Mailbox Monday

 

Welcome back IronBirds fans! Thanks again to all of our wonderful fans who not only submitted questions over the past week but attended IronFest this past Saturday.  Make sure to keep those questions coming, especially now that Opening Day is one month from tomorrow!  You can always email them to blog@aberdeenironbirds.com.

Steve writes: “I know Matt Merullo is back as the IronBirds skipper this season.  Who else will be in the coaching staff?”

Matt Merullo 6-18-13 (9)

IB: Well Steve, the rest of the coaching staff will actually be new to Aberdeen this year.  This year Scott Thomas will be joining the IronBirds as the hitting coach. Thomas was drafted by the Red Sox in 2003 out of Chaminade College School.  Throughout his time in the minors, Thomas played for multiple clubs including the Cardinals and the Phillies, but after a few years playing independent ball, was picked up by the Orioles in 2012.  In 2012, he played for the Keys, Baysox and Tides before finishing his playing career.

Justin Lord will be joining us as the pitching coach. Lord played his college career with Florida State before ultimately landing in the Kansas City Royals organization.  He then spent a few years in the Pirates organization before finishing his career in an independent league.

We are very excited to have them both join our staff this season!

 

Luke writes: “I saw Parker Bridwell almost threw a no hitter last week for Frederick.  Did he ever play for the IronBirds?”

IB: Yes Luke he did! Bridewell joined the IronBirds in September of 2010 where he was able to pitch in two games. He came back to the IronBirds in 2011 where he pitched in 12 games.

Parker Bridwell 6-17-11 (16)

Thanks again to all our fans for submitting their questions. Make sure to check back on Thursday to get more information on the IronBirds‘ newest program, Hometown Hereos!

Until then…Go IronBirds!

Bird Watch Extra: Riding the Tide in Norfolk

By Paul Taylor

Earlier this week, I had the chance to check out the Norfolk Tides, the Baltimore Orioles’ Triple-A affiliate, as they hosted the Louisville Bats, a Cincinnati Reds affiliate. I had a chance to catch up with Steve Johnson after one of the games, a game the Tides would come back from an 8-0 deficit and win 14-8, scoring 11 runs in the bottom of the 5th inning.

Johnson made a couple of rehab appearances with the IronBirds last season. He was recently activated off the Orioles’ Minor League Disabled List, recovering from right shoulder soreness. Tuesday marked his second start since being activated, but unfortunately his shoulder flared up again. He pitched through two innings before being lifted. “It felt good after a while,” he said of his shoulder. “But after my last start, I felt some extra soreness. I was hoping I’d be able to pitch through it and hoping that something would loosen up, and it just never did. It kind of got worse.” Earlier this week, the Orioles placed him back on the Disabled List, due to the shoulder issues.

Johnson also told me about his memories from Aberdeen last season. “It was always a good crowd. I live close by, and I knew several people in the stands when I played there. It’s a pretty special place for guys who are just drafted to come and play professional ball. It’s a pretty special place to play.”

Harbor Park is a terrific setting for baseball, and the Tides certainly put on a good show. If you have a chance to visit Norfolk this summer, make sure Harbor Park is on your to-do list.

Norfolk Tides

Don’t forget that the Orioles have a special promotion for visiting the Orioles’ Minor League Stadiums (Aberdeen, Delmarva, Frederick, Bowie, and Norfolk) called ‘The Birdland Passport.’ Find out more information here: http://baltimore.orioles.mlb.com/bal/fan_forum/passport.jsp

One month from today, the IronBirds will be playing their fourth game of the season! See you at Ripken Stadium on June 20th for the IronBirds’ home opener against the Brooklyn Cyclones!

IronFest

Welcome back IronBirds fans!  Today I wanted to give you all of the information about IronFest on Saturday.  The event is finalized and it should be a fun day.  IronFest has always been popular with fans. This is the first chance our fans can really get into the stadium this summer so it means baseball season is almost here.  The day is going to be jam packed with events so I have listed the schedule with details below.

 

IronFest Balloon Arch

8:00-1:30 – Out of the Park Yard Sale – This year the popular event will be back and better than ever.  We will have over 100 vendors selling a variety of items.  The event will be free for shoppers.

8:00 – The Amanda Hichkad Walk presented by the Upper Chesapeake Foundation – Help honor and remember friends and family in the fight against cancer.  Here is the link to register for the event: http://www.active.com/aberdeen-md/walking/races/amanda-hichkad-cca-celebration-walk-2014

9:00 IronFest officially kicks off!

9:00-2:00 – Box Office opens for individual ticket sales

9:00-2:00 – Season Ticket pickup starts on the Club Level

9:00 – 2:00 – Family Fun Expo – Visit fun vendors on the concourse such as Aaron’s, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Medieval Times, Anita C Leight Estuary Center, PNC Bank, Pepsi, Giant and more!

9-11:30 – Pony Rides by Patti’s Ponies – Kids can ride ponies in front of the stadium for $3 per ride

9:00-2:00 – Face Painter

9:30 – Tour of Ripken Stadium

10:00 – Kids Run the Bases

11:00 – 2:00 – Caricature Artist (Free!)

11:00 –  Pepsi Commercial – Fans have a chance to be in a commercial shown at all IronBirds 2014 Home Games. Fans can sit in section 100 to be in the commercial!

12:00 – Giant Nutrition Panel –  A panel of nutritionist from Giant will be participating in a panel from the 3rd base dugout.  Sit in the stands to enjoy!

12:30 – Kids Run the Bases

1:30 – Tour of Ripken Stadium

 

We hope all of our fans can make it out to this event on Saturday.  Come by to purchase individual tickets, try out your seats, or just have some fun!

 

Also fans, check back tomorrow for a special Bird Watch Extra from our very own radio announcer, Paul Taylor!

Until then… Go IronBirds!

 

Mailbox Monday

Welcome back IronBirds fans!  Sorry for the late post today, we have been busy putting together all of the season ticket booklets for our great fans today.  Thanks to all of our wonderful fans for submitting questions over the past week. We are 39 days away from Opening Day and less than two weeks away from the LGC Celebrity Kickball Game presented by Marlon Brown and Matt Elam.  Remember to keep sending your questions to blog@aberdeenironbirds.com and check back to see if yours is selected next week!

Stacey writes: “Besides Marlon Brown and Matt Elam, do we know any other Ravens players at the Celebrity Kickball Game?”

IB:  Actually Stacey, they just announced three more this evening.  Justin Tucker, Arthur Brown, and Aaron Mellette will also be there.  If you still need your tickets call the office or you can purchase online.

Terry writes: “Glynn Davis was one of my favorite players to watch in 2011. What has happened to him since then?”

Glynn Davis 7-24-11 (55)

IB: Glynn Davis  has had several successes since leaving the IronBirds. The 2011 All Star is currently with the Frederick Keys. Through 32 games, Davis is batting .351 and has already stolen base 7 times.  Steals have always been a strength of Davis’ and he is currently leading the Keys so far this year.  He is on track to have a stronger season than last year.

 

Thanks again to all of our fans for submitting  questions.  Make sure to keep sending them to blog@aberdeenironbirds.com.  Check back on Thursday for more insider information on your favorite team, the Aberdeen IronBirds.

Until then…Go IronBirds!

Maryland Claims First Ripken Cup Title

Last night Ripken Stadium hosted the first Ripken Cup event.  After the first game being rained out, the Towson Tigers were finally able to take on the Maryland Terps.  After a few sprinkles throughout the day, the skies finally cleared to play the game.  Many fans for both teams showed up for this first event.

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It was a close game throughout the evening.  The Terps started things off after Blake Schmitt hit a line drive double to score Charlie White. The Tigers were able to answer in the third and take a 3-1 lead in the game.  Pat Fitzgerald and Zach Fisher each got on base with a single and bunt single respectively.  After two quick outs, Peter Bowles was able to hit a line drive single to tie the game. Kurt Wentz followed with huge hit off the right field wall to drive in two more runs.

The Terps were able to answer back in the fourth inning after the Tigers committed two errors. In the fifth inning the Terps then took the lead for good.  They threatened to pull farther ahead in the seventh inning with the bases loading, but the Tigers were able to get out of the inning with no runs scored.

Taylor Stiles was the winning pitcher for Maryland while Matt Golczewski received the loss for Towson.  The Terps won their fifth straight to improve to 30-19 on the season. The Tigers dropped their seventh game in a row to go to 20-24 on the season.

During the game fans were entertained with some of the familiar on field promotions such as the base cleaning with toothbrushes and the Scuba Shuffle. Both of which are fan favorites of many IronBirds fans.

It was a great evening for baseball at Ripken Stadium and we hope to be able to grow this event in the future!

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For any IronBirds fans, make sure to keep sending your IronBirds questions over to blog@aberdeenironbirds.com.  Check back for the next edition of Mailbox Monday to see if your question was selected.

Until then…Go IronBirds!

Another IronBird Called Up to the Big Leagues

Great news IronBirds fans!  Another former IronBird has been called up to the Orioles!  Yesterday Caleb Joseph joined the O’s roster making him the 31st former IronBird to do so.

Joseph played in Aberdeen in 2008. The catcher played 63 games in the IronBirds uniform and was named an All-Star that year. He batted .261 with 8 home runs and 34 RBI’s.

Joseph played in his first big league game last night going 0-3 but caught a great game helping the O’s to 4-3 win over Tampa. Joseph will be the starting catcher in tonight’s game well.

Caleb Joseph

We wish him the best of luck as his big league dreams have finally come true!

Mailbox Monday

Welcome back IronBirds fans!  It was a beautiful weekend the past few days and it is definitely starting to feel like baseball season.  Thanks again to all of our wonderful fans who took a few moments out of their time over the past week to send in some questions.  Remember if your question was not selected this week or if you think of any others, keep sending them to blog@aberdeenironbirds.com.

Sam writes: “I remember last season Conor Bierfeldt had some huge home runs.  How has he been doing so far this season?”

IB: Last season Bierfeldt got off to a slow start.  He seems to be on the same trend as last year so far.  He did hit a walk-off homerun over a week ago now for his first home run of the season. Unfortunately his batting average is low at this point with him only hitting .149.  He has currently struck out 26 times over 87 at bats.  Luckily the season is still young and there is plenty of time for him to develop into the same strong player he ended last season as.

If you are looking to follow a big home run hitter, follow former IronBird Christian Walker.  He currently has the most home runs for Bowie and for the entire Oriole’s minor league system with 6 to date.

  Christian Walker 7-28-12 (1)

Nick writes: “I know the Orioles have recently been having some pitching issues.  Are there any former IronBirds that are coming up in the system that could possibly join the Orioles this season?”

IB: Right now Kevin Gausman is looking like he will definitely wear the Orioles jersey at some point this season. He has been battling blisters on his hand and most recently pneumonia. This will probably delay him getting called up.  He has been on a pretty strict pitch count this season to save him for later in the year.

Hunter Harvey has been having a great season so far.  He has the second lowest ERA of all Orioles pitchers.  With Harvey still pitching for Delmarva, it will be interesting to see how far up the ladder he progresses this season.  He is a young pitcher who definitely has a bright future ahead of him.

 

Thanks again to all of our wonderful fans for emailing in questions this past week.  We hope to see many of you out at the Ripken Cup game this Wednesday!  Make sure to check back on Thursday as we recap the Ripken Cup game!

Until then…Go IronBirds!

 

 

Events at Ripken Stadium

Welcome back IronBirds fans!  When restarting the blog back in October, one of my goals was always provide fans with more details and keep them informed on everything that is going on at Ripken Stadium. With the season starting next month, we are already very busy.  We have tons of events going on over the next month and a half prior to the season starting.  Here are the details on everything coming up!

IronFest

IronFest is always a great event to really kick off the season. This year’s event will be on May 17th and we we are trying to make it better than ever.  We are kicking the day off at 8 a.m. with a the Amanda Hichkad Walk presented by Upper Chesapeake Health Foundation.  Proceeds from the walk will benefit the Chesapeake Cancer Alliance and Cancer LifeNet.

Also at 8 a.m. we will be kicking off our annual Out of the Park Yard Sale.   This year the event will be FREE so grab your shopping bags and come on out and bargain hunt!  We do still have booths available if you are interested.  You can call Liz at 410-297-9292 to book your spot!

At 9 a.m. we will be kicking off the Family Fun Fest! This year the concourse will be filled with family friendly vendors such as Giant.  We will have face painting and a caricature artist along with pony rides!  Kids will be able to run the bases while families listen to live music.  We will also be hosting a canned food drive benefitting the Harford Community Action Agency.

Also at 9 a.m. we will be having season ticket pick up and single game tickets will go on sale at the box office.

The event goes until 2 p.m. so make sure you stop out for some fun!

IronFest Balloon Arch

LGC Celebrity Kickball Classic

We are very excited this year to be hosting the first LGC Celebrity Kickball Classic presented by Marlon Brown and Matt Elam on Sunday, May 25.  Brown and Elam will be joined by more Ravens players and local celebrities to play the school yard classic game of Kickball. The game starts at 4:30.  Make sure to get your tickets fast to check out some of your favorite players at Ripken Stadium!

TNA Impact Wrestling

The TNA Impact Wrestling World Tour is coming back to Ripken Stadium again this year on Sunday, June 8th.  For this exciting event, they put the ring on home plate.  The talent for the night will not be know until the day of but could include names such James Storm, Gunner, Bully Ray, and EC3.  We still have some great seats for the event available.  Everyone that came two years ago had a great time.

TNA

 

If you have any questions or are interested in these events please give us a call at 410-297-9292.  If you have any IronBirds related questions, make sure to keep sending them to blog@aberdeenironbirds.com.  Check back on Monday to see if you question was answered in the next addition of Mailbox Monday!

Until then.. Go IronBirds!

 

Mailbox Monday

Welcome back IronBirds fans!  We are officially 53 days until Opening Day and only 19 days away from IronFest! We have had some great questions submitted over the past week and we have selected a couple to answer today.  If your question was not answered or if you think of any others, email them to blog@aberdeenironbirds.com.

Larry writes: “When is IronFest and what are the times?”

IB: This year’s IronFest is May 17th.  At 8 a.m. we will be having the Amanda Hichkad Walk and our annual Out of the Park Yard Sale in the parking lot. At 9 a.m. the Family Fun Fest and IronFest kick off.  Individual tickets will go on sale then and you can start picking up your season tickets. The event will go until 2 p.m.!

Paul writes: “I read your blog from Thursday and saw that several players from last year’s teams are having a great season in Delmarva.  Are any other players not mentioned doing well?”

IB: Yes!  Several of last year’s team members are having a great year so far. Currently  Dylan Rheault is leading the South Atlantic League with 5 wins. He is off to an impressive start with an ERA of 1.26 through 14.1 innings pitched.

Dylan Rheault 8-30-13 (91)

Also, Sebastian Vader has been off to another good start. He currently has 2 wins and 1 loss with an ERA of 2.84 through 25.1 innings pitched. He has currently started in just 4 games for Delmarva.

While Conor Bierfeldt has been off to a slow start similar to last season, he did hit the walk off homerun on Sunday.  That was the first homerun hit at home for Delmarva this season.

This season Jeff Kemp is leading the Shorebirds with 12 RBI’s.  He is followed by Mike Yastrzemski and Conor Bierfeldt with 10 RBI’s each.

 

Thanks again to all of the fans for submitting your questions.  Make sure to keep sending them to blog@aberdeenironbirds.com. With the season being around the corner, we are going to be previewing some upcoming events that are coming up prior to the season on Thursday.  Make sure to check back then so you do not miss out on anything going on at Ripken Stadium!

Until then…Go IronBirds!

Checking in on Former IronBirds

Hey IronBirds fans!  In the past few weeks we shared where many of our former players will be playing this year.  Today we wanted to check in to see how they are doing.  We definitely have some former IronBirds that are rising stars in the Orioles system.

Manny Machado – Manny has become a fan favorite of IronBirds fans and Orioles fans.  He has been making a ton of progress recently with his rehab.  Manny has played a few games down in Extended Spring Training and will join Frederick on Friday.  This is great progress and we should expect to see him playing down at Camden Yards in the near future.

2010_Machado2

Hunter Harvey – Harvey has definitely been a bright spot within the Orioles system.  Currently, Harvey is leading the South Atlantic League with 0.86 ERA.  He currently has pitched 21 innings and struck out 23 batters while walking 6 others.  These are some pretty impressive numbers for a 19 year old.

Delmarva – Delmarva has many member of last year’s IronBirds team who are looking to carry on that same success. Steven Brault and Jimmy Yacabonis have also been had very successful starts. Brault has been one of Delmarva’s better starting pitchers with a record of 2-1 and also recording 23 strikeouts in 23 innings. Yacabonis has currently recorded 5 saves.

Christian Walker – Christian Walker has been tearing it up in Bowie this year.  He was on a 10 game hitting streak through Wednesday’s game.  Bowie beat Erie 11-1 behind a Grand Slam on Tuesday.  That was Walker’s third home run of the season.  This is the second year in a row that Walker has been hitting above .300 in April.

Christian Walker 7-28-12 (1)

Glynn Davis – Davis is also off to a hot start for Frederick.  He is currently batting  a team high of .414.  He is also leading the team with three stolen bases.

Kevin Gausman – Gausman has also had several bright spots so far this season. After battling a blister on his pitching hand, Gausman pitched for a season long five innings. He allowed just four hits through five shutout innings.  He has been able to lower his ERA to 3.24 after a recent rough start.

 

Remember IronBirds fans to keep sending over your questions to blog@aberdeenironbirds.com. We will be back on Monday will another Mailbox Monday!

Until then. ..Go IronBirds!