That’s a goal of Mayor O’Connor, and other local officials.
Frederick, Md. (KM) – It’s the goal of the Mayor, Board of Aldermen, Frederick Keys officials and fans: bringing affiliated baseball back to the city of Frederick. “I think that’s great having the Major League Baseball Draft League. I think it’s kept our foot in the door with Major League Baseball. They want to be in this community. I think that’s why they put one of those teams here. But we know we got to upgrade the stadium to meet the standards that they want for affiliated Minor League Baseball,” says Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor, who was a guest recently on WFMD’s “Morning News Express.”
For many years, the Frederick Keys were affiliated with the Baltimore Orioles. But the Birds dropped the Keys in 2020 as part of a contraction by Major League Baseball. The Keys have become part of the MLB Draft League.
Mayor O’Connor said one of the reasons the Keys were dropped by the Orioles was to the condition of Harry Grove Stadium which first opened in 1990. He says upgrading the stadium would help in the city’s efforts to return a Minor League Affiliation to the city of Frederick. But the big unknowns are what needs to be done, and how much it will cost. “There’s a lot of people who need to be connected into the conversation . It’s the ownership of the Keys. It’s potentially the Maryland Stadium Authority, the Maryland Economic Development Corporation. Our community has to be involved in that discussion,”: he says.
“We need to understand what the scope of improvements would look like,” O’Connor continues. “There’s no way that 100% of those improvements will be carried out by the public sector. Those days are over, I think, largely. And we’ll have to figure out what the price tag is and then what is the best financing package is in order to move forward with improvements.”
O’Connor said the Keys were dropped by the Orioles due to Harry Grove Stadium not meeting the standards set by Minor League Baseball. “if you get to the point where we’ve got a stadium that meets those standards, we know can produce more fans, which means more revenue, which means there will be a team somewhere,”:: he says. “And this ownership group is committed as well to finding that team and putting it in Frederick.”
By Kevin McManus