Through the past couple of weeks, I have shown all of you the adventures that I have been able to take. Unfortunately, this week I was limited because of the rain so I thought it would be a good time to show you one of the best times I had since arriving back in Frederick. What could it be, you ask? Oh, hold onto your socks because Mr. Millsy got the VIP treatment at Camden Yards when the Keys got honored for their championship. The pictures will tell it all, kids.
No matter how big of a deal you are, you have to sign in before entering the field area. I hope someone saved that piece of paper I signed because it is worth millions. Okay, maybe I am exaggerating a little, but you never know!
Now batting, Millsy the Carolina League Championship Trophy! The lovely batting circle of the hometown O’s. Many big names, including Cal Ripken, have stepped on this very circle. It wasn’t my lucky day however since I forgot my batting gloves in the Shake Your Keys van. I don’t want to get my sides all blistery. That aside, it was very surreal standing here looking out on beautiful Camden Yards.
Here, I managed to get a photo-op with some of the players. Second basemen Jonathan Schoop, outfielder Steve Bumbry and catcher Jason Stifler are there and so is manager Orlando Gomez. Looking sharp, boys!
Here is a picture of me with the majority of the Keys front office. All of these people have an integral role in making the Keys season a success off of the field, so in retrospect, they deserve a championship for their duties they perform during games. Long hours and endless days can take a toll on you, but not these fine-looking people!
Here I am caught soaking in the atmosphere of a Camden Yards suite. So majestic, so beautiful. Little did everyone know, it was a bad idea to leave those cookies next to me. They were gone before anyone could have any. That can be our little secret though. Moving right along…
This picture doesn’t need much of an explanation. These Hall of Famers put their dedication and passion into O’s baseball every time they stepped onto the diamond. Thank you for your service, boys!
This is the view from the outside part of the suite. What a great scene, eh? Nothing like letting the summer air flow into your nostrils, or large cup, during a night at the ballpark. I got a little feisty after a while here because the cotton candy guy wouldn’t come around. Am I really that intimidating?
Well, that about finishes my night at Camden Yards when the Keys were honored for their Carolina League title. I took advantage of my time there by snapping pictures, eating cookies and of course, grabbing some liquid courage.
Until next time, shake those keys Frederick!
It is very nice to be back in the blogging world after a week off that was filled with food comas and football. I was lucky enough to be able to document my Thanksgiving day and you, my friends, are now lucky enough to read about it. What more could you ask for? I do want to warn you that some of these pictures may have you searching for leftovers immediately. Let’s get started…
In this picture, I am making sure to get the head seat before everyone else sits down. As we all know, this is the most important seat at the dinner table and since I was fresh off of a shining, let’s just say I was lookin’ good and deserved that spot. I made sure to put a candle in the middle of the table to set the mood.
Here is a shot of me anxiously waiting for dinner. Like most of us Turkey Day, I starved myself until dinner so I could run house on everything that was offered without my stomach giving me an issue. Turkey, stuffing, sweet potato pie, green bean casserole…not to mention dessert!
With a meal of this magnitude, we all know that you have to be delicate sometimes. Sure, some of us get so eager and just starting shoving food in our mouths, but I decided to keep it classy. Not only do I have some Chardonnay in my possession but I am sporting an extremely trendy bib. It is Keys colors too. I am sorry to say that there are none of these bibs for sale and mine has been forever stained with cranberry sauce. Tough luck for you!
For your viewing pleasure, here is a more majestic shot of me and the food that I disposed of in just a few minutes. I was so prepared that I didn’t even bother to wait for pie, I got it out with my dinner. This was my third serving by the way. As you can see, the bib did not make it that far.
Finally, after the dinner/dessert festivities were over, it was time for Thanksgiving football. The Cowboys vs. Dolphins game was on at the time of my viewing and it ended up being the best game of the day. Shortly after the games ended, I fell into my food coma and woke up in the Keys front office Monday morning. What a long, delicious food coma it was.
Make sure to check back soon for my next adventure! Where will I go next?
Hey everyone! It’s me, Millsy…the Carolina League Championship Cup! During the 10am staff meeting that the Keys staff had this morning, I managed to rummage through peoples drawers looking for something to help me get out for another adventure. After going through nearly everyone’s desk I had finally found it. The key to the infamous Shake Your Keys van. Not only has this van been all around Maryland but it was also spotted at the Minor League Baseball Promo Seminar in Myrtle Beach. It is a pretty big deal. In short, I stole the Shake Your Keys van for my own personal enjoyment and leisure. Downtown Frederick, here comes Millsy!
My first stop on this trip was the the burial place of Francis Scott Key! For those of you who think that some random dude named the team after his key to his favorite truck, you are wrong. The Keys are named after Mr. Key, the author of the National Anthem. When the anthem is sung before each home game, the sound convenientally echoes to the grave of Francis Scott, which is right across the street from the stadium. What an unexpected historical feature of Frederick, am I right? Not to mention the Keys have a mascot in memory of him. Rest in peace Francis!
Lucky for me (and the city of Frederick), there were no wildfires, house fires or anything going on so I snuck into the downtown fire department for some pics. Each of the fire trucks in Frederick have the American flag across the grill which made for a great modeling moment for yours truly. After posing in front of the truck, I jumped in the drivers seat of this baby. It took me a few jumps and some stretching to actually get up to the seat, but I made it.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get the opportunity to slide down the fire pole, work the hoses or turn the sirens on, but I guess beggers can’t be choosers. Sitting in the driver’s seat was cool enough.
These small cities like Frederick always seem to surprise people. It sounds like such a boring place. I mean what is there to do in western Maryland other than go to a Keys game or twiddle your thumbs? I’ll tell ya what, you can visit the beautiful downtown creek. Right before enter historic downtown Frederick, there is Carroll Creek with a riverwalk area and a bunch of bridges. Above, I am sitting by the creek hoping for some ducks to come by. Sadly, I didn’t bring any bread so I didn’t have much to offer.
Despite my fear of heights, I snapped a picture of me on top of the first bridge on Carroll Creek. It is quite a view. When there are downtown street fairs and happy hours on the creek, you can kayak and paddleboat. Not a bad deal. Since I don’t have feet or hands, boating is not necesscarily my “cup” of tea. Pun intended, kids.
With time ticking away on my adventure, I swung by the Weinberg Center for the Arts downtown. The Weinberg has plenty of shows for people of all ages, whether it is opera, a comedian or an orchestra performance. Here you see me at the ticket booth trying to get some tickets for the midnight showing of Twilight, but apparently it was the wrong venue and the movie theater had been sold out for weeks. Fooey!
Well, I hope you liked the latest edition of my adventures. Make sure to stay tuned to this blog for my next post. Where will I be seen next? I feel like Carmen Sandiego. Anyways, until then, feel free to stop on in and take a picture with me and Skake Your Keys! Only 138 days until Opening Day!
It has been four long years of waiting, but I have finally returned. Yes, my name is Millsy and as you can see, just a little under two months ago, the Frederick Keys hoisted me into the air in celebration. After defeating Kinston in the Carolina League Championship Series, the Keys have given me the chance to return home to Frederick. Although I have come back to the town that I have enjoyed so much, it has been lonely sitting in the office since September 16th, when the Keys won the title. No players around, everyone working hard for next year and me just sitting up for show on the front counter. No one has come to see me! What am I, chop liver? I think not! I took it upon myself to escape the inner sanctums of the Keys front office to go on adventures of my own around Frederick and now you get the chance to see them!
My first photo-op was right inside the front gates of the Harry Grove stadium. Waving in the breeze was none other than the championship banner. After I got over my goosebumps, I found myself a table and hopped up for a picture with the banner. It is a beautiful sit to see myself and the flag back where it should be. After all, what could be better than coming back to a city that is the hometown to Top Chef brothers and the burial site of the National Anthem author, Francis Scott Key? Nothing. That’s what.
The next stop for me was the press box. Although the voices of Frederick Keys Baseball, Adam Pohl & Tim Murray, were not in their home booth to call the championship winner, I felt like I needed to slip into their shoes to fully experience what it felt like to sport some pretty large headphones. I totally would advise fast food restaurants to invest in these, they are much more comfy than the filthy, rough earpieces they deal with now. What a view it is from this press box onto the field.
After taking in the view from the radio booth, it was time for me to revisit the field that had been the home for such great players this season. Bobby Bundy, Manny Machado, Jonathan Schoop and others battled teams across the league all year on this field and I gave myself a fourth row seat here for all of the action. If you ask me, I look very good in orange.
Conveniently enough for me, during my next stop, there was a nice stool with a black cover set out on the field waiting to be used for modeling. The smell of the fresh-cut green grass filled the air as I looked upon the field view at Harry Grove. It is tough to see the stadium without fans, but groundskeeper Tex keeps the field in tip-top condition during the offseason so the champs have good stuff to play on next season.
Sure, being on the field is cool, but I needed my paparazzi to get a picture of me on top of one of these tables for the full scene. Yes, I know the field is mowed very nicely but my shiny silver coat really sparkles well in the Harry Grove backdrop.
The last stop on my adventure around the stadium was the Keys locker room. At first, the door was locked, but I snuck into the stadium operations office and snagged the key without anyone noticing. I mean, who is going to give me a hard time anyway? I am Millsy, not just some trophy. After pushing the door open to the clubhouse, I decorated one of the lockers with bats, uniforms, jackets and baseball and put on my best pose.
I got so comfortable in the locker room setting, that I eventually ended up falling asleep right there. That was a foolish move on my part because the next morning, I was found by Keys staff spending the night in the clubhouse. Oops. Next time, I will have to make sure to get back to the front office before anyone knows I am gone.
Until the next time I find an escape route for my next adventure, feel free to come on by and snap a photo with me, Millsy the Carolina League Championship Cup!
Dear Frederick Keys Fan:
You may have heard that the Orioles are bringing back “Orioles Dream Week” after a four-year absence. It will be held January 29-February 4, 2012, in Sarasota. We couldn’t be happier that the Orioles are resurrecting the camp, which is expected to incorporate a different theme each year, beginning with the 20th anniversary of Camden Yards and bringing back a number of players from the 1992 team, including Brady Anderson, Mike Devereaux, Chris Hoiles, Joe Orsulak, Leo Gomez and others.
As a “thank you” to those of you who have been long time fans of the Keys and Orioles, we have agreed to extend a 10 percent discount to those participants joining us this winter. That is a reduction of nearly $420 off the price and includes transportation, lodging and the reunion game at Camden Yards next summer.
We hope you’re as excited as we are and will join us inSarasota. The attached flyer has sign-up details. For more information, call Steve Freeman at the Orioles at410-547-6063or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fans await the opening of gates for Voltink. Night
You could smell it in the air. Old bay popcorn. Buttermilk fried chicken. Fancy food not even I can pronounce. The band stage was brought in early and set up for the entertainment. Staff members from Volt arrived at Harry Grove Stadium early in the afternoon to prepare. Hundreds of programs and menus were fresh off the presses ready to go for all those in attendance. Everything that had to be done was done and finally, the night was underway.
The first event on this list prior to gates opening was a media session with Bryan and Michael. The brothers answered question from the media for approximately 20 minutes befor heading back to their respective stands to continue cooking. Media from the Frederick News-Post, Gazette, Baltimore Sun and Washinton Post were in attendance to cover this great event. After Bryan and Mike answered questions, the media was treated to some food sampling. Nothing like high quality grilled chesse and tomato soup, amazing looking chili and a bacon cheddar burger to get a good night started…
Shortly after the media frenzy was over, gates opened to the public as lines quickly filled up at the concessions and cookbooks were flying off the shelves like milk and bread in a snowstorm. With three different concession stands open, fans of the Voltaggio brothers had plenty of options when it came to trying different things. Not only that, but the most expensive thing on the menu was $7 (Lobster Roll). If you weren’t feeling too risky with certain foods you’ve never tried, Bacon Cheddar Burgers and Grilled Chesse with Tomato Soup was a nice alternative. Lines were consistently filled for the majority of the event…
While the lines were packed with hungry fans, Bryan and Michael had something else going on. From 7 until about 9:30, the brothers signed their cookbook for any fan who bought one that night. After all, the event was to celebrate the early release of it so why not sign them for two and a half hours? I can’t imagine what my hand would feel like after signing hundreds and hundreds of books, but I guess knowing how to cook pretty well comes with a territory.
With any large event that draws about 1,700 people from the surrounding area, entertainment was needed. Filling that role were local favorites, The Regal Beagles Yacht Rock Band and Blatant 80′s. Not knowing what to expect myself, I was pleasantly surprised by the performances. Both bands played covers for the most part and fans got into it. I mean, seriously…the first band had congos and a saxophone. It was good stuff.
Other than the bands, Keyote was in the house for the kids posing for photo-ops and pulling off some goofy shenanigans. The other aspect of this event was kickball. For those of you who don’t know, FACKA (Frederick Adult Co-Ed Kickball Association) is a well known organization around town and they had two games played on Tuesday, including East vs. West with Bryan and Michael Voltaggio. The kickball was such a big deal, the National Anthem was sung. Hardcore stuff right here..
As you can see…the kickball was indeed a big deal. Overall, the 2nd annual Volt Night was a success! The staff stayed until about 12:30am to help get the stage off of the field. Manual labor at its finest. Here is one more picture I liked. It was snapped around 5pm, when Bryan and his crew were beginning to cook.
Thanks to all who attended and to our paparazzi’s, Barb Freund and Bridget McCabe. Well done!
Keys shortstop Manny Machado and second basemen Jonathan Schoop pose for the camera
As the calendar changes from August to September in a few days, the Keys gear up for their last seven games of the season on the road. This comes after the last regular season home stand of the year. It was another seven game span at home for the Keys but this time we played seven games in six days. While the action on the field was super hot, the odd plethora of weather during the week was all over the place. Despite the weather, the home stand was successful with Boys and Girls Club Night, a special Sunday double header and much more.
The Keys are having an amazing season and the last home stand had its share of big moments, major accomplishments and unexpected weather phenomena. Monday night the Keys welcomed the Kinston Indians to town for the first of a four game weekday series. It was the last kids eat free night of the year, so kids 12 and under got to enjoy a hot dog, chips, and a drink free for the last Monday game until next season. On the field, the Keys started strong and got the victory to start the week. This win was particularly special because our manager, Orlando Gomez, became the winningest manager in Keys history. After the game,Orlandowas interviewed briefly on the field and the crowd cheered for him on this special night.
It would be tough to top this milestone that was reached Monday night, but Tuesday was another night and another chance for the fans to see great action at the Grove. Before we could get to the game that night, the east coast was stunned and shook up by an earth quake. The earthquake, which measured in at 5.9, hit the east coast and hit Frederick a little before two in the afternoon. For the staff here at the Keys, no one knew what was going on for that brief time when things were shaking and rumbling. Things calmed down after that and the game that night when on as planned. Tuesday night was Boys and Girls Club Night and they had a lot of people come to the Grove for the occasion. Despite the Keys offense going quiet and the losing the game, everyone that came out still had a good time.
The day after the earthquake the Keys organization decided to knock the price down on a general admission ticket to $5.90 in honor of the quake. Then all fans that made it out to the game were given a certificate that stated they survived the Earthquake of August 2011. We were happy that so many of our fans survived the Earthquake and were able to come out to the Grove that night. It was believed that the vigorous shaking of keys from our fans during the season triggered the quake, but this was never proven. Thursday night marked the end of the series with Kinston and the Keys won the series with a win to send Kinston home in despair. It was another solid night at the Grove and we were gaining steam approaching the weekend.
Now it was time for the weekend and Friday night was looking like a gorgeous evening and the Grove was the place to be. The Potomac Nationals were coming in and they are chasing us for first place in the second half. Friday night was Art in the Park Night and we were giving away Manny Machado posters. As part of art in the park, the Keys wore special yellow and black jerseys and for one night they were the bumble keys. There were several areas in the park where artists were set up with easels. Also we had a special music performance in the fun zone before the game with a local artist. Then during the game we had a table set up where fans could bid on the bumble keys jerseys. The jerseys were a big hit and most jerseys received several bids, the biggest was that of O’s #1 prospect, Manny Machado. It was a tight contest between the Nationals and Keys and it took extra innings to find a winner. Unfortunately the Keys suffered the loss but a majority of the huge crowd stayed for the whole game and extra innings. This was the second largest crowd of the season and all of our wonderful fans that stayed for all thirteen innings were treated to fireworks. When the last of the big crowd has left the stadium it was in the eleven o’ clock hour and it was time for another fun night of fireworks cleanup. Despite our staff being drained and tired, we worked feverishly to pick up the debris and we were done shortly after midnight.
Next for the Keys was Saturday night and it was supposed to be NFL night. As the staff arrived at the stadium that morning, it was gloomy and windy since Hurricane Irene was on her way. I was out on two appearances that day, one at the Frederick Town Mall and one at the fairgrounds. The second one was cut short because of the rain that was pounding Frederick. Another employee and I headed back to the Grove to find out that due to constant rain and winds that were going to be in the area all day, the game was going to be postponed. It was to be made up as a doubleheader Sunday starting at 1:00. It was a shame to have to cancel a game on a Saturday. That meant no fireworks for Keys fans, but the rain is unpredictable and cannot be controlled. Our front office staff did our best to reach out to all our fans to let them know that we were going to have two games Sunday and we would accommodate them the best we could. With no game that night, the Keys staff was free to go home and wait out the hurricane before we had to come back to work Sunday ready for the twinbill.
Finally, just as quickly as the season had started, it was Sunday August 28th, the last regular season game at home. It would seem fitting after a turbulent first month in April that we end it with a doubleheader. The sun came out and a good crowd showed up to see two games for the price of one. These were seven inning contests and there would be a 30 minute break between them for the field to get worked on by our grounds crew. There were a lot of birthday parties at the grove that day and many children out to enjoy the last Dick’s Sporting Goods Sunday Funday of the year. The Keys fell in game one but bounced back and won game two to salvage a split in the doubleheader. Despite the split, Potomac ended up winning the series two to one. Washington Nationals catcher Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez was rehabbing with Potomac and he caught five innings in the second game. The win for the Keys was win number 79; this ties the mark for most wins by a Keys team. The Keys look to win that illustrious 80th game as they go toKinston and Wilmington over the next week.
This 2011 Keys regular season was a great one for me as an assistant getting my first taste of a full year in minor league baseball. I am excited as is everyone that the Keys are in the playoffs and hope that we can win the Mills Cup this year. I would like to thank our wonderful fans for a great season and look forward to seeing them at the Grove on Wednesday Sept 7th and Thursday September 8th. As we all get ready for the playoff run have a good week and Shake Your Keys!!
The first 2,000 fans on Friday night will receive a poster of Manny Machado, courtesy of Bayrunner Shuttle
It has been a long road so far this year. Now, there are only seven home games remaining in the regular season before the Keys hit the road for seven games to finish off the season. They will then host playoff games, for sure, on September 7th and 8th. The likely playoff opponent looks to be last year’s Carolina League champs, the Potomac Nationals. If the Keys win the second half (they are four games ahead of 2nd place currently), they will host game five of the first round if it needs to be played.
Heading into the final homestand, the Keys will welcome the Kinston Indians and Potomac Nationals to town over the next week. Monday will feature the last Kids Eat Free night of the season. All kids 12 and under will receive a voucher for a free hot dog, chips and drink. Tuesday at 7pm, we will hold a Boys and Girls Club Fundraiser throughout the game. It is also Guaranteed Win Night. If the Keys win, we all go home happy. If they lose, tickets for the game will be redeemable for any remaining Wednesday or Thursday’s game. Thursday is the finale of the series against Kinston at 7pm.
Friday night, the 26th, brings Art in the Park to Harry Grove Stadium. Benefitting the Frederick Arts Council, the Keys have this promotion annually to showcase the art of local youth. This season for Art in the Park, the Keys will ditch their white and orange and strap up in yellow and black to become….the Bumble Keys. The jerseys worn during the game will be auctioned off throughout the night with proceeds going to the Frederick Arts Council. In addition to the Keys looking like bees, Bayrunner Shuttle will be sponsoring a poster giveaway to the first 2,000 fans. They will also be co-sponsoring the fireworks show that will take place after the game between the Keys and the P-Nats. Our favorite face painter, Vicki, will also be in attendance for the kids and we will have a clown and caricaturist in the picnic area as well.
There may be baseball going on Saturday night, but it is NFL Night at the Grove. Redskins Hall of Famer and current radio host on 106.7 The Fan, Brian Mitchell will be in attendance for a pregame picnic. He will also be signing autographs on the concourse during the game. Our pregame picnic will feature Mitchell speaking about his career and includes an all-you-can-eat buffet that is $18 for adults and $15 for youth. Mini hot dogs, hamburger sliders, bratwurst and pulled pork are some of the menu items you will find at the picnic. In addition to Mitchell’s appearance, fans that wear their NFL jersey when they purchase tickets at the box office will receive a voucher for a FREE hot dog. Brian Mitchell + free ball park frank + fireworks = fun times at Harry Grove. 106.9 The Eagle, the four states #1 for classic hits, will also be at the game on Saturday with Phil and Arianna hosting our in-game promotions. Fireworks will light up the Frederick skies following the game, courtesy of Life & Discovery and Musket Ridge.
The final regular season home game will be on Sunday at 2pm. We will be celebrating birthdays for all the kids who were born in the offseason with a party in the courtyard. For just $13 you get a ticket to the game along with a hot dog, chips and a drink. Like usual, it is also Sunday Funday presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods, so fans will be able to have a catch on the field from 1-1:30pm and get autographs from two Keys players on the first base concourse. Lastly, we will be having some fan appreciation raffle giveaways throughout to game to thank you, the fans, for all of your support throughout the 2011 season.
That wraps up the preview for this week’s promotions. Hope to see you out at the Grove for the final regular season home games for 2011!
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!!
It is a time that you should be happy to live in Frederick, Keys fans. This upcoming homestand not only has the usual family, friendly atmosphere that we offer, but also brings a WWE Hall of Famer to the Grove, a Star Wars celebration for Keyote’s birthday and a tribute to one of the greatest pieces of facial hair, the mustache. The Keys return home on Thursday for a seven game homestand with match-ups against the Southern Division leading, Winston-Salem Dash, and the Wilmington Blue Rocks. The Keys lost two out of three to the Dash this past weekend but have had a lot of success against the Rocks.
When the Keys return on Thursday, it will be 80′s Night at Harry Grove Stadium. Player headshots on the videoboard will be themed for the 1980s along with music throughout the game. Staff will be dressed up in 80′s clothing whether it is crazy neon stuff or something else. I was born in 1987 so I didn’t get to experience too much of the 80′s but the music is good and so are the cartoons…the Super Mario Bros. Super Show being one of my favorites…
Friday night at 7pm is Salute to the Blue Collar Worker and more importantly an appearance by WWE Hall of Famer, Jerry “The King” Lawler. The King is not only well-known for his wrestling and announcing, but also coming to minor league parks to spend time with fans to take pictures and sign autographs. This past weekend, Lawler was in Atlanta for a wrestling convention and wrestling journalist, Bill Apter (my dad), talked to Jerry about his upcoming visit to the Keys game. Should be a fun time, so bring your wrestling memorabilia, disposable/real cameras and babies to get signed as the King makes his way to Frederick! Ok, you don’t have to get your baby signed.
Fast forwarding to Sunday at 2PM, the Keys will celebrate Keyote’s birthday in a way that has never been done before. Keyote will have the force with him come Sunday afternoon as his birthday is set to be a Star Wars theme. Members from the Defenders of the Force and the Rebel Legion will be in attendance and will feature over 10 Star Wars characters and performances on the field in between innings. The guy in charge of the Defenders of the Force, Chris Harper, gives an explanation of what his group does…
The Defenders of the Force is an organization comprised of individuals with a passion for giving back to the community and a love of the Star Wars Universe as created by Lucasfilm Ltd. The members of the Defenders of the Force have banded together to recreate the lightsaber battles seen in the films and television series and to create their own stories, characters, and lightsaber battles based in the Star Wars Universe. These lightsaber battles are performed at events with the sole purpose of assisting charitable organizations and supporting the community.
Fans can get into the game early, 12:30PM to be exact, for just $13! That $13 includes a general admission ticket along with a hot dog, chips and a drink for a pre-game picnic with all of the Star Wars characters and Keyote’s mascot friends.
The last day I choose to highlight is Wednesday, August 17th. Here with the Keys this month, it is Mustache August. Game time is at 7PM and it is Tribute to the Mustache Night. What better?! Not only will fans that have mustaches receive a ticket discount (no goatees allowed!) BUT the first 500 fans that may be too young or too cool for a real mustache will receive a stick-on mustache as they enter the gates. There is nothing better than a Wednesday night of hot Carolina League action while taking the time to tribute the mustache. We will be having Name that Mustache Trivia along with other exciting events taking place. Not to mention, some Keys staff members have decided to grow mustaches of their own…
Anyways, I hope to see you all out at the Grove sometime in the next seven games. Make sure to stop by the box office or give us a buzz at 877.8.GO.KEYS to get tickets for any of these games OR for our playoff games on September 7th & 8th…..PLAYOFFS?! YES! PLAYOFFS!
That being said, Shake Your Keys!