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The Frederick Keys minor league baseball team is the "High-A" class A baseball affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles. The Keys are based in Frederick, Marylandmarker. The franchise is named for Star Spangled Banner poet Francis Scott Key, a native of Frederick County. The team mascot is a coyote known as Keyote. 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 Stadiummarker.

History

The team was founded in 1989 when the Baltimore Orioles decided to move their Class A affiliate from Hagerstown, Marylandmarker. 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. The Keys opened by losing both ends of a doubleheader (including a seven-inning perfect game by Dennis Burlingame) against the Durham Bulls. Their first win came on April 11, 1989 with a 3-1 victory over the Kinston Indians in the Keys' first-ever home game.

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, four times, the first three against the Kinston Indians and the most recent against the Salem Avalanche, winning three Mills Cup championships. They won their first in 1990, and their second in the 2005 season, defeating Kinston both times. In 2005, they defeated Kinston three games to two at historic Grainger Stadiummarker 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.

Notable former Keys

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..

Other Keys alumni include:

Roster

References

External links




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