Keys Unlock 2014 Promotional Schedule

KEYS UNLOCK 2014 PROMOTIONAL SCHEDULE

Plenty of Surprises in Store for Upcoming Season

 

FREDERICK, Md. – Coming off a 25th season celebration to remember, the Frederick Keys are proud to announce a top-flight promotional schedule that will have fans yearning for the start of the season. Complete with great giveaways, several celebrity guests and exciting new features, the Keys have worked hard to make 2014 more exciting than ever.

April 11 marks the start of the first weekend homestand, and the beginning of an exciting new giveaway. Nine fans will have the chance to win $25,000 if Frederick accomplishes a specific feat during their designated inning. The 7 p.m. tilt against Carolina also includes a Keys calendar giveaway courtesy of H.N. Funkhouser and a fireworks display presented by American Disposal Systems.

Other new additions to this year’s exciting promotions calendar include a cruise giveaway on Saturday May 31, thanks to Cruise Holidays of Frederick. Then on June 1 after the 2 p.m. game against Wilmington, youngsters can enjoy a postgame “candy drop” where a helicopter will circle the outfield and drop a cargo of goodies.

As usual, many exciting visitors plan to drop by Harry Grove Stadium in 2014. Duck Dynasty’s Mountain Man will greet fans and sign autographs on July 19, WWE Legend The Million Dollar Man, will be in town for Fredneck Night presented by Yellow Cab on June 27, and on August 16, one of the country’s most entertaining traveling shows returns. An immediate hit since its debut at Harry Grove Stadium in 2012, the Cowboy Monkey Rodeo is scheduled to perform at the Keys 6 p.m. game against Lynchburg. During this see it to believe it display, monkeys dressed as cowboys ride dogs as though they were horses while herding sheep.

Back by popular demand, there will be a pair of bobblehead giveaways during the season. The first takes place on July 26, when Frederick plays Lynchburg at 6 p.m. As part of the team’s Salute to the Orioles Celebration, the first 1,000 fans will receive a bobblehead of current O’s outfielder, and former Frederick Key, Nick Markakis courtesy of Flying Dog Brewery. Meanwhile, Matt Wieters bobbleheads presented by BayRunner Shuttle will be given away on August 30, when the Potomac Nationals visit at 6 p.m.

Some other exciting promotions include Flag Day on June 14, when Keys faithful will receive a Military Card Set Giveaway. On August 8, Kids Club members are encouraged to attend Keyote’s Ninja Turtle-themed birthday party. There will be a pizza party from 6:30-8:30 p.m., a piggy bank giveaway courtesy of Nymeo and a family sleepover after the game. Bark in the Park presented by C.A.R.E will take place on Thursday, May 8, when Winston-Salem visits at 7 p.m., while two days later, the Key City Roller Derby will hold a bout before the team’s 6 p.m. game against the Dash as part of Family Fitness weekend.

Baseball Camp Days courtesy of MMI are scheduled for July 1-3 and August 5-7.

A full list of weekly promotions can be found by visiting frederickkeys.com. Mattress Warehouse Club specials will be released next week.

Opening Day 2014 for the Frederick Keys is scheduled for Tuesday, April 8, when the Carolina Mudcats visit Harry Grove Stadium at 7:00 p.m. For ticket information, please call 301-815-9939 or visit frederickkeys.com.

2014 Keys Top 10 Promo Countdown (Day 5)

Happy Friday Keys Fans!!

The weekend is within sight, and it’s already gotten off to a great start with the O’s debut of Ubaldo Jimenez!!

courtesy: veooz.com

courtesy: veooz.com

Over two sharp innings, the righty struck out three and did not allow a hit. At the plate, not a bad day for Nick Markakis: 4-4 with an RBI, heading into the bottom of the seventh. O’s 14 Phillies 4. I think you can close the book on this one.

In other news, the baseball world has lost a pioneer. Frank Jobe, the orthopedic surgeon who invented the transplant procedure known as “Tommy John” surgery (because he first performed the procedure on then-Dodgers star Tommy John), passed away Thursday. He was 88. Over 30 years, Jobe saved hundreds of pitching careers, while he is widely regarded as one the founding fathers of sports medicine.

In July 2013, Jobe received a commendation from the National Baseball Hall of Fame for his contributions to the game. However, I think the Hall needs to take a long look at bestowing upon him the ultimate honor: induction. Without Jobe, many promising careers would have stalled.

Transitioning from baseball news to Keys news, it’s time to wrap up our 2014 Top 10 promotional countdown!! After a long journey, we’re almost ready to hoist the holy grail: the ENTIRE 2014 Keys promotional schedule. But before we do, it’s time to finish off our list:

BOBBLEHEADS!!! 

I scream, you scream, we all scream for bobbleheads! When fans ask about promotions, one of the most typical questions received is: What day are you giving away bobbleheads?!?!

Well, we can finally give you the answer. On July 26, we’ll have a Nick Markakis bobblehead giveaway courtesy of Flying Dog Brewery as part of the team’s Salute to the Orioles Night.

courtesy: Baltimore Sun

courtesy: Baltimore Sun

It figures to be a fun night, with face-painting by Vicki and a fireworks extravaganza courtesy of Flying Dog Brewery also scheduled. Then on August 30, the Keys will pay homage to another former Key:

courtesy: Sports Illustrated

courtesy: Sports Illustrated

Fans will want to line-up early to get their Matt Wieters bobbleheads presented by BayRunner Shuttle. BayRunner will also sponsor post-game fireworks.

FREDNECK Night 

Last but not least, Fredneck night returns to Harry Grove Stadium on June 27. It features a special appearance by WWE Legend The Million Dollar Man (Ted DiBiase) as well as post game fireworks.

Here is a video of some of the Million Dollar Man’s glory days:

And that’s a wrap! For a look at the entire promotional calendar, took a look one post up!!

Have a good weekend and shake your keys!

Geoff

2014 Keys Top 10 Promo Countdown (Day 4)

Hello Keys Fans!

No Orioles baseball today on account of inclement weather, as the rains rolled through Ed Smith Stadium early this morning.

But last night, the O’s bats were rolling in Ft Myers.

Johnny Monell  courtesy: mlbreports.com

Johnny Monell
courtesy: mlbreports.com

No Chris Davis? No Nick Markakis? No Adam Jones? NO PROBLEM.

Johnny Monell led the charge, going 3-for-4 with four RBIs and a 3-run homer which triggered a five-run 3rd for the visitors.

Spring training results may not matter for most Orioles position players, but given that Monell is fighting for the backup catcher job, mozel tov. Still, the New York native is well-aware that it’s his work behind the plate which will determine who gets the nod (Steve Clevenger is the other candidate).

On the mound, former Key Zach Britton looked sharp over two innings, inducing a number of ground balls and picking up two strikeouts.

courtesy: foxsports.com

courtesy: foxsports.com

The only scare was a line shot off the bat of Josh Willingham which hit Britton’s non-throwing wrist. He is expected to be fine.

Don’t forget, Ubaldomania kicks off tommorrow against the Phillies. However, Friday is also a big day for the Keys, as our ENTIRE promotional calendar comes out! In less than 24 hours, we’ll finally open the vault and reveal all of our well-kept secrets.

But as a mid-day distraction, our marketing masterminds have agreed to pull back the curtain on two more of our top offerings this year.

BEACH NIGHT

We’ve got two tickets to paradise!!! Hit it Eddie Money:

Cruise Holidays of Frederick will be giving away a free cruise when the Keys play the Wilmington Blue Rocks on Saturday, May 31 at 6 p.m. With summer on the horizon, fans are encouraged to dress up as if they were going to the beach (Hawaiian shirts,  shorts, flip-flops, etc…). We’ll also be distributing leis before the game.

This theme night also comes equipped with a PROMO CHALLENGE: I will personally give a radio  shout out to ANYONE who applies sunscreen to their nose like the lifeguard from Caddyshack:

Caddyshack

Just be aware, 15 seconds of fame could be followed by 15 minutes of ridicule. So participate “at your own risk.”

Cruise Holidays of Frederick will also sponsor a post-game fireworks show.

KEYOTE’S BIRTHDAY PARTY (NINJA-TURTLE THEME)

Ninja Turtle

Come hang out with  Donatello, Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael, as they help celebrate Keyote’s Birthday! The fun takes place on Friday, August 8 when the Wilmington Blue Rocks visit at 7 p.m. This night is jam-packed with fun activities for the kids.

There will be a Kids Club pizza party in the courtyard from 6:30-8:30 p.m, and the first 1,000 youngsters will receive a piggy bank courtesy of Nymeo. Young fans can also enjoy face painting by Vicki, while after the game, there will be a post-game fireworks extravaganza (one again thanks to our friends at Nymeo).

But once that’s all over, the fun continues!!! There will be a Kids Club sleepover, where families can stay and watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

And there you have it. Believe it or not, we have ONLY TWO promotions remaining in our top 10 countdown. So stay tuned as we wrap up our list,  and unlock the Keys entire promo schedule tommorrow afternoon.

Have a good night, and shake your keys!!!

Geoff

2014 Keys Top 10 Promo Countdown (Day 3)

Happy Wednesday Keys Fans!!

Hope you are enjoying your hump day. It’s hard to believe it’s Wednesday already, but that’s the power of snow days for you.

As many of you know, the big news out of Orioles camp on Tuesday was the signing of Johan Santana to a minor league contract.

Courtesy: outsidepitch.mlb.com

Courtesy: outsidepitch.mlb.com

The two-time Cy Young Award winner missed all of last season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder.

The deal is a low-risk proposition, and would pay Santana three million dollars plus incentives if he makes the big league club. However, the Venezuelan has a long way to go in the recovery process. One New York Post report noted that Santana’s fastball was peaking in the low-80s during a late February workout. Although his signature changeup looked good, he’ll need to get his velocity up several ticks to be effective.

More relevant to Keys fans, yesterday was the official report day for Orioles minor league position players. Here is a complete list of O’s minor leaguers in camp courtesy of MASN’s Steve Melewski: O’s MiLB Spring Training Roster

Among last year’s Keys in attendance:

Dariel Alvarez

Dariel Alvarez

Zane Chavez

Zane Chavez

Brenden Webb

Brenden Webb

Just to name a few.

No doubt the O’s talented farm system is one reason for excitement at Harry Grove Stadium. But another, is an outstanding list of promotional offerings. And this year, the Keys highly-touted marketing team has been working harder than ever.

Let’s take a look at two more of our top upcoming promos for the year:

$25,000 GIVEAWAY

Money, Money, Money, MONEY!!! Just the thought of this promotion has me humming the O’Jays Classic (better known as the Apprentice intro song)

This first-time promotion has the chance to be a grand slam. It’s scheduled for Friday, April 11, when the Keys host the Lynchburg Hillcats, and the rules are pretty simple.

During the game, nine people will have a chance to win $25,000. Each lucky contestant will be assigned a specific inning, and if the Keys accomplish a certain feat (such as back-to-back home runs, a grand slam, etc…) that person will be making a hefty deposit.

But that’s not all! There will be a pre-game Keys calendar giveaway sponsored by H.N. Funkhouser and a post-game fireworks courtesy of our friends at ADS.

So don’t miss your chance to hit the jackpot!!

MOUNTAIN MAN

Fan of the popular TV show Duck Dynasty?

Duck Dynasty

Then you’ll want to be in attendance on July 19, when the Keys host Winston-Salem at 6 p.m. The title is a bit of a giveaway, as Tim Guraedy (aka Mountain Man) will be in attendance to sign autographs and more.

Additionally, there will be a post-game fireworks.

For those of you who don’t watch the show, here is a little video which highlights Mountain Man’s unique personality:

That’s all for now. And don’t forget, on Friday our ENTIRE promo schedule comes out.

Talk soon and shake your keys!

Geoff

2014 Keys Top 10 Promo Countdown (Day 2)

Happy Tuesday Keys Fans!!!

Hope you’re done shoveling, and that you enjoyed your pseudo three-day weekend. Personally, I enjoyed the chance to watch some spring training baseball on MLB.TV. For those who missed it, it was a pretty historic day. Following months of planning, managers and umpires took instant replay for a spin

As a historical footnote, the first challenge occurred in the bottom of the fifth inning in a game between the Blue Jays and the Twins. After a two-minute and 34 second review, the call was upheld. Not too bad.

On the Orioles front, former Key Nick Markakis had a terrific day against the Twins, going 2-for-3 with a run scored, while another ex-Key Jonathan Schoop continues to turn heads in camp. Following another multi-hit game, some have even speculated whether the Curacao native could force his way into Buck Showalter’s opening day lineup.

Schoop and Manny Machado as members of the Keys. O's double-play combo of the future?

Schoop and Manny Machado in their Keys days. O’s double-play combo of the future?

Something to ponder.

As well as this: the Keys are currently three days away from the release of their 2014 promotional schedule. So how will the team make season #26 one to remember?

Well, our marketing team has agreed to step out of its war room for a minute and unveil two more of its Top 10 promos for the 2014 season.

SUPERHERO NIGHT

Superheroes

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Superhero night!!! So come dressed as your favorite character with other-wordly powers on Sunday, July 27, as the Keys play host to the Lynchburg Hillcats at 6 p.m.  Over the years, we have seen some pretty original costumes, but maybe none as unique as “Bundy Man” in 2012:

Bundy Man 1 Bundy Man 2

Sadly, with Bundy Man in attendance the Keys are 0-1 (though Dylan Bundy was pretty awesome that night, tossing 5 innings of 2-hit baseball with 8 strikeouts).

Nevertheless, we love creativity. So don’t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to your costume choice. A couple of added bonuses: prior to the game there will be a Kids Club Picnic which includes a meet-and-greet with an assorted gang of superheroes, every Keys player will have special head shots which reflect their superhero preferences, while the likes of Batman, Superman and Iron Man will be roaming the concourse throughout the game. And…..

It’s a Sunday Funday! That means families can partake in a pregame catch for the first 30 minutes after gates open, plus some of your favorite Keys will be signing autographs before the game.

But that’s not the only Sunday Funday you won’t want to miss:

CANDY DROP

Candy Land

If you’ve got a sweet tooth, be sure to circle Sunday, June 1 on your calendar, when the Keys entertain the Wilmington Blue Rocks at 2 p.m. Families and Kids Club members are encouraged to attend as it’s Macy’s “American Family Day.”

Prior to the game, there will be a meet and greet with members of the team (1-1:30 p.m.) and if you’re in the Kids Club, there will be an ice-cream social!

However the highlight will be afterwards, when a helicopter will sprinkle the outfield with your favorite goodies.

Additionally, there will be face painting by Vicki, and who knows, maybe we’ll even bring back the “Candy Lineup”

Hopefully things will turn out better than they did for our friend Mr. Costanza.

That’s all for now! We’ll continue our Top 10 Countdown tomorrow. Also, keep an eye out for episode 2 of “Guess Your Keys.”

Talk soon, and shake your keys!

Geoff

2014 Keys Top 10 Promo Countdown

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

Well the snow is back:

photo (1)

The bane of a groundskeeper’s existence (right Mike Soper?)

Hopefully you’ve dug yourself out, and are preparing for a lazy afternoon. Snow aside, it’s important to note that we are officially one month away from the start of the 2014 season. And to keep getting you ready, we’re going to pull back the curtain on some of the Keys 2014 promotional offerings!

Starting today, we’ll begin a Top 10 countdown of the team’s best promotions for the season. Then on Friday, we’ll unveil the ENTIRE promotional schedule.  Don’t worry, it will be worth the wait! This year the Keys are pulling out all the stops to make the team’s 26th season one to remember.

Alright, enough with the chit-chat it’s time to start the countdown.

We’ll begin with one of my personal favorites:

TEAM GHOSTRIDERS-THE COWBOY MONKEY RODEO

courtesy: Milb.com

courtesy: Milb.com

It’s one of the wildest sights you’ve ever seen: Monkeys dressed as cowboys riding dogs as though they were horses all the while herding sheep. Get all that? It’s the spectacle of the Cowboy Monkey Rodeo, and it returns to Harry Grove Stadium on Saturday, August 16, when the Keys host the Lynchburg Hillcats at 6:00. In addition to the main event, local act Soolah Hoops will wow the crowd with a hula-hooping extravaganza AND there will also be post-game fireworks sponsored by Precision Heating and Cooling

Tickets  will go fast, so make sure to call the box office at 301-815-9939 or our groups office at 301-815-9900 to get your seats. If you haven’t seen it, you DON’T wanna miss out.

To get you excited, here is a video from one of Team Ghostrider’s recent trips to Harry Grove Stadium: Team Ghostriders visit Harry Grove Stadium. You can also learn more about the origins of the Cowboy Monkey Rodeo by visiting the website of Tim ‘Wild Thang’ Lepard, the owner and operator of Team Ghostriders.

STAR WARS DAY

Star Wars

Don’t miss the chance to mingle with Han Solo, Jedis and other members of the Rebel Alliance when Star Wars invades Harry Grove Stadium on Saturday, April 26 at 2pm. Prior to first pitch against the Carolina Mudcats, fans can greet their favorite characters from the George Lucas brainchild, while there will be light saber battles throughout the game. Plus, the highly-popular Rebel Legion will be in attendance.

Fans are encouraged to come as their favorite Star Wars characters, with the hope that trusting “the force” will guide the Keys to a win over Muddies. April 26 is also a Keys for Reading Weekend, so fans from Howard and Montgomery Counties bring your bookmarks!

Here is some more info about Keys for Reading.

We’ll continue our Top 10 promo countdown tommorrow. Also, be on the lookout for episode 2 of “Guess your Keys.”

Happy shoveling and shake your keys!

Geoff

Guess your Keys: Friday, February 28

Hello Keys Fans!

You made it to Friday. Now with the weekend on the horizon, we’ll try and make your day go a little faster with….

ROUND 1 OF GUESS YOUR KEYS!!!

I know, it sounds like a game show that all the networks passed on. But for our purposes, it’s a pretty fitting title. Over the next few weeks we’ll unveil a list of 40 possible Frederick Keys for the 2014 season. Then when the opening day roster comes out, we’ll see how we did. Now, the question some of you might be asking: I thought a Carolina League roster could only consist of 25 guys, why list 40?

First off, we like to give ourselves some wiggle room. While the MLB roster is mostly set, minor league rosters are a little tougher to pin down. Second, we want to prepare Keys fans for the entire season as best we can. As many minor league baseball fans know, just because a player starts on your roster, there’s no guarantee he will FINISH on your roster. Injuries, promotions, trades and the like tend to disrupt continuity.

Now before we begin, one disclaimer:

We HAVE NOT wiretapped the offices of Orioles Executive Vice President  Dan Duquette or Director of Player Development Brian Graham. We’d like to keep the FBI on our good side. Instead, our crack staff of experts here at the Unlocking the Keys blog have worked to compile the list.

So without further or due, it’s time to unveil the first two players we expect to grace Harry Grove Stadium at some point this season. We’ll begin with one member of the 2013 Frederick Keys:

JESSE BEAL

Courtesy: Orioles-Nation.com

Courtesy: Orioles-Nation.com

Vitals 

Position: RHP

Age: 23

Height: 6-7

Weight: 217

2013 club: Frederick

More on Beal:

After missing all of 2011 on account of right labrum surgery, Beal returned to form in 2013 with the Keys. He pitched in a career-high 40 games, logging a 4.71 ERA over 40 games pitched. The higher ERA was due in large part to extreme home-road splits. In 20 games at other Carolina League parks, the 6-7 righty tallied a 3.35 ERA compared to a 6.17 ERA at hitter-friendly Harry Grove Stadium. Still, Beal’s progress out of the bullpen was encouraging. His August was terrific (9G, 1-1, 3.46 ERA), while he worked two or more innings in 24 of his outings. That’s versatility that any manager can appreciate. Armed with excellent command (his strikeout-walk ratio was almost 3:1 last season), Beal’s fastball sits in the low-mid 90s, while he features a sharp 11-5 curveball.

HUNTER HARVEY

Observernewsonline,com

Observernewsonline.com

Vitals 

Position: RHP

Age: 19

Height: 6-4

Weight: 178

2013 club: GCL Orioles/Aberdeen

More on Harvey:

Considered one of the jewels of the Orioles minor league system, Harvey made a strong impression in his first professional season. Selected by Baltimore with the 22nd overall pick in last year’s draft out of Bandy H.S. (NC), the 19-year-old went 0-1 with a 1.78 over eight starts between the GCL Orioles and the Short-Season Aberdeen Ironbirds. Equipped with a fastball that has touched 97 mph, Harvey often overwhelmed his opposition. In 25.1 innings, the righty struck out 33 and held opponents to a .223 batting average. He also walked only six over that stretch. Not too shabby.

Rated the No. 4 prospect in the Orioles system by Baseball America, scouts have given Harvey high marks for his maturity, despite being less than a year removed from high school. Described by Aberdeen’s manager Matt Merullo as a pitcher “who looks like he’s 14, but pitches like he is about 34″, Harvey’s poise can be traced to strong baseball bloodlines. Father, Bryan, was a two-time MLB All-Star and saved 177 games over a nine-year career with the Angels and Marlins, while older brother Kris was a former Pirates and Marlins farmhand. Both ought to be invaluable resources for the youngest Harvey, as he begins his trek to the majors.

Without any full-season experience under his belt, Harvey is expected to begin the season at Low-A Delmarva, but some such as MASN’s Steve Melewski, believe a promotion to Frederick could come in the second half: http://www.masnsports.com/steve_melewski/2013/10/a-take-on-the-orioles-minor-leagues-pitcher-hunter-harvey.html

We hope you enjoyed the inaugural edition of “Guess Your Keys.” Episode two will come your way early next week. In the meantime, enjoy the O’s spring training opener this afternoon! The team will make the 45-minute trek up to Port Charlotte to take on the Rays at 1:05. Chris Tillman makes the start, while former Key Zach Britton is expected to throw second.

Talk soon,

Geoff

Frank Who?

Very few supplemental first round picks make waves during their first spring training.

Josh Hart is a bit of an exception.

On Monday afternoon, Oriole-great Frank Robinson paid a visit to Sarasota, Fla to visit with the team. However, when Baltimore’s manager Buck Showalter introduced the 19-year-old to Robinson, Hart had no idea who the Hall of Famer was.

As the son of a high school principal, it should come as no surprise that Showalter told Hart to complete a one-page report on Robinson. Nor should it come as a shock the story garnered national exposure:

Courtesy: AP

Courtesy: AP

If I were Hart, I would have been mortified. After all, his report probably included some of the following about Robinson:

-1982 Hall of Fame Inductee

- #22 on Sporting News List of 100 Greatest Baseball Players

- Finalist for Major League Baseball All-Century Team

-Two-time MVP and World Series MVP in 1966

-9th all-time in home runs (fourth-most at the time of his retirement)

- First African-American to serve as a manager in Major League History

Robinson with the Orioles courtesy: Biography

Robinson with the Orioles
courtesy: Biography

You get the drift. It’s information most baseball fans are aware of. But the reality is, some professional baseball players didn’t grow up as huge baseball fans. The vast majority played multiple sports through high school, and idolized NFL or NBA stars as kids. Some, even got to live out their dreams in multiple pro sports:

Russell Wilson Courtesy: seahawks.com

Russell Wilson
Courtesy: seahawks.com

John Elway courtesy: SI.Com

John Elway
courtesy: SI.Com

Okay, if you’re a Super Bowl winning quarterback I understand why you might gravitate towards football over baseball (Wilson was drafted by the Rockies and selected in the 2013 Rule 5 draft by the Rangers, while Elway played a summer in the Yankees farm-system, FYI).

Still, if you’re going to play baseball, a working knowledge of the all-time greats isn’t asking a lot. Especially, when a host of them have come from your own franchise.  As O’s manager Buck Showalter put it on ESPN’s Mike & Mike in the Morning:

“It’s important that we realize there were some people that paved the way to have that strong fan base, the people that live and die with everything the Orioles do.”

A lesson Hart learned over the course of his assignment. If you’re wondering, his report earned an “A-plus” from the Orioles skipper.

Now that he’s hit the books, Hart will try and open some eyes on the field. Over 36 games with the GCL Orioles and Short-Season Aberdeen Ironbirds in 2013, he hit .218 with nine RBIs and 11 stolen bases.  Rated the No. 13 prospect in the Baltimore system by Baseball America, Hart profiles as a speed guy at the top of the lineup. But with plenty to learn, he’s likely a year away from Frederick at least.

That being said, the Keys can expect a talented group in 2014. Over the next few weeks, we’ll have our predictions, as we continue the countdown towards opening day.

Talk soon, and shake your keys!

Geoff

Turning the Lock: A Glance into the 2014 Frederick Keys

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!!!

There may still be snow on the ground in Frederick, but in 44 days, the Keys will play their first game of the season against the Lynchburg Hillcats at historic Falwell Field. It’s a lovely thought isn’t it? In the meantime, I’m sure many of you are keeping track of all the developments down at Orioles Spring Training in Sarasota. It figures to be an exciting year for the O’s, but it ought to be a banner year for the Keys as well. And as we get closer to the season, we’ll give you the inside skinny on possible Keys players, updates from camp, as well as 2014 Keys promotions and lots more! But before we get to all that, some introductions:

First off, my name is Geoff Arnold, and I am the new Broadcasting and Public Relations Manager for the Keys. I serve as one of the team’s radio voices, and work as the primary liasion to the media. This is my first year in Frederick, but my second in the Carolina League. Last year, I served as the Assistant Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations for the Wilmington Blue Rocks, Advanced-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. In short, I couldn’t have asked for a better indoctrination into the Carolina League. Wilmington’s fanbase was super-passionate, while the front office staff was top-notch.

As an added plus, the Blue Rocks were only a short-ride up I-95 from my hometown of Berwyn, PA. Berwyn is a suburb of Philadelphia and is roughly 15 minutes from Valley Forge (or the King of Prussia Mall if that makes things easier). And yes, for better or worse, richer or poorer, I am a Philadelphia sports fan. I’ve been crushed so many times by the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers and Sixers, but at the end of the day, I still love them. In particular the Phillies. My family has had season tickets for over 30 years.

Speaking of family, all are baseball FANATICS. My dad coached pretty much every one of my little league teams growing up. My mom coached my sister’s teams, while my brother and sister both played collegiately for a time. I on the other hand, played high school baseball, before switching to baseball umpiring. It was a great way to make money in college, while it provided me with my first “real” job after graduation. Before moving into the broadcast booth, I umpired in the Gulf Coast League in 2011. So if you call out “hey blue, you stink!!!” during a Keys game and see me jerk my head around? Instinctual reaction.

But that’s enough about me. This season, I’ll be joined by two other awesome guys on the blog.  I’ll start with the Garden State’s favorite son. My main man Doug Raftery, who will be my partner on Keys broadcasts this year:

DOUG RAFTERY

My name is Doug and I’m a 23-year-old from Brick, NJ, also known as “America’s Safest City” in 2006 by the Morgan Quitno survey. My house is also partly made of brick, which makes the town name that much better.

I attended Hood College just down the road and graduated with a Communication Arts degree in 2012. While there, I had the opportunity to play collegiate soccer around some knee injuries, and was President of the Student Government Association my senior year.

I’m a big ‘quote’ guy, and my favorite is “You must have long-term goals to keep you from being frustrated by short-term failures” by Charles C. Noble.

My family is extremely important to me, as my mom, Patty, and dad, Ron, still live in Brick right on the jersey shore. My sister, who is four years older than me, is in the process of getting her PhD from the University of South Carolina. She is recently engaged to my new brother-in-law David, and I can’t wait until the wedding in 2015!

I can’t wait to interact with the fans this season while on air and at the stadium! Talk to everybody soon.

CHRIS COLLETTI

Hello Keys fans! My name is Chris Colletti, the Marketing Assistant for this coming season. I along with the others here will help with this season’s blog and just wanted to give you an introduction to myself. I am a 2013 graduate from SUNY Cortland in Central New York with a major in Sport Management. As a native of Buffalo, New York I am a lover of three things: Music, Wings, and Sports. Last year I worked with the Buffalo Bisons, the Triple-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, and I can’t wait to bring my experiences to the table here in Frederick. I look forward to meeting you all here at the stadium and I hope you enjoy the baseball this year as well as the events we are planning for you this season. Go Keys!

And there you have it. The talented trio (or duo depending on how you look at it). We look forward to bringing you Keys coverage throughout the season, and we’ll be in touch soon!

Shake your Keys!

Geoff, Doug and Chris

Three More Games

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.

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Your favorite alien, tonight at Harry Grove Stadium.

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.

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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.

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Meet Joe Jacoby and get your hog nose! Gates open at 5PM.

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 hereIf you aren’t a Skins fan, make sure to sport your favorite team’s football jersey as part of Salute to the Gridiron Night.

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Tuscarora HS Marching Band played on-field August 9th. Oakdale HS Marching band takes the stage on Satuday 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.

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Sunday marks the 2nd Annual Guns vs. Hoses game at Harry Grove Stadium. Game begins at 3:30PM.

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 hereThe $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.

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Thank you fans for another successful season!

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.

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Keys players will wear hats with this throwback logo on Monday afternoon.

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 hereKids 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.

Key Notes

*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.

*Keys pitching coach Kennie Steenstra and pitcher Tim Berry are the latest additions to the twitterverse. Make sure to follow Kennie (@21stra) and Tim (@xTimBerry) on Twitter if you have an account.

*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.

 

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