The Keys have brand new look: Here’s why you need to see this season

by JP Lyons, Reporter

Marketing and Communications director of the Frederick Keys, Sean Maslin (@SeanMaslin) recently visited Lancer Media. Maslin talked about the Keys’ new home in the draft league and also took time to persuade the class on why we should visit Harry Grove Stadium (home of the Keys) this season.

Frederick Keys mascot Keyote takes the field! (Courtesy of Sean Maslin)

When is the last time you attended a Keys game?  Probably it was in elementary school.

The Keys have been in the Fredrick area since 1990 when the team was founded after moving from Hagerstown, Maryland. Obviously, the loyalty is there, but Sean Maslin and the Keys are focusing on bringing the new generation to the ballpark. 

Maslin discussed several driving factors that could attract more teenagers/kids to their local ballpark, including firework nights, five players returning from last year’s team, and players from major universities such as Kentucky, Tennessee, and Florida State will be playing on the team.

The team is even bringing job opportunities to the ballpark as they are hosting a job fair for marketing internships, mascot duties, ticket jobs, and much more. The keys have also already planned a season long promotion schedule. The promotion schedule is highlighted by bringing your dog to the ball park, celebrity appearance by Squints from the classic Sandlot, fireworks nights, bobblehead nights, and more.

The Frederick Keys are even taking it a step further in the digital world as they recently made their official Tik-Tok account. The account is named “@frederickkeysbaseball”  where the mascot Keyote is usually featured.

As the season looms, Maslin and the Keys have worked diligently on getting fans in the seats for the 2022 season. The keys may no longer be associated with the Orioles but their family fun atmosphere remains the same.

Springtime is here and it’s finally time for our nation’s pastime to resume after a long lockout. The MLB has recently begun, which will certainly overshadow the local Fredrick Keys. However, for the second consecutive season, the Keys have been involved with an interesting new concept.  Opening Day is June 2.

The Fredrick Keys joined the MLB Draft League in 2021 as one of the league’s founding six teams. The MLB Draft League was put together by former minor league affiliates in hopes of prepping/showcasing collegiate baseball players for the MLB draft. The purpose of the Draft League is to give players more of a platform for their skills as they will consistently play in front of MLB scouts.

These collegiate players are unpaid while playing in the draft league; however, the organization will pay for the young players’ housing. In order to make a living, these young athletes take part-time jobs, usually revolving around baseball.  According to Maslin past Keys, players including MLB superstar Manny Machado received housing from a local Frederick family during the summer

The first year, 2021, went relatively smoothly. The ultimate goal of the league is to get players drafted which was accomplished with 39 draftees.  Frederick Keys Shortstop Alex Ulloa was the highest-drafted draft leaguer as he was taken in the 4th round by the Houston Astros. Ulloa joined six of his Keys teammates who were also taken in the inaugural league draft.

The draft league is usually a 68-game long season that takes a mini-break during the July draft process. However, last season the Key’s home games were cut in half due to the coronavirus.  The Keys limped to last place in the shortened season with a record of 18-32-6, while the Trenton Thunder finished with an impressive 30-18-8 record. 

Last season was not only the first season of the MLB Draft League but it was also the first/only time in 31 years of existence that they weren’t affiliated with the Baltimore Orioles. Surprisingly this connection with the orioles didn’t alter fan attendance 

Despite a still surging Covid-19 and the draft league factor, the Keys only lost a little under 200 fans in attendance in the inaugural season. Maslin would attribute this attendance number to the Keys, “having some of the most loyal fans in minor league baseball.” 

With Covid-19 almost out the window the Keys look forward to pre 2020 attendance numbers for the 2022 season.

Maslin also described his experiences in high school, college and professional journalism, inspiring students to think about their futures.

Most tickets go for $6-14 dollars  and can be purchased when tickets become available.

Opening day for the Keys takes place on June 2, 2022.