It’s one of 42 minor league teams which could be eliminated in 2021.
Frederick, Md (KM) Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor is asking local residents, to sign an on line petition in support of the Frederick Keys. The Advanced-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles is one of 42 teams that could be eliminated in 2021.
“We’ve had a long and proud relationship with the Frederick Keys since they came to town back in the late 1980’s, and we certainly don’t want to lose them,” Mayor O’Connor says.
Late last year, a list of 42 minor league teams which could be eliminated was compiled by the Commissioner’s Office of Major League Baseball, and one was the Frederick Keys.
A letter was sent to minor league teams warning that some significant changes were coming to the current agreement with Major League Baseball, and the minor league teams were urged to not sign any new lease agreements or make schedules for the 2021 season.
In January, 2020, Mayor O’Connor joined 120 mayors from across the country and created a joint task force to stop plans to eliminate minor league teams in their communities. An on line petition was established for fans and other citizens to let MLB know they don’t want their teams eliminated. “The relationship that the city of Frederick has with the Keys is the kind of relationship that Major League Baseball should be looking to replicate across this country, not the kind of operation that should be eliminated,” he says.
The web address to sign the petition is https://connect.chattanooga.gov/mayors-task-force-to-save-minor-league-baseball/
The economic impact of the Keys is estimated at $15-million, which includes direct and indirect impacts, and spending by out-of-county visitors, and home and visiting teams, facility and operational spending, and other non-baseball events. The Keys employ 25 full time employees and 250 part timers.
But O’Connor is the impact is more than just economic. “It’s also the identity. It’s being a community that can proudly say we’re a community that supports minor league baseball,” he says. “The economics are one piece of why we want to do this. But community identity is the piece that’s really important. We’re proud of the relationship with the Keys, and that we want to be a community that continues to have minor league baseball.”
And he says it’s important for fans and other citizens to let Major League Baseball they want to keep the Keys. “The petition drive that has been organized by the Mayors’ Task Force to Save Minor League Baseball is really about getting the public to send a clear and resounding message to Major League Baseball that eliminating these teams across the country is a mistake,” he says.
In a statement, the city of Frederick says other opportunities to support the Frederick Keys and Minor League Baseball will be announced a the 2020 season gets closer.
By Kevin McManus