Archive for the ‘ 25th season ’ Category

Five for Friday: Potential Keys, reading for the weekend and other stuff

Buried beneath yesterday’s bosom-filled blog broadcast was a link to the second installment of The Frederick 40 Countdown, a series that takes look at 40 prospects who have the potential to wear a Keys uniform this season.

If you missed it, I understand, given the distracting photo directly above it.

The good news is part two of our countdown is the first of this week’s Five for Friday, a quintuplet of Keys-related information to carry you through the weekend.

Nowak83 WEB

1. Frederick 40 Countdown: Part II – Nowak back for more hacks in 2013?

Among this week’s five potential Keys is Frederick’s 2012 leader in batting average and doubles, Jeremy Nowak (pictured above). Among the highlights of Nowak’s baseball career is his one season at Mount Olive College in North Carolina. Nowak was a one-year D-II monster, hitting .446, racking up 99 hits — including 17 homers — and driving in 81 runs for the Trojans. He started the season with a 35-game hitting streak and left his mark on the Mount Olive record book.

As for the rest of the bunch in part two:

Matt Bywater – A lefty who led the NCAA in complete games in 2010. Also had a strong mustache on picture day last season.

Parker Bridwell - Starred at a high school in Texas with teams nicknamed the Whitefaces. Don’t get offended, a whiteface is another name for the Hereford breed of cattle.

Devin Jones -  One of two Mississippi State athletes with his name during his time in Starkville. The potential 2013 Key played baseball, the other football. The baseball Jones was probably the better Bulldog as far as on-field performance goes.

Joe Oliveira – Named to the Johnny Bench Award Watch list three years while at the University of the Pacific.

By the way, part one of the countdown is here.

2. Some Keys-related reading

*MASN’s Steve Melewski has been all over the former-Keys beat in the last week. Three links to his stories are below, two on Kevin Gausman — O’s first-round pick last year and major pitching prospect — and one on Bobby Bundy — also a pitcher. Gausman had a brief stint with the Keys late in the season. He also came to the O’s Caravan event in Frederick in January. Here are the two Melewski stories on Gausman:

- Searching for a third plus pitch, Kevin Gausman just may have found one

- Kevin Gausman on his innings limit, high expectations and powdered donuts

Bundy, the brother of top-pitching prospect and 2012 Key Dylan Bundy, spent a large chunk of 2011 dominating hitters with the Keys. He’s coming off elbow surgery after a disappointing 2012. Here’s Melewski’s story:

- After surgery, Bobby Bundy looks to recapture the form he showed with Frederick

3. Meet Frank Key all over again

We just added a Frederick Keys video relic to the website. It’s called “Frederick Meets Frank Key” (YouTube link) and it’s worth watching. The comments about Frank Key’s knickers make the video.

4. Newsletter time

The newest Keys newsletter has been published. It is here.

5. Former Frederick Friday Contest

Head over to the Keys Facebook page this afternoon for another edition of our weekly Former Frederick Friday Contest. We post the picture, you guess who it is, if you’re the first to name that Key, your name will be entered into a drawing to win skybox tickets at Harry Grove Stadium this season. We’ll post a brief feature on the this week’s former Key on the blog on Monday.

As always, shake your Keys.

Frederick Flashback: The Kissing Bandit

ImageIn the name of St. Valentine, let’s go back to Harry Grove Stadium in 1991.

Pictured above is former Key Randy Berlin, about to receive a wet one from Morganna the Kissing Bandit.

Morganna Roberts, described in a 2003 Sports Illustrated article as a woman with “measurements like a first-place hockey record, 60-24-39,” is from Louisville, Ky., and by all accounts now — or lackthereof — lives a normal life. But for three decades, the busty Kentuckian became famous for running onto fields, courts and rinks to smooch lucky athletes.

Her first on-field caper came in 1971 at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, when she went for a jaunt across the infield to plant a kiss on all-time hits leader Pete Rose. She became a traveling sideshow at major league parks across the country, soon expanding her repertoire to include NBA and NHL arenas and minor league venues. In doing so, she compiled an impressive list of smooch-ees that includes George Brett (1979 All-Star game at the Kingdome in Seattle) Cal Ripken, Jr. (1988 at Camden Yards) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1989 before a Lakers-Rockets game).

So, 20 years after Morganna made her debut with Pete Rose, Sr., she came to Frederick to add Pete Rose, Jr. to her list. She got him, and Berlin’s kiss was just a bonus cherry on top of that romantic evening at the Grove.

The Kissing Bandit, who worked as an exotic dancer when she wasn’t storming fields and rushing athletes lips-first, hung up her kissing lipstick in 2000, according to this Seattle Post-Intelligencer article.

Here’s a Morganna highlight video, which opens with her Baltimore encounter with The Iron Man. A signed Morganna photo dug out of the Keys archives is below. Happy Valentines Day.Image

In non-kissing news:

*Part two of our Frederick 40 Countdown is up on FrederickKeys.com. This week’s five include the 2012 Keys’ leader in batting average and doubles and two highly-touted pitching prospects. Check it out by clicking here or on the link above.

*We’re going to start counting down the top 10 promotions of the upcoming season shortly. Stay tuned for that. What would you like to see at the Grove?

*50 days until opening night in Frederick.

Shake your Keys.

What’s that smell? It’s baseball.

Gameday at the Grove

Let it waft into your nostrils. The smell of freshly cut grass, broken-in leather, dirt, pine tar and sunflower seed spittle.

As of today, baseball begins in 2013.

Pitchers and catchers reported to big-league camp today in sunny, warm Florida and Arizona. It’s a sunny, crisp 46 degrees in Frederick.

In less than 53 days, the Keys open their season at Harry Grove Stadium against Salem. (A countdown to the 2013 Keys baseball season is here.) So, let’s get caught up on some off-season happenings with the Keys.

*The Orioles announced Frederick’s coaching staff for 2013 last month. Orlando Gomez, the Keys’ all-time winningest manager, will not be returning for his fourth season.  He’s headed down to Florida to lead the O’s rookie-ball Gulf Coast League team. Stepping into his shoes in Frederick is Ryan Minor, former Oriole and Delmarva Shorebirds manager. Minor managed low-A Delmarva in 2010, ’11 and ’12. He’ll be joined by pitching coach Kennie Steenstra, who held the same position in Frederick in 2009, and hitting coach Torre Tyson, who’s new to the O’s system.

*The full release on the Keys’ 2013 staff can be found on the Keys’ website.

*The Frederick News-Post’s Greg Swatek talked to Minor, who famously replaced Cal Ripken in the lineup when he ended his consecutive games streak, after he was announced as Keys manager. Read his story on the FNP’s website.

*The Orioles Caravan came to Frederick in January. Swatek was there for that event, too. Read his story from the event here. He also gave his take on the bigger-than-expected turnout on a rainy winter day on his FNP blog.  An excerpt from that post:

It wasn’t a horrible day by January weather standards. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t without misery (rainy, cold, getting dark). Yet there were hundreds of people in line, waiting to get inside the recreation center almost an hour before the doors opened for an Orioles’ Caravan/FanFest event in Frederick.

Read the whole thing on his blog.

*Our 40-man countdown of prospective Keys for the 2013 season has begun. I’ve penned short bios of the first five, which are in no particular order. Check out The Frederick 40 Countdown: Part I. Seven more installments to come, typically on Thursday afternoons.

*Speaking of Thursdays, here is last week’s Keys newsletter. Get on the newsletter email list by signing up online.

*In case you haven’t heard, 2013 will be the Keys 25th anniversary season. In honor of the silver anniversary, we’ll be posting Keys history-related items in this space all season long.

*2012 Keys Brenden Webb and Allan de San Miguel and potential 2013 Key Michael Ohlman just played in the Australian Baseball League Championship Series. But we’ll get into that and a few other things later this week.

Shake your Keys.

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