Frederick Keys

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Frederick Keys
Founded in 1989
Frederick, Maryland
FrederickKeys.PNGKeys cap.PNG
Team logoCap insignia
Minor league affiliations
ClassA-Advanced
LeagueCarolina League
DivisionNorthern Division
Major league affiliations
TeamBaltimore Orioles (1982–present)
Minor league titles
League titles (5)
  • 1981
  • 1990
  • 2005
  • 2007
  • 2011
Division titles (7)
  • 1981
  • 1986
  • 1990
  • 2005
  • 2006
  • 2007
  • 2011
Team data
NameFrederick Keys (1989–present)
Previous names
MascotKeyote (1992-present)
BallparkNymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium (1990–present)
Previous parks
McCurdy Field (1989)
Hagerstown Municipal Stadium (1981–1988)
Rocky Mount Municipal Stadium (1980)
Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Maryland Baseball Holding, LLC
General ManagerDave Ziedelis
ManagerRyan Minor[1]

The Frederick Keys minor league baseball team is the Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles. The Keys are based in Frederick, Maryland. The franchise is named for "Star-Spangled Banner" writer Francis Scott Key, a native of Frederick County. A new team mascot "Frank Key", short for Francis Scott Key, joined the current mascot, a coyote named Keyote, at the beginning of the 2011 baseball season.[2] The team is currently owned by Maryland Baseball Holding LLC, after being purchased in 2006 from Comcast Spectacor. Home games are played at Harry Grove Stadium.

As of April 2020, the future of the Frederick Keys is still in jeopardy as Major League Baseball has announced that they will be cutting their affiliations from 160 teams to 120.[3]

Early professional baseball in Frederick[edit]

Frederick was one of the founding members of the Blue Ridge League, which existed from 1915 to 1930.[4] The team, which went by the names of Hustlers, Champs and Warriors, won league championships in 1915 and 1921. Games were played at the Frederick Fairgrounds until 1924 when McCurdy Field was built. With the collapse of the Blue Ridge League in 1931, it would be several decades before professional baseball returned to Frederick.

Frederick players from this era who were major leaguers:

Debut[edit]

The team was founded in 1989 when the Baltimore Orioles decided to move their Class A affiliate from Hagerstown, Maryland. The city of Frederick convinced the owners of the then-Hagerstown Suns to move the team to Frederick and promised a 4,000-seat stadium to be built for the 1990 season. For the 1989 season, the Keys played at McCurdy Field, a Babe Ruth League stadium, while waiting for the construction of the new stadium to be completed.[5] The Keys opened by losing both ends of a doubleheader (including a seven-inning perfect game by Dennis Burlingame) against the Durham Bulls.[6] Their first win came on April 11, 1989, with a 3–1 victory over the Kinston Indians in the Keys' first-ever home game.[7]

Only two players in Keys history have been transferred directly from Frederick to the Baltimore Orioles (excluding rehab related transfers). On September 3, 1996, Eugene Kingsale's contract was purchased by the Orioles. On June 11, 2005, Jeff Fiorentino's contract was purchased by the Orioles in order to replace the injured Luis Matos.

The Keys have played in the Carolina League Championship Series, the Mills Cup Series, five times. Four series were against the Kinston Indians, while the series in 2007 was against the Salem Avalanche. They won their first series in 1990, defeating the Indians three games to two. They won their second cup in the 2005 season, defeating Kinston three games to two at historic Grainger Stadium in the best of five series. They were swept by the Indians in 2006, 3 games to 0. They won the 2007 series against the Salem Avalanche three games to one. They defeated Kinston in the 2011 series three games to one.

Playoff history[edit]

  • 1990: Defeated Kinston 3-2 to win championship.
  • 1993: Lost to Wilmington 2-0 in semifinals.
  • 1997: Lost to Lynchburg 2-0 in semifinals.
  • 2000: Lost to Lynchburg 2-0 in semifinals.
  • 2001: Lost to Wilmington 2-0 in semifinals.
  • 2005: Defeated Lynchburg 2-0 in semifinals; defeated Kinston 3-2 to win championship.
  • 2006: Defeated Wilmington 2-1 in semifinals; lost to Kinston 3-0 in finals.
  • 2007: Defeated Wilmington 2-0 in semifinals; defeated Salem 3-1 to win championship.
  • 2010: Lost to Potomac 3-1 in semifinals.
  • 2011: Defeated Potomac 3-2 in semifinals; defeated Kinston 3-1 to win championship.
  • 2017: Lost to Lynchburg 2-1 in semifinals.

Notable former Keys[edit]

Several Keys alumni have gone on to play in the major leagues. In their inaugural season, the opening day roster featured several future major leaguers: David Segui, Francisco de la Rosa, Luis Mercedes, Jack Voigt, and Pete Rose, Jr.[8]

Other Keys alumni include:

Roster[edit]

Frederick Keys roster
Players Coaches/Other

Pitchers

  • -- Kyle Bradish
  • -- Matthias Dietz
  • -- DL Hall
  • -- Tyler Joyner
  • -- Blaine Knight
  • -- Conner Loeprich
  • -- Zach Matson
  • -- Luis Perez

Catchers

  • -- Alexander De La Cruz
  • -- Alfredo Gonzalez
  • -- Pedro Perez
  • -- Deiby Ramirez

Infielders

Outfielders

  • -- Robert Neustrom


Manager

  • -- Kyle Moore

Coaches

  • -- David Barry (development)
  • -- Josh Conway (pitching)
  • -- Tom Eller (hitting)
  • -- Collin Woody (fundamentals)


Injury icon 2.svg 7-day injured list
* On Baltimore Orioles 40-man roster
# Rehab assignment
∞ Reserve list
‡ Restricted list
§ Suspended list
† Temporary inactive list
Roster updated November 22, 2020
Transactions
→ More rosters: MiLB • Carolina League
Baltimore Orioles minor league players

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Orioles Name Minor League Managers, Staff". WBAL (AM). February 16, 2018. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  2. ^ "New Mascot Frank Key Joins Keys". Unlocking the Keys. March 30, 2011. Retrieved January 18, 2017.
  3. ^ Smith, Joshua R. (April 27, 2020). "Column: If MLB has any common sense, it will leave the Frederick Keys alone". The Frederick News-Post. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
  4. ^ "Blue Ridge League". Boys of the Blue Ridge, 2014. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
  5. ^ Duggan, Paul (January 12, 1989). "The Boys of Summers Past; Cherished Memories Resurface as Baseball Returns to Frederick". The Washington Post. ProQuest 140085073.
  6. ^ "Perfect Game only Half of Keys' Troubles". The Washington Post. April 10, 1989. pp. C7. ProQuest 140018712.
  7. ^ Eichelberger, Curtis (April 12, 1989). "Keys Find 1st Victory in Home Opener, 3-1". The Washington Post. pp. D4. ProQuest 140024139.
  8. ^ Goff, Steve (April 7, 1989). "Keys, Cannons Ready to Play". The Washington Post. pp. D7. ProQuest 140059670.

External links[edit]