Although Frederick is still waiting for the city’s minor league baseball to return, the city will spend 2023 as one of the few cities in the country with multiple professional baseball teams.
The Atlantic League, a 10-team independent circuit associated with Major League Baseball that will celebrate its 25th season, announced Wednesday that it is adding a team in Frederick beginning next year. The club will play its home games at Harry Grove Stadium, the stadium of Frederick Keys, the longtime Orioles affiliate who became an inaugural member of the MLB Draft League. after losing its affiliate status in 2020. Attain Sports and Entertainment, which owns the Keys and Bowie Baysox, Baltimore’s Double-A affiliate, will also own the Atlantic League club.
“We are excited to have MLB become the premier partner of professional baseball,” Greg Baroni, CEO of Atten Sports and Entertainment, said in a statement provided by the Atlantic League. “With two teams based in Frederick, there will be an enormous amount of entertainment on offer at Harry Grove Stadium in 2023 and we can’t wait to get started. As we look to the future, we continue to work on providing all of our component stakeholders with a new and improved stadium.”
A bill was approved this year by the Maryland Stadium Authority to issue up to $200 million “to fund the development and/or renovation of sports entertainment facilities throughout the state including minor league ballparks where renovations will be necessary in order to maintain the affiliations.” With major league teams. And we continue to play in our state.” The current Frederick Stadium opened in 1990, one year after its first season as an Orioles affiliate, and was part of the reason Keys is among the Over 40 minor league teams which lost its relationships with major league clubs as MLB sought to contract and streamline the minors.
Keys landed relatively softly One of six teams in the MLB Draft League, which in 2022 used a split schedule of amateur college players in the first half before deploying players with onerous eligibility in search of professional opportunities. They will play an 80-game Draft League schedule, and Frederick’s Atlantic League team will play 48 home games.
“The City of Frederick is excited to move from Aten Sports and Entertainment for Atlantic League membership and bring another baseball club to Frederick,” Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor said in a statement. “Attain Sports and Entertainment has demonstrated a commitment to bringing quality baseball back to Frederick and we look forward to continuing this partnership.”
The Atlantic League’s partnership with MLB has led to it being used to experiment with several potential rule changes, including Increase base sizes, block cover spells And the use of automatic batting ball system, Known more casually as “robo umps”. The league also has a team in the Waldorf, Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, and was expected to add a team in Hagerstown, which also lost its minor league affiliate, this next season, but The city’s new stadium won’t be ready until at least 2024. Frederick’s team replaced Wild Health Genomes, a second club added in Lexington, Kentucky, to give the league an even number of teams in 2022.
The league table was created using the Minor League Baseball Scheduling Group from Johns Hopkins University, which includes students and professors in the Whiting School of Engineering’s Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics and the Institute for Information Security.
“The Atlantic League is thrilled to welcome our new partners to Frederick, Maryland,” league president Rick White said in a statement. “They are fantastic operators with an excellent reputation and would make outstanding members of the ALPB.”