FREDERICK, MD -Following an exciting season, the Frederick Keys are excited to pull back the curtain on a 2017 promotional schedule which takes fun and affordable family entertainment to a new level. This smorgasbord of fun features celebrity appearances by stars from Seinfeld and the NBA, multiple visits by the Cowboy Monkey Rodeo as well as 25 fireworks nights. A host of great giveaways are also in store, including a special bobblehead of current Orioles star Manny Machado.
Top-notch celebrity appearances have become a staple of the Keys yearly promotional schedule and 2017 is no different. Headlining this group is John O'Hurley, best known for his role as J. Peterman in Seinfeld, O'Hurley will be on hand for the team's Seinfeld Night on Saturday, June 17 at 6 p.m. where he will meet fans, sign autographs and sing God Bless America. A multi-talented performer who has appeared in the National Tour of Chicago, O'Hurley has also served as a television host for The National Dog Show and Family Feud. Other television credits include Dancing with the Stars, where O'Hurley partnered with Charlotte Jorgensen.
Al Borland, Chris Soules and Muggsy Bogues will also make stops at Nymeo Field this year. Co-host of the fictional series Tool Time (alongside Tim Allen), Borland was a character in Home Improvement and will be on hand for a theme night of the same name on Saturday, July 22. To celebrate the night, Keys players and coaches will wear special flannel jerseys, inspired by Borland's usual attire on the show.
The former Bachelor on the hit ABC series, Soules drops by for Girls Night Out on Friday, June 16. First pitch is at seven o'clock, while those who purchase the special Valentine's Day Package receive a meet and greet with Soules starting at 5:45. Baltimore native and former NBA star Bogues will be part of Space Jam Night on Saturday, May 20. A 14-year player in the NBA, Bogues appeared in Space Jam alongside other NBA stars Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley and Patrick Ewing.
One late addition to this season's promotional schedule was Michael O'Keefe, who will headline the team's Caddyshack Night on July 1. In the film, O'Keefe played the role of Danny Noonan, a caddy at the upscale Bushwood Country Club. Regarded as one of the top sports comedies of all-time, O'Keefe will meet fans and sign autographs from 5-8 p.m. Other credits for O'Keefe include The Great Santini a film where he garnered an Oscard Award and Golden Globe nomination for his role as Ben Meechum. He also starred in The Slugger's Wife, where he learned how to play the game under the watch of the Keys manager, Keith Bodie, who served as the film's Baseball Technical Advisor.
For the first time, Team Ghostriders & the Cowboy Monkey Rodeo will do a two-night show following the 7 p.m. contest on May 27 and the 6:00 p.m. game on the 28th. This see-it-to-believe-it spectacle features monkeys dressed like cowboys riding dogs as though they were horses while herding goats.
The Candy Drop and Fredneck Night are also scheduled to return. On April 30, following the Keys 2:00 p.m. game against Carolina, a helicopter will drop 200 lbs of candy into the outfield. Youngsters can then rush onto the field for a sugar jolt. This event coincides with Halfway to Halloween Night. Meanwhile, Fredneck Night includes an appearance by WWE Hall of Famer Sgt. Slaughter when the Keys host Myrtle Beach on July 7 at 7 p.m.
Fans will get plenty of chances to see fireworks in 2017, with 25 shows scheduled. Fireworks shows follow all Friday and Saturday evening games, select Sunday games as well as the Monday, July 3 contest. For the first time, this year's shows will be paired with different musical artists ranging from Frank Sinatra to Prince and Taylor Swift.
Keys mascot Keyote celebrates his birthday on Friday, June 30 with a Minion-themed birthday party at 7:00 p.m, while fans can celebrate Christmas in July on July 21. A night full of surprises, Keyote Claus is expected to visit from the North Pole and one lucky fan will win a great trip courtesy of Cruise Holidays of Frederick.
July 21 also marks the second of two hat auctions to take place during the season. On this night, the Keys will wear special purple hats, with proceeds benefiting Heartly House. The other hat auction is on July 3, when the Keys will wear patriotic caps as part of Stars and Stripes night. Funds raised from the auction will go toward the Coalition to Salute America's Heroes.
Jersey auctions are scheduled for August 11 and September 1. The former is for Cancer Awareness Night with money raised going to the American Cancer Society. The latter benefits the Frederick Arts Council. That night, the Keys will wear jerseys designed by a local artist for Art in the Park Night.
Fans can also expect tons of great giveaways. On Sunday, July 9, the Keys will celebrate Super Hero Night with a Spider Manny Bobblehead. Depicting former Key and two-time American League Gold Glover Manny Machado, the first 1,000 fans receive this one-of-a-kind promotion. Nearly one month later, the first 1,000 patrons can pick up a Jonathan Schoop Gnome when the Keys entertain Potomac on August 12. Machado's double play partner on the 2011 Mills Cup team, Schoop's gnome is sponsored by Flying Dog Brewery.
For the first time, the team will be hosting a Mystery Bobblehead giveaway on Friday, April 21 at 7:00 p.m. Featuring bobbleheads from minor league, major league and college sports teams, the first 500 fans through the gates can pick up bobblehead.
The Keys entire promotional schedule can be found here. Single game tickets go on sale on Friday, March 31, while ticket plans are currently available. Any fan who purchases or renews a ticket plan can choose between a Jonathan Schoop bobblehead or a Dylan Bundy gnome. For ticket information fans can call 301-815-9900 or visit frederickkeys.com. The 2017 season begins on Thursday, April 6 against the Carolina Mudcats at Nymeo Field.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.