Last summer, I received two of the biggest honors of my career when I a) got to write a print story for the Washington Post about Dylan Bundy and b) subsequently play in the Frederick Keys Media Game a few weeks later. I’ve been going to Keys games with my family since I was a baby in 1989 so it was a thrill to be on the field of my hometown minor league team.
This Saturday, I’m participating in the media game again, but with a few special twists.
The Frederick Keys will be hosting Salute to the O’s Night at 6pm and former Oriole and six-time all-star Harold Baines will be in attendance to sign autographs and meet with fans. The Keys (the Orioles minor league affiliate) are playing the Potomac Nationals (the Nats’ minor league affiliate) that night and there’ll be fireworks after the game . Finally, and this is the best part, RMNB’s Pat Holden has been invited to play in the media game too. And he’s not on my team, setting up the ultimate RMNB GRUDGE MATCH.
If you’re not planning to go to the 12:30 PM Caps game, watching it on TV, or going to the DC Hockey Analytics Conference (10 – 5), then I’ve got a fun event for you.
The Frederick Keys will be hosting Hockey Day at Nymeo Field and former Caps’ 60- (and 50-) goal scorer Dennis Maruk will be in attendance signing autographs. First pitch is at 2 PM. I will be there for as long as I can get away with before I’m forced to drive home and GIF an Alex Ovechkin goal.
Editor’s Note: We love baseball. We love the Orioles. And we live in Frederick. That’s enough.
Saturday night at Harry Grove Stadium, Baltimore Orioles all-star third baseman Manny Machado played in his first game since suffering a gruesome leg injury on September 23, 2013 against Tampa. He was awesome.
Ian and I were born and raised in Frederick, Maryland, which is the greatest city on the face of the Earth. This is relevant information, because now we’re inviting you to town.
Our hometown baseball team, the Frederick Keys, are having their hockey night on Saturday, April 12. We’ve missed the event two years in a row, but we’re definitely going this time– because Craig Laughlin and Alan May will be there! And we want you to come too.
We’ll eat peanuts, drink beers, talk hockey, watch baseball, and generally have a blast.
Who: You! Us! Craig and Alan! Glynn Davis!
What: Hockey night! Keys vs Lynchburg Hillcats! (Boo Hillcats! We don’t like them!)
Where: Harry Grove Stadium, 21 Stadium Dr, Frederick, MD 21703
When: Saturday, April 12, 2:00 PM
Why: Because the weather is nice, the people are good, and the hockey makes us sad.
“I’m not a Republican. I’m not a Democrat,” 51-year-old Tim Lepard yelled passionately into his mic. After a very necessary dramatic pause, the cowboy told us what group he really identified with: “I’m an American.” The Frederick crowd roared with approval.
That quote summed up a strange night at Harry Grove Stadium, where it was both Cowboy Monkey Rodeo night and Rubber Ducky giveaway night (and fireworks too).
Somewhere in there, a minor-league baseball game between the Frederick Keys and Winston-Salem Dash happened too. It was no less weird.
Keys’ starter Trent Howard got ejected in the third inning for yelling a very audible eff you to the home plate umpire. Miguel Chalas, his replacement, then struggled with control issues, hitting four Winston-Salem batters. In the fifth inning, I caught one of five Mattress
Discounters Warehouse stuffed animals trebuchet’d into the stands by Keyote, the Keys mascot. Boomshakalaka.
The Keys lost their (game-long) lead in the ninth and then won it back at the bottom of the inning when Brandon Hardin walked Glynn Davis [shudders at the thought of the name] with the bases loaded.
That was just the opening act. When Lepard came onto the field with three leashed monkeys riding dogs and four very skittish rams, the crowd erupted.
The monkeys, dressed — naturally– in wild west baby clothes, herded the rams twice, while Lepard — crowned Mesquite Champion Bullfighter in 1988 — told us things like, “I’m living the American dream.” Lepard, who’s currently filming a reality TV show with A&E which will air later this year, appeared more winded than his livestock by the end of the show.
I documented my night at the ballpark in 40 photos. Please enjoy. And yes, this really happened.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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