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!

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!


Mailbox Monday

Welcome back IronBirds fans!  It is finally starting to feel like baseball season after the beautiful weather we have had all weekend. Thanks to all of the fans who sent over questions over the past week. Remember to keep sending them to


Ron commented: “What ever happened to Jedidiah?”

IB: Jedidiah Stephen played for the IronBirds in 2006 and 2007.  He actually made it all the way up to Bowie in 2009.  Stephen only played four games for Bowie but was eventually cut after a rough start there. From what I have gathered, Jedidiah Stephen is now out of baseball and now enjoys hunting.  It also looks like the former Ohio State player has started a family.

Jed Stephen 7-22-07 (20)

Mary writes: “Are there still tickets available for the first Ripken Cup game with Maryland playing Towson?”

IB: Yes Mary there are!  You can call the office and purchase tickets or the Box Office will be open tomorrow for the game.


Thanks again to everyone that submitted questions over the past week.  Make sure to take a few minutes to send any of your questions over for a chance to see your questions answered here.  On Thursday we will be taking a special look at some of the community events the IronBirds have been participating in along with the brand new Art Contest! Make sure to check back then for the inside scoop!


Until then… Go IronBirds!


Mailbox Monday

Welcome back IronBirds fans!  Baseball season is officially now in full swing!  All of the long season minor league teams have now started playing.  Even things around Ripken Stadium are starting to pick up!  Between planning for the season, hosting youth tournaments, and even preparing for the first annual Ripken Cup game next week, we are very busy.  With all of this excitement going on, we thank all of our fans for submitting questions over the past week.  We have chosen a couple to be answered this week.

Jim writes: ” Do you think former IronBirds pitcher Kevin Gausman will pitch for the Orioles this season?”

IB: Yes I do.  Gausman had a very strong spring.  Their were rumors he might have been called up to make the trip to Detroit for just 24 hours due to the possible rainout in Detroit. Major League clubs are allowed to carry an extra reliever on their roster for days they could have a double header He was slated to be the Opening Day starter for Norfolk but then scratched in case the Orioles needed them. . Gausman ended up pitching in Norfolk on Sunday.  He went 4.2 innings allowing 3 hits, 2 walks, and struck out 6 players.

Kevin Gausman (Corey Rinker) 8-12-12 (103)

Steve writes: “I got an email about a Marlon Brown Celebrity Kickball game?  Is that the same as the softball game from last year?”

IB: No Steve it is different, but we expect it to be similar.  The Marlon Brown Celebrity Kickball game is being put on by a different company than the one that brought in the softball game.  We do expect Ravens players and other celebrities to make up the rosters. Like in the past, this is a charity fundraiser as well.  A portion of the proceeds will be benefitting the Wounded Warrior Project.  Tickets are on sale now for the May 25th game.  You can purchase them online or you can call the office at 410-297-9292.  It should be a fun event!


Thanks again to all our fans that submitted questions over the past week.   Make sure to keep sending the questions to This Thursday we will have another special blog from Paul Taylor.  Paul has recently spoken to Manager Matt Merullo and caught up about what players are down in Extended Spring Training.  Check back Thursday to see the details on their conversation!

Until then… Go IronBirds!



Mailbox Monday

Welcome back IronBirds fans on this snowy Monday. Thanks to all of our fans who have sent their questions in over the past week and even today while they are snowed in.  Keep sending those questions to because you never know when you will see your question right here during Mailbox Monday!

Fred writes “I have seen two Spring Training locations listed.  What is the difference between Twin Lakes and Ed Smith Stadium?”

IB: The Orioles play their Spring Training games at Ed Smith stadium while the minor league teams play their games at the Buck O’Neil Baseball Complex at Twin Lakes Park.  The two facilities are only about a 15 minute drive apart.

Jimmy writes: “I saw yesterday that Yaz played for the Orioles. Does this mean he was promoted?”

Mike Yastrzemski 8-25-13 (69)

IB: Not exacty. Mike Yastrzemski is still in the Orioles minor league system.  During Spring Training, the Orioles will select players to come up to Ed Smith Stadium for practice or to be as an available player for games. Josh Hart was also listed as an available position player in the Orioles game yesterday.  Last week Josh Hart was practicing at Ed Smith Stadium when he was assigned his homework project.

Thanks again to everyone for submitting their questions this week.  We hope that all of our fans are staying safe and warm on this snowy Monday.  Make sure to check back on Thursday for more updates from Orioles Spring Training!

Until then…Go IronBirds!

Mailbox Monday

Welcome back IronBirds fans! We hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and thanks to all of our fans for submitting questions over the past week. If you ever have a question you would like to be answered, send me an email at!

Ken asks:  “Do you know who the hitting coach will be this season?”

IB: Ken, at this point the Orioles have not announced a hitting coach.  Scott Beerer, our 2013 hitting coach, has been assigned as an instructor in the Orioles organization for 2014, so it is possible that he might be here for a few days this summer.

Scott Beerer 6-16-13 (25)

Richard writes: “I am an avid fan and was just wondering if my favorite player would be returning this year to the IronBirds. That player is Adam Jones.  I have followed him from the start of his career and was just wondering about his status.”

IB: Adam Jones has actually never worn the IronBirds uniform. Adam Jones came up from the Seattle Mariners organization. In 2008, Jones was traded to the Orioles with George Sherrill and three minor league pitchers for pitcher Érik Bédard. The only way we would see Jones in an IronBirds uniform would be if he were to become injured and be assigned to Aberdeen for rehab.

Thanks again to all of our fans for submitting questions over the past week. On Thursday we will take a closer look at some of the upcoming events we are having at the stadium!  Make sure to check back then to get all of the details!

Until then…. Go IronBirds!

Mailbox Monday

Welcome back IronBirds fans!  Thanks again to all of our wonderful fans for submitting questions for this week’s Mailbox Monday. Over the next week if you have any questions, feel free to email them to!

Sherri asks: “Why did the IronBirds change their colors for the 2014 season?”

IB: When a player joins the IronBirds roster, it is often their first stop on their journey to their dream of becoming an Oriole.  We wanted players to start this journey in orange and black and then hopefully end it in orange and black.

Jerri writes: “I saw Ripken had a team participating in Polar Bear Plunge.  How did that go?”

IB: Well if you had not heard, Polar Bear Plunge was cancelled, but we plunged on!  We were registered as a subteam under the Arc of Northern Chesapeake.  This allowed some of our donations to be given back to Harford County. As a team we raised over $1,300 and we want to thank all of those that helped us surpass our goal.  After the Plunge was cancelled, representatives from the Arc of Northern Chesapeake reached out to the Arena Club to see if we could plunge there.  The Arena Club graciously allowed us plunge into their pool.  A heated pool was not quite the same as the freezing cold water, but we were all glad we were still able to plunge for a good cause.

Polar Bear Plunge

Photo from

Fans, if you are looking for something to do this Saturday, make sure to come down to the Baltimore Convention Center and visit the IronBirds booth at Orioles FanFest!  We will be there all day and love seeing our loyal fans!

Make sure to check back on Thursday for more insider scoop!  Also, continue sending those questions to!

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

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!  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:

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

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!

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 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!