:

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*Keys players also painted baseballs, which will also be auctioned off during the game.

Shake your Keys.

We need more dogs!

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:

Doggy fashion

dogfashKanine athletics

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Belly rubbing

And butt sniffing

Also, Keys baseball. Watch Johnny Ruettiger get creative and tie up last night’s game in the eighth.

Keyote gets a birthday card

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Keyote had a great time celebrating his birthday Sunday afternoon with a whole cast of his mascot buddies.

Today, he received a belated Happy Birthday from Chloe in New Market. He took a break from reviewing Keys stats at his desk to open it:

Thanks, Chloe!

Rounding the Bases with Chaz Packan: Michael Ohlman Q&A

Michael Ohlman hit his 12th homer of the season in Monday's win at Winston-Salem.

Michael Ohlman leads active Keys with 12 home runs and 48 RBIs.

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”.

 

Cuban outfielder Dariel Alvarez joins Keys

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:

*Today is Cowboy Monkey Rodeo Eve. Photos from last year’s Cowboy Monkey Night  are here and buy your tickets for tomorrow’s 6 p.m. game here.

monkeys139Shake your Keys.

Keyote shows off his home run swing

Life as a mascot can be difficult. Always on the sideline entertaining, bringing joy to thousands, but never able to get in the game all these people came to see.

Keyote doesn’t wear a baseball uniform just for show. He’s a ballplayer. And he stepped to the plate postgame a few nights ago, when he thought no one was watching.

Shake your Keys.

Monkeys riding dogs herding sheep

*SATURDAY UPDATE: At last, the day has come.

*FRIDAY UPDATE: This is how we feel about Cowboy Monkey Rodeo Night today, on Cowboy Monkey Eve:

*UPDATE: Keyote’s ready for Cowboy Monkey Night. Are you?

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Let the countdown commence.

Cowboy Monkey Rodeo returns to Harry Grove Stadium, Saturday, August 17 during after the Keys’ 6 p.m. game against Winston-Salem.

*If you don’t know about Tim Lepard and Team Ghost Riders, this will get you up to speed:

“That monkey rides that dog better than cowboy rides a horse.”

In addition to the Cowboy Monkey Extravaganza, we’ll be handing out rubber duckies to the first 1,000 fans in the gate courtesy of Precision Heating & Cooling.

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Want free tickets? You can win tickets to Saturday’s game by listening to 106.9 The Eagle in the morning:

Don’t miss the monkeys riding dogs herding sheep! Get your tickets now!

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Highlights from last year’s Cowboy Monkey Rodeo at The Grove:

And more cowboy monkey photos, because they’re great:

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Wilson Betemit to rehab with Keys

 

*Betemit went 1-for-5 in his first rehab game with the Keys. Watch all five ABs here.tumblr_m5y1xod0rM1r41pz5o1_1280Another Oriole  is going to rehab at The Grove.

Wilson Betemit, a 10-year MLB veteran, is going to report to the Keys today, according to multiple reports. See two of them below:

Betemit hit .261 with 12 home runs, 19 doubles and 40 RBIs for the Orioles last season, his first with club, while primarily playing third base. He began his rehab assignment with the Gulf Coast League Orioles last week, playing in five games and batting .375 (6-for-16) with two doubles and three RBIs.

Betemit suffered a pretty severe knee sprain on March 25 during a spring training game. Watch it here, but be warned, it’s a little bit ugly.

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Betemit has played for seven teams, beginning his career with Atlanta. Named the Braves’ top prospect after the 2000 and 2001 seasons, Betemit played for Myrtle Beach in ‘01 (see above), slugging seven homers and driving in 43 runs while batting .277 with 20 doubles in 84 games. He also recorded the first inside-the-park home run in Pelicans history on June 11,

*Here’s Baseball America’s Top 20 Carolina League Prospects for 2001. Betemit’s at the top, former Key and Oriole Erik Bedard is 16 and MLB veteran Coco Crisp is at No. 20.

Here’s what they were saying about Betemit in 2001:

Betemit is a switch-hitter who can produce for average and power. It’s what he can do with the glove, however, that makes league managers believe he will be a success in the major leagues. Betemit has all the tools to win a Gold Glove at shortstop: size, arm strength and outstanding range.

He made so much progress with Myrtle Beach that Pelicans manager Brian Snitker envisioned him being part a regular of the Atlanta infield within the next two seasons. With Rafael Furcal at shortstop and Marcus Giles at second base, Betemit could fit in at third base, pushing Chipper Jones to the outfield permanently.

“He’s going to elevate his game wherever he’s at,” Snitker said. “Obviously, the tools are there.”

Salem manager Dave Collins likened Betemit to another Carolina League all-star shortstop: Tony Fernandez, who earned that honor in 1981–a year before Betemit was born. Fernandez went on to win four Gold Gloves with the Blue Jays.

Betemit needs to make some minor adjustments, such as drawing more walks and cutting down on his errors, but no one doubted he’ll become a star.

Betemit is the second Oriole to rehab with the Keys this season. Outfielder Steve Pearce was the first, playing two games at Harry Grove Stadium on July 29 and 30 before returning to Baltimore on July 31.

*Read these brief articles on Betemit’s rehab: Orioles.com and The Baltimore Sun.

Take me out to the Brawl Game: Roller derby at The Grove

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How about some road rash with your Saturday baseball?

Before the Keys host Carolina at 6 p.m. tonight, Key City Roller Derby will hold a match against the Black Eyed Suzies in the Keys lower parking lot behind right field. It will look something like this:

The bout starts at 2 (or shortly after) and the after party in the stadium starts at 4 p.m.  There’ll be live music, hard-hitting, beer, snacks and short shorts.

Admission for both events is $9 for adults and $4.50 for kids. Just one ticket for two games.

More info in this fancy flyer:

rolelr derby

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