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 blog@aberdeenironbirds.com.

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!  We hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.  Thanks to all of our great fans for submitting questions over the past week!

Sharon writes: “I read the blog on Thursday about Cowboy Monkey Rodeo. Are there any other guest acts coming out this season?”

IB: Yes there are!  However, you will have to stay tuned to the Bird Watch blog and we will announce our other guest act soon!

Denise asks: “Do any of the IronBirds staff or management go to Spring Training?”

IB: Yes!  Our coaching staff does go down to Florida for Spring Training. Traditional our manager Matt Merullo will stay through Extended Spring Training. Other coaches may leave Florida after Spring Training depending on assignment from the Orioles.

Dan asks: “When we will we find out if any players from the 2013 team will be returning for 2014?”

IB: Dan, we normally do not receive the roster until about a week prior to the season.  Spring Training starts in a month and then the other farm leagues  rosters will be set closer to the start of their season. You can always check those rosters to see if any former players were promoted.  Some of our former players will stay in Florida for Extended Spring Training while others may be sent to Del Marva before potentially rejoining the IronBirds.  The rest of our roster normally consists of free agents and draft picks.

Hector Veloz 7-10-13 (1a)

Photo by Bob Rinker

Thanks again to all of our fans for submitting questions.  Don’t forget if you have any questions, feel free to email them to blog@aberdeenironbirds.com.

I wanted to close this blog with a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. to celebrate MLK Day.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Make sure to check back on Thursday for another great insider blog!

Until then…Go IronBirds!

Mailbox Monday

Welcome back IronBirds Fans!  We hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.  Thanks to all of our fans for sending in great questions over the past week, but make sure to keep sending them to blog@aberdeenironbirds.com!  We are also looking for ideas for our next video blog, so send us any ideas you might have!  This could include areas where you are looking for exclusive behind the scenes access or players you would like to catch up with!

Frank writes: “I saw Justin Lord was recently named the 2014 pitching coach.  Is he a former Orioles’ player?”

IB: No Frank, Justin Lord did not play for the Orioles; however, he did play in the Royals and Pittsburgh farm systems.   Lord began his professional career in 2001 playing for the Spokane Indians and progressing to the Burlington Bees and Wilmington Blue Rocks in 2003.  In 2004 he played in the Pittsburgh organization with the Hickory Crawdads and Lynchburg Hillcats.  From 2006-2008 Lord played the independent St. Paul Saints. The Florida native began his coaching career as the pitching coach for the independent Southern Illinois Miners before moving to Del Marva for the 2013 season.

Dennis asks: “What happened to the rest of last year’s coaching staff?”

IB: Overall this year, the Orioles made many changes throughout the organization when it comes to coaching staffs.  Pitching coach Alan Mills and Paco Figueroa both went to Del MarvaTrek Schuler, who has been Aberdeen’s trainer for the past several years, will also be moving to Del Marva. Last year’s hitting coach Scott Beerer is now an instructor specializing in Minor League Outfield and Baserunning.

Alan Mills 8-24-13 (46)

Photo by Bob Rinker

Betty asks: “Will you be at Orioles Fan Fest?”

IB: Yes Betty we will!  The IronBirds will have a booth set up by the rest of the Orioles affiliates. You do need tickets for this event which are available through the Orioles box office or you can purchase them online through this link: http://baltimore.orioles.mlb.com/bal/fan_forum/fanfest.jsp

Mailbox Monday

Welcome back IronBirds fans to the first Mailbox Monday of 2014.  We had a lot of great questions submitted over the holidays, but make sure to keep sending them to blog@aberdeenironbirds.com.

Sarah writes: “Are the IronBirds participating in any community events in January?”

IB: Yes Sarah we are!  On January 25th, many members of the IronBirds staff, including myself, will be taking on the cold temperatures and jumping in the Maryland Polar Bear Plunge.  We are currently raising money to benefit the Maryland Special Olympics and the Arc Northern Chesapeake.  Check out this link if you want to join our team or support our efforts!

http://plunge2014.kintera.org/faf/search/searchTeamPart.asp?ievent=1075839&lis=1&kntae1075839=DA988FC020214AD3B189626A25EC8ADA&team=5768080&tlteam=5765294

John writes: “Do we know who the 2014 coaching staff will be for the IronBirds?”

IB: Not yet, but we hope to find out soon.  There is a chance there will be some changes with the staff, but we are hoping Matt Merullo will be back to lead us to another league title!

Matt Merullo 6-18-13 (9)

Lou asks: “Where do the Orioles’ minor league players go for Spring Training?”

IB: The Orioles have the Spring Training locations in Sarasota, Florida.  The minor league teams play their Spring Training games at the Buck O’Neil Baseball Complex at Twin Lakes Park.  The major league players play their games at Ed Smith Stadium.

 

Thanks again to all of our great fans for submitting questions over the holiday. Remember to keep emailing your questions to blog@aberdeenironbirds.com to see if yours gets answered next week!

Make sure to check back on Thursday for second video blog and our first former player interview!  You will have to check in to see which player we interviewed!

Until then….Go IronBirds!

Mailbox Monday

Welcome back IronBirds fans! Thanks once again to all of our wonderful fans for submitting their questions this week. We have selected  a few this week to be answered!

Allen writes: “My daughter loves Ferrous and she keeps asking me what are his Holiday plans?  Does Ferrous have any exciting plans I can share with her?”

IB: Unlike many other birds, Ferrous decided over 12 years ago to not fly south for the winter because he loved Aberdeen so much. Ferrous tries to stay as busy as possible in the community over the holidays. Many of our fans have seen Ferrous recently in local community parades. Right now Ferrous is working on collecting items for gifts for the Harford Family House.  Next week Ferrous plans to relax, eat some of his favorite bird seed and reflect on his many accomplishments over the past year.

Bill writes: “Joel Hutter was one of my favorite players in 2012.  How did he do this past summer? Was he an All-Star?”

IB: This past summer Joel Hutter played 100 games for the Delmarva Shorebirds.  He has 100 hits with 5 home runs and a batting average of 2.30.  He was not an All-Star for the South Atlantic League; however, former IronBird Josh Hader was an All-Star in the South Atlantic League.

Randy writes: “I know the 40 man rosters were recently announced. Did any former IronBirds get added to the roster?”

IB: This year the Orioles only added 3 men to the 40 man roster in late November. Eddie Gamboa played only two games in Aberdeen in 2011 on a rehab assignement.  Gamboa joins many other former IronBirds players on the roster including Kevin Gausman, Matt Wieters, Manny Machado and Nick Markakis.

Thanks again to all of our fans for submitting questions to this week’s Mailbox Monday. Make sure to email any questions to blog@aberdeenironbirds.com for our last Mailbox Monday of 2013.   Make sure to check back Thursday for a very special Holiday themed blog!

Eddie Gamboa 6-17-11 (3)

Until then… Go IronBirds!

Mailbox Monday

Welcome back IronBirds fans!  I hope you all are staying warm on this snowy Monday. Thanks to all of our fans again for sending questions in over the past week.  We have chosen a few to be answered this week!

Andrew writes “I have seen a lot of information about the Winter Meetings going on. Do the IronBirds send anyone to the Winter Meetings?”

IB: Yes we do!  We have several members of our management team currently in Orlando for the meetings.  They will be busy over the next couple of days attending seminars and league meetings.  There is also a large trade show at the meetings so we will always be looking for some of the newest products that may be featured in our team store this summer.

Larry asks: ” Are you hosting another Hot Stove Dinner this year?”

IB: We hope to! Stay tuned for more details as we are working to hopefully finalize things shortly!

Laura asks: “Will the IronBirds be at Orioles Fan Fest?”

IB: Yes we will!  Orioles Fan Fest will take place on February 1st at the Baltimore Convention Center.  If you are planning on attending make sure to stop by the IronBirds booth!

Thanks again to the wonderful fans who submitted questions this week.  Make sure to send any questions you have to blog@aberdeenironbirds.com to see if your question is answered next week.   We only have two Mailbox Monday’s left in 2013 so make sure to get your questions sent in.  Also, as we begin preparing for 2014, let us know if you  have any suggestions for future blogs and video blogs.

We hope all of our fans are staying safe in this winter weather over the next few days. Check back on Thursday for another great Bird Watch blog.

Until then… Go IronBirds!

Snowy Field

Future IronBirds Growing Up the Ripken Way

Welcome back IronBirds fans! Often when talking to fans at games, people do not know what is behind the hotel across the street. The Ripken Experience is so much more than just Ripken Stadium and the IronBirds. Here in Aberdeen, we have a facility that has created the path for players to follow starting at age 7 all the way up to playing for the IronBirds.

Behind the hotel, lays 8 additional baseball fields.  If you ever look at the hotel across from Ripken Stadium, you may notice that it resembles the warehouse at Camden Yards.  All of the fields across the street are built to scale and resemble professional stadiums.  Cal Sr.’s Yard resembles Camden Yards complete with the warehouse and even foul poles from Memorial Stadium. The Ripken Experience hosts tournaments almost every weekend from Mid-March until Mid-November along with a few camps in the summer and over spring break. The goal is to teach these players the Ripken Way and help to develop them into the best players they will be.   The Cal Ripken World Series is held every year on Cal Sr.’s Yard where the best 12 year olds in the world come to play.

The next step for any Maryland high school baseball player is to play in the Maryland State Championships. Each year, the MPSSAA and the MIAA state championships are held at Ripken Stadium. There have been many IronBirds that have played in these state championships including recent IronBirds Joe Velleggia and Alex Murphy.

Another step an IronBirds player could take is playing in a collegiate game at Ripken Stadium. In the past Ripken Stadium has hosted Maryland versus Georgia Tech.  It is definitely a possibility that Ripken Stadium could host more collegiate games in the future.

As the IronBirds go into our 13th season, the chances of seeing a player on the IronBirds roster that has played in a youth, high school, or a collegiate game at the Ripken Experience are definitely growing.  We will have to wait until June to see if any of the 2014 IronBirds have been taught the Ripken Way.

Don’t forget IronBirds fans to keep sending your Mailbox Monday questions to blog@aberdeenironbirds.com and check back Monday to see if yours gets answered!

Until then…Go IronBirds!

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Mailbox Monday

Welcome Back IronBirds fans!  I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and have recovered from all of the eating. Thanks to all of the fans who submitted questions over the past week.  We have selected a few to be answered today, but keep sending any other questions you have to blog@aberdeenironbirds.com  to see if they are answered here next week.

Ernest writes:  “Where do the coaches go after the season ends?”

IB: Majority of coaches are able to return home for a few months after the season ends to spend time with their families before reporting to Sarasota.  Matt Merullo has family in the area so he has stopped in for a visit since the season ended.  Some coaches, such as Alan Mills, are selected to coach in the Arizona Fall League. This season Mills was a pitching coach for the Arizona Fall League Champion Surprise Saguaros.

Alan Mills 8-24-13 (59)

Susan writes: “Will the IronBirds be participating in any holiday events?”

IB: Yes!  This past weekend the IronBirds had a float in the Bel Air Holiday Parade. This upcoming Saturday (December 7th) you can see your favorite mascots in the White Marsh Parade on the Avenue and you can see the IronBirds float again in the Aberdeen Holiday parade Saturday afternoon.

 

Thanks again to all of our fans for submitting questions for Mailbox Monday!  Make sure to keep sending your questions to blog@aberdeenironbirds.com.  Check back Thursday for another special blog on your favorite team, the Aberdeen IronBirds.

Until then…Go IronBirds!

12 Seasons To Be Thankful For

In honor of Thanksgiving tomorrow, we wanted to reflect on the many things we are thankful for.  We decided we could go on for days, but in honor of a wonderful twelfth season , we wanted to list twelve things we are thankful for.

1.  The Orioles

2. The New York Penn League

3. The city of Aberdeen and Harford County

4. The seasonal staff that makes all 38 home games a success

5. Our grounds crew for preparing the field for every game

6. Our Game Entertainment Crew

7. The IronBirds coaching staffs from all 12 seasons

8. The IronBirds players from the past 12 seasons

9. Our sponsors

10. Our Season Seat Members

11. Twelve years of great memories

12.  The Fans!

You, the fans, are what have made everything possible these last twelve seasons and we are greatly appreciative.  All of us here at the IronBirds want  to wish you a very happy Thanksgiving filled with great food and family.  We hope you have a great weekend and make sure to check back here Monday for Mailbox Monday.

Until then… Happy Thanksgiving and Go IronBirds!

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Video: Inside the IronBirds Clubhouse

Welcome back IronBirds fans! Today we take an exclusive look into a place where most fans have never been, the home team clubhouse, with our first video blog.

We hope you enjoyed our first video blog.  Feel free to if you have any suggestions for our next video blog or any questions for next Monday’s Mailbox Monday, email them to blog@aberdeenironbirds.com.

Until then…Go IronBirds!