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.

Blue Rocks Barking Up the Wrong Tree

The Keys take on the Wilmington Blue Rocks tonight for the second game of the three game home stand.  The opener last night was an exciting one to say the least as the Keys played the role of the comeback kids; scoring four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Keys trailed 3-1 in the top of the 8th but thanks to an RBI single by Tucker Nathans followed by another single by Dariel Alvarez which scored two runs, and finally a two run double by Travis Adair, the Keys gained a four run lead over the Blue Rocks. Matt Hobgood got the win on the night, which was his second of the year, and Gene Escat got the save, his sixth of the year.

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The Keys are handing the ball off to left hander Trent Howard, who has yet to lose a game this season. The twenty three year old has an impressive ERA of only 2.0 paired with an equally  impressive sinking fastball.  The Keys will  be facing the Blue Rock’s left hander, Angel Baez. Baez is a twenty two year old from Puerto Rico with a record of 6 and 7 and 3.17 ERA. Wilmington sure is barking up the wrong tree tonight!

The Key’s line up is looking sharp tonight, check it out!

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Want more game info? Here are the game notes -

Tonight is also the seasons last Throwback Thursday! Be sure to come out and check out the Keys players rock their Throwback jerseys for the final time.

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Be sure not to leave your four legged best friend at home on your way out the door because tonight is Dog Days of Summer brought to you by Crossroads Animal Referral & Emergency. Did you register your beloved dog? Let’s hope so because it’s the last Dog day of Summer of the season! The game is set to start at 7PM, gates opening at 6PM.

See you and your dog at the ballpark!

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

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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.

Pirates Life for the Keys

Yo ho,  yo ho, it’s a pirate life for the Keys tonight at the Grove. Players will be turning in their bats for swords and their baseball caps for captain hats; it’s Pirate and Swashbucklers theme night! Make sure to stop by guest services to get your treasure map and help Keyote find the gold loot that’s been hidden in the stadium.

The Keys will be crossing swords the Wilmington Blue Rocks in the first of a three game series. The Blue Rocks have a record of 23-35 in the second half of the season and will be handing the ball to the twenty three right hander, Leonel Santiago. Zach Clark, also a right handed pitcher, will  be on the helm tonight for the Keys, who is looking for his first win. For  more details on tonight’s game, check out the game notes below.

Sails will be hoisted at seven with gates opening at six. Grab your bandannas and swords and come out to the stadium for a night for swashbuckling adventures! Staff and interns are ready to set sail  and will  be on the lookout for keys fans in buccaneer attire.

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Shake your keys or ye be walking the plank!

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”.

 

Monkeying Around At The Grove

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Saying that tonight is a “big” night at Harry Grove Stadium would be somewhat of an understatement.  Despite losing the last five games, the Frederick Keys are back in town for seven games at the Grove.  The Keys face off against the Winston-Salem Dash tonight in the first of four games. The game is set to start at 6pm.

50 Serie Nacional-CAM-AlvarezTonight is jammed packed with more than just baseball.  Dariel Alvarez, the recent Orioles signee, is playing his first game at the Grove tonight.  He made his Carolina League debut in Potomac on Thursday, 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.  In last night’s game, he went 3-for-5 but the Keys lost 7-3.  To read more about Alvarez’s trip to Frederick, click here.

Alvarez will bat third in tonight’s lineup.  Travis Adair, who has been nothing but hot lately will bat second. He has played in eleven games in the second half of the season and he is batting .366 (15-for-41).  He is gotten just one hit in eleven at-bats batting second this season.

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Trent Howard will start for the Keys tonight. He is 3-0 as a reliever this season with a 0.62 ERA.  In eleven starts, he has yet to factor into the decision. He faced the Myrtle Beach Pelicans last week and gave up just one run and five hits in five innings.

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For everything you need to know about tonight’s game, check out the game notes below.

*In addition to an awesome match-up between the Dash and the Keys, tonight is also the Cowboy Monkey Rodeo.  Confused as what that means exactly? I understand. Check out this video! There will be a full show after tonight’s 6pm game.

One of the monkeys, Megan, paid a visit to the press box earlier today.

*Tonight is also the Rubber Ducky Giveaway Night.  The first 1,000 fans to come to tonight’s game get a special Rubber Duck unlike any other.

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*The Taco Bell Sauce Race became a huge hit on our blog last week.  Two of our interns wiped out making for one of the more interesting/hilarious races we have ever had here at the Grove.  Tonight, in front of a sellout crowd, the sauce packets are at it again.  The rematch race will take place at the end of the seventh inning, so be sure to come out and check it out.  If you missed the first race, check out this article.

*Tonight is also a firework night here at the Grove! After the game and following the Cowboy Monkey Rodeo, the Keys will light up the sky beyond our centerfield fence.

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.

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