FREDERICK, MD- The Frederick Keys are thrilled to announce a two-year extension of the club's Player Development Contract with the Baltimore Orioles. This will keep the Keys an Orioles affiliate through the 2020 season.
"Since the beginning of Frederick Keys baseball, the organization has enjoyed a fantastic relationship with the parent club in Baltimore," said Keys General Manager Dave Ziedelis. "Frederick has and will always be a proud member of Birdland and we are excited for this fruitful partnership to continue."
The Keys are currently in their final season of a four-year PDC with the Orioles that went into effect following the 2014 season. Since the organization's founding in 1989, Frederick has been an Orioles affiliate, the longest-tenured relationship that any Carolina League team has with its parent organization. To go along with this, the Keys are the only club in the league which has just one affiliate in the history of the franchise.
In addition to extending the Keys Player Development Contract, the Orioles have also extended their working agreements with the Triple-A Norfolk Tides, Double-A Bowie Baysox, Low-A Delmarva Shorebirds and the Short-Season Aberdeen IronBirds. Each extension is for two years.
"We are pleased to have long-running relationships with each of our affiliates, including many that have spanned decades," said Orioles Executive Vice President John Angelos. "Working with Cal Ripken Jr. and Bill Ripken in Aberdeen, with Ken Young in Norfolk, Bowie and Frederick and with Tom Volpe and Pat Filippone in Delmarva has been a tremendous experience, and we thank each of them for providing fan-friendly experiences for baseball fans within our shared market."
Currently in their 30th season, the Keys have paced Advanced-A baseball in average attendance each of the last four seasons. Meanwhile in each of the last six years, the organization has eclipsed 300,000 or more fans at Nymeo Field and paced Advanced-A in overall attendance on five occasions. Since the beginning of Keys baseball, the team has never finished lower than third in the circuit in total attendance. During the 2019 season the club will host the Carolina League All-Star Classic.
Over the course of 30 seasons, more than 160 former Keys players have reached the Major Leagues. In 2018, this list has grown to include alumni Ryan Meisinger , Steve Wilkerson , Austin Wynns and David Hess , while other Frederick alums include Manny Machado , Jonathan Schoop , Dylan Bundy , Matt Wieters , Nick Markakis and Jake Arrieta (the only ex-Key to win a Cy Young Award).
The Keys play the third game of their four-game series with the Wilmington Blue Rocks on Wednesday night. Left-hander Zac Lowther (3-1, 1.73) starts for the Keys and will be opposed by Blue Rocks left-hander Daniel Tillo (2-1, 3.55). First pitch is at 7:00 p.m from Nymeo Field and the broadcast can be heard on frederickkeys.com and the TuneIn App.
Homestand highlights include a Bordeleau Wine Pairing and Monocacy Brewery Happy Hour on July 11 as well as Medieval Times Night on Thursday, July 12. For ticket information, fans can call 301-815-9939 or visit frederickkeys.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.