The Ultimate Fan Guide to the July 9-14 Homestand!

Welcome back IronBirds fans.  Your favorite team is back in town tonight and they are heating up.  The IronBirds have won four out of their last six games and even beat Brooklyn 18-2 on Saturday.  We have a huge homestand starting tonight and you will not want to miss out!

Wednesday, July 9th – It has been a week since the IronBirds have played a game at home so let’s welcome them back in style! The ‘Birds saw some big crowds in Brooklyn and Staten Island on this road trip so let’s show our team that we have the best fans in the league!

Vader vs. Vader

Vader vs. Vader

Thursday, July 10th – This night is the night that you all have been waiting for (or at least I have been!). On Thursday, the world famous Cowboy Monkey Rodeo comes to Aberdeen!  We encourage you to dust off your boots and put your cowboy hat on before you head out to Ripken Stadium.  We will have pony rides available by the Kids Zone for $3 as well that night. You will definitely will not want to miss this night.

Friday, July 11th – On Friday we will be hosting another one of our famous Fireworks shows!  Tickets are going fast. If you haven’t seen a fireworks show this year, make sure to come on out!

Saturday, July 12th – I hope you have your lightsaber ready because Saturday is Star Wars Night!  Come join Darth Vader, Storm Troopers and more of your Star Wars favorites.  There will be plenty of photo opportunities throughout the evening. At the end of the game we will have an epic lightsaber battle! To make Star Wars Night even more exciting,  we have rescheduled the fireworks from July 3rd to Saturday night.  This will be an extra long fireworks show as well!

Sunday, July 13th – Sunday is always a special day at Ripken Stadium as we raise awareness for Autism.  The players with be wearing special Autism Awareness Night jerseys that will be auctioned off.  The auction will actually begin tonight and run until Sunday at the end of the 7th inning.  The players will sign their jerseys at the end of the night.  We will even have  jerseys from Cal Ripken Jr., Bill Ripken and BJ Surhoff available in the auction.  As always, we will also have $1 Hot Dogs and kids will be able to race the bases after the game.


Monday, July 14th – We want to make sure we end the homestand with a bang.  On Monday we will be celebrating local fire departments at the stadium. In their honor, we will be giving away special Fire and EMT T-shirts to the first 873 fans through the gates.  You will want to make sure you are here early to get one of these commemorative  t-shirts.



We hope to see all of our fans out at the ballpark!

As always….Go IronBirds!




Mailbox Monday

Welcome back IronBirds fans!  After a brief hiatus, we are back with another one of your favorites, Mailbox Monday.  The season is officially off and rolling, but we are still here to answer all of your IronBirds related questions.   Make sure to keep sending your questions to to see if you question is chosen next week!


Rick asks: “Where did the name IronBirds come from?”

IB:  Actually, back in 2002, one of our season interns came up with the name IronBirds.  Iron come from Cal’s nickname “IronMan” and birds comes from the Orioles.  The plane design which is still reflected in the new logo today was to represent the Aberdeen Proving Ground and our proud roots here in Aberdeen.


Gary writes: “I saw the IronBirds scored 18 runs on Saturday.  Is that the most in team history?”

IB: No Gary it actually is not.  On July 3, 2012 the IronBirds beat Staten Island 21-7 here at Ripken Stadium.


Alex Murphy 6-20-2014 (38)

Sue asks: “Are there any local boys are on our team this season?”

IB: Yes Sue there are!  Alex Murphy is from Monrivia, MD but graduated from Calvert Hall.  Nick Nowottnick is from the D.C. area and played college baseball at Towson.


Thanks again to all of our wonderful fans for submitting questions over the past few weeks.  Make sure to keep sending them to to see if your questions is answered next Monday.  Make sure to also check back on Wednesday to get your preview for the upcoming homestand!


Until then…Go IronBirds!

‘Twas the Night Before Opening Day

Every Christmas, the poem “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” by Clement Clarke Moore, is always a family favorite.  The tale written in 1823 and published originally in the New York newspaper, The Sentinel.  Since then, it has been circulated throughout the world for millions of families to enjoy.

When it comes to Opening Day, we like to think of it as our Christmas.  It is an event we count down the days until we can celebrate with excitement. This year, we have put our own spin on this classic. Enjoy!


‘Twas the Night Before Opening Day

‘Twas the night before Opening Day, when all through Ripken Stadium,

not a player was throwing, not even a hit.

The jerseys were hung in their lockers with care,

In hopes that IronBirds season soon would be there.


The fans were all nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of victories danced in their heads.

And Ferrous in his nightshirt and Ripcord in his cap

Had just settled their brains for a summer’s long nap.


When out on the field there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the locker room to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the door and made a mad dash.


The moon on the breast of the freshly mowed grass,

Gave the lustre of midday to objects below

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear

But a miniature coach and nine tiny players.


With a little old bat, so lively and quick

I knew in a moment it must be Matt Merullo.

More rapid than eagles, his players they came,

And he whistled and shouted and called them by name:


Now Justin! Now Federico!

Now, Alex and Hector!

On Stephen! On Manny!

On, Oswill and Sam!

Now pitch away! Throw away!

Hit away all!


And then in a twinkling I heard on the field,

the cracking and popping of each bat and glove.

As I drew in my head and was turning around,

Across the field Matt Merullo came with a bound.
He was dressed all in orange, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were tarnished with grass and dirt.

A bag of balls he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.


He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And threw batting practice, then turned with a jerk.

And laying his finger on the brim of his hat,

And giving a nod, down to the dugout he went.


He sprang up the steps, to his team gave a whistle,

And out to their starting positions they flew like a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim before the action began,


“Happy Opening Day to all! Go IronBirds Go!”





The Ultimate Fan’s Guide to the Opening Homestand!

Welcome back IronBirds fans!  We are officially two days away from the IronBirds season!!!  Today we want to take a look into the opening home stand and fill you in on all of the details you need to know.


Friday, June 20th – Opening Night!!! We want to pack the house for the IronBirds’ first home game. We have the best fans in minor league baseball so let’s show the players how great you are!   Gates will open at 6:00 (5:30 for Season Seat Holders) and the first 873 fans will receive a free magnet schedule. There is always a little more pomp and circumstance to Opening Night so the game will be starting at 7:35.  After the game we will have the first of our amazing fireworks shows presented by Fireworks Extravaganza!


Saturday, June 21st – Opening weekend is going to be huge.  On Saturday we will be celebrating the Orioles!  The Oriole Bird will be in attendance as well!  Not only will we be celebrating our favorite MLB team, but Dylan Bundy is scheduled to take the mound as well.  Gates open at 6:00 with the game starting at 7:05.  Get here early because we are expecting another huge crowd to kick off the season!


Sunday, June 22nd – Sunday is our first Family Fun Sunday and we will be celebrating our McNamara Division Championship!  On Sunday the gates open at 4:30 (4:00 for Season Seat Holders) and the first 873 fans through the gates will receive a McNamara Division Championship Pennant.  You will even be able to take a picture with the trophy!   As always, we will also have $1 hot dogs and kids can race the bases after the game!


Monday, June 23rd – ZOOperstars!!! Everyone’s favorite  performance act will be returning to Ripken Stadium for their only performance this year.  If you have not had a chance to see the ZOOperstars in action, you need to be at the ballpark on Monday.  They are a fan favorite and we can guarantee you a good laugh.


Tuesday, June 24th – Superhero Night.  This is one of my personal favorite nights and perfect for the kids.  We will have several of your favorite Superheroes in attendance on Tuesday to try and protect Ripken Stadium from evil.  We encourage all of our fans to wear your favorite Superhero shirt and dust your capes off.  Ferrous will need all of your help as we all work together to keep Ripken Stadium safe!


Ferrous 6-26-13 (28)


We hope to see everyone at the ballpark for the first home stand.  The IronBirds need your support!  We do still have tickets available as well.  You can purchase tickets online or call the box office at 410-297-9292.

Check back tomorrow for our special tribute to Opening Day!

Until then….Go IronBirds!

Mailbox Monday

Welcome back IronBirds fans!  It is officially Opening Week  in Aberdeen.  We have some major changes going on at Ripken Stadium and we can’t wait for you to see them on Friday.    We have had several great questions over the past week and we have selected a few this week to answer.  Make sure to keep sending them throughout the season to

Cody writes: “How many starts will Dylan Bundy get with Aberdeen?”

IB:  Right now they are estimating at least three.  That can always change though.  Unfortunately we do not make the decision, that will come from the Orioles.

Dylan Bundy

Photo courtesy of JLMayo Productions


Marcus asks: “Do you know which game Bundy will be pitching at home?”

IB: Bundy is scheduled to pitch at home on Saturday, June 21st.  If everything goes as planned, he is on a six day rotation.  He is coming back from Tommy John surgery so the Orioles will be carefully monitoring him to make sure he has no soreness.  Anything could change if something feels uncomfortable.


Nick writes: “Are there any other players scheduled for a rehab starts with the IronBirds?”

IB: We often do not know until the day the player arrives if we are getting any rehab players.   It is always hard to say.  We have had many players come through Aberdeen in the past so it is likely we will see more in the future.


Thanks again to all of the fans for submitting questions over the past week.  We have an exciting week on the blog this week.  Make sure to check back to see the Ultimate Fan’s Guide to the Opening Homestand and on Thursday we will have a special blog about Opening Day!

Until then… Go IronBirds!

Mailbox Monday

Welcome back IronBirds fans!!!!!  The IronBirds have arrived!  This is going to be  an exciting two weeks as we not only celebrate the start of the IronBirds season, but the IronBirds Home Opener as well.  With all of the excitement going on, we thank all of our fans for sending in questions over the past week.   Make sure to keep sending them to  We only have one Mailbox Monday left before Opening Day!

Barry asks: “When will a roster be announced?”

IB: Barry, we actually announced a “Break Camp” Roster tonight.  You can check it out here:


Sandy writes: “Does the Open Practice event on Thursday require a ticket?”

IB: You do not need a ticket for the event because it is actually FREE!  Gates will be open 6-8!

IB Practice

Laura writes: “Are there any familiar faces coming back this year?”

IB: As of right now it is looking like yes.  Some returning players include Augey Bill, Garrett Cortright, Nick Cunningham, Manny Hernandex, and Ronarsy Ledesma.  The roster could change between now and Friday so we may see a few more familiar faces!


Thanks again to all of our fans for submitting questions.  Check back often this week as more stories will be posted about the upcoming season!

Go IronBirds!!!!



The Countdown to the IronBirds’ Season Begins with an Open Practice!

Welcome back IronBirds fans! We are officially one week away from IronBirds baseball and two weeks away form Opening Day!  We have a very exciting week coming up at Ripken Stadium and we are ending the week with something we have never done before!

This weekend coaches and players will start arriving in Aberdeen.  Many of the players arriving this weekend are coming from Extended Spring Training down in Florida.  Today was the second day of the First Year Player Draft and the first day the Orioles had a pick.  Today the Orioles drafted five pitchers, two infielders, and one outfielder. These players will need to sign contracts before possibly joining the IronBirds roster. We expect to have a roster in the next few days, but there will be several changes between now and Friday.

This week we have a ton of work to do before the team gets here and even more work prior to Opening Day.  Our staff has been busy getting the locker room set up and field ready. Plus we have to get all of our brand new jerseys ready for the season.  Our white home jerseys all get names put on them, and we must get the grey, black and orange jerseys ready as well.  Our grounds crew has been busy preparing the field for practices as well.  No more games are being played at Ripken Stadium until Opening Day to give the grounds crew plenty of time to prepare the field. We even have a brand new tarp for this season!  You will even see some new changes to the facility (both downstairs and on the Club Level) this season as well!

Practice will take place in the evenings this week.  Over the years, many fans have requested to see pre-season practices or even batting practices.  On Thursday, June 12th, we will be opening the stadium for evening practice.  All of our fans are invited!!  The event is free and open to the public.  You can come into the stadium at 6 p.m. with the event ending at 8 p.m. Concession stands will be open and we will have tables on our concourse as well.   This will be your first chance to check out your 2014 IronBirds before the hit the road to Hudson Valley.  We hope all our fans will come out next Thursday to show our new group of players that IronBirds’ fans are the best fans in baseball!  Stay tuned over the next week as more details are revealed!

Jared Breen 7-5-13  (6)

Over the summer make sure to keep checking back to the Bird Watch blog for all of your insider information. Over the next few months you will be getting more detailed team information, see player interviews, and preview all of the important information for upcoming home stands. We will be posting more often and you will even get more posts from our Media Relations department. Also, make sure to keep sending your IronBirds’ questions to We only have two Mailbox Mondays before Opening Day so get your questions in now!  Check back on Monday to see if you questions is answered!

Until then…Go IronBirds!



Mailbox Monday

Welcome back IronBirds fans!  It was a great weekend at Ripken Stadium after we welcomed over 600 girl scouts to the annual campout at the stadium. We hope everyone else had us much fun as we did.  We also want to offer a huge congratulations to the Ripken Cup winner, the University of Maryland, for winning their regional yesterday.

We had several great questions submitted over the past week and have selected a few to answer today. Make sure to keep sending those questions over to  We only have two more Mailbox Monday’s left before Opening Day!

Doug writes: ” I recently saw Mike Yastrzemski’s name come across some news for Minor League baseball.  How has he been doing recently?”

IB: Yaz has been making the news recently because he is actually leading the South Atlantic League in triples so far this season and is second in all of the minors. While he will always live in the shadow of his Hall of Famer grandfather, Mike is making a name all on his own. He actually tied his grandfather’s triples record from the minors on Saturday and has one less than his grandfather’s Major League record.  With more than half of the season left at this point, I think Yaz has a pretty good chance of breaking his grandfather’s record.

Mike Yastrzemski 8-25-13 (69)

Suzanne writes: “With the college baseball postseason going on, what happens if one of the players drafted by the Orioles is still playing for their college team?  When will they join the IronBirds?”

IB: “This year the First-Year Player Draft begins on Thursday.  Currently the Orioles do not have a first or second round pick meaning the first player drafted won’t come until Friday.  After the draft it can take some time to sign their contract. Even if their school has been eliminated, a drafted player may not join the IronBirds until after the season has started depending on contract negotiations.  Once a player finishes the season, he can begin any contract negations.  Super Regionals are this weekend so only eight teams will be remaining after this weekend.

Last year Mike Yastrzemski made it to the Super Regionals with Vanderbilt.  They were eliminated after two games by Louisville.  Yaz did join the IronBirds in the end of June missing only a handful of games.


Thanks again to all of our fans for submitting questions over the past week.  Make sure to check back on Thursday for more insider information as we prepare for the season!

Until then…Go IronBirds!


Former IronBird Finds New Passion in Beer


Welcome back IronBirds fans!  We hope you enjoyed the holiday weekend as we push closer and closer to the IronBirds season.

Many of our fans probably remember the name Chris Ray.   Ray pitched for the IronBirds back in 2003. The 3rd round draft pick out of William & Mary came to Aberdeen with hopes of a bright future.  Ray made his debut with the Orioles in 2005. After injuring his elbow and Tommy John surgery, Ray’s arm was never the same.  While Ray battled back from surgery in 2008 and even making a rehab trip to Aberdeen, he would continue to play for multiple different teams before hanging up his cleats after the 2012 season.

Chris Ray was often one to dabble in different hobbies.  In 2008, a former William & Mary teammate bought Ray a home brewing kit after Ray developed a finer taste for beer.  Even former teammate Jim Johnson has said that Ray is a “beer snob.” Eventually Ray became hooked and loved to tinker with the different types of beer.  He became so fascinated with brewing his own beer that he bought his brother his own kit.  Soon their conversations were consumed with discussing their new brews.  One advantage to Ray being traded to different teams was being able to experience the many different craft brews in great cities like San Francisco and Seattle.

In 2011, while playing in Seattle, Ray approached the founder of Fremont Brewing about brewing an IPA to benefit a military organization. While the owner was originally unsure of this idea, Ray quickly won him over with his knowledge of the craft. Eventually the Ray brothers created their Homefront IPA to benefit Operation Homefront and put one unique twist on the beer.  The beer is actually aged using Louisville Slugger bats.

The brothers have since relocated to the Richmond, Virginia area where they brew more than three types of beer. You can currently find their beers at local restaurants around Richmond and they are trying to obtain a license to sell their beer in other states such as Maryland.


We hope everyone enjoyed this check in of another former IronBird.  Make sure to keep sending any of your questions to  Check back on Monday to see if you question was answered!

Until then…Go IronBirds!



Hometown Heroes

Welcome back IronBirds fans!  We are officially 29 days from Opening Day!  This year we have a very special new honor that we will be awarding every home game. Today I want to go into a little more detail about this new program, Hometown Heroes.

We realize that heroes come in all shapes and sizes. A hero could be someone from our military, but it can also be your mom or your neighbor.  This season the IronBirds want to honor all of these special people. We are looking for all of our fans to nominate a local hero.  It is easy to do as well.    To nominate a hero go to the Aberdeen IronBirds Facebook page or go to  Click on the orange button and you can nominate your hero.

Once all of our fans have nominated a local hero, you can than log onto the Facebook page to vote for your favorites.  We will select 38 winners, one for each game.  Each game’s winner will receive free tickets and will be able to deliver the lineup card to the managers meeting before the game.

So fans, check out the website to nominate anyone you deem worthy of being a hero to you.

Hometown Heros

Make sure to submit your questions over the weekend for a new edition of Mailbox Monday next week.  You can send them to  Check back on Monday to see if your question was answered!

Until then…Go IronBirds!!!