Return of Keys Baseball to Frederick in 2021


On December 5, 2019 I wrote an article expressing the very real concern of Frederick Keys baseball not returning to the Frederick area.  The great news for Orioles fans in this region and Keys fans locally is those fears have been allayed.

Nearly one year after Keys baseball was deemed to be in jeopardy with Major League Baseball (MLB) a press release from the Frederick Keys announced a continued affiliation with the MLB in the newly minted MLB Draft League.  Play will begin in late May 2021 and end in mid-August 2021.

The Draft League will feature existing former minor league affiliates of all current major league clubs.  It will showcase top draft prospects in a 68-game schedule that is significantly lower than the split 140-game schedule in which the Keys have previously participated in the past.

Regarding attendance during the MLB Draft League season Keys owner Ken Young said to the Frederick News Post “We feel we can come close to 100 percent of our normal attendance even with a reduced number of dates.”

Although the Keys no longer have an official affiliation with the Orioles, more than likely the Orioles and Nationals will now compete to draft Keys players from the Draft League considering the only other MLB franchises in close proximity to Frederick are the Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies.

Despite the change in format this newly sanctioned MLB league will provide an opportunity for Keys fans to observe the showcasing of potential major league talent. You will have the opportunity to see players prior to their call to the “big leagues.” 

The upcoming 2021 MLB draft takes place in July 2021 during the week of the All-Star game and prior to the conclusion of the Draft League’s inaugural season.

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Chaz Packan is a life-long Frederick County Resident who graduated from Linganore High School in 2010. He completed senior year work study with the Frederick Keys the local Orioles High-A Affiliate as well as contributing to the Linganore student newspaper The Lance. He was with the Keys from February 2010 to September 2016. While there he contributed to the Keys GameDay program conducting player interviews as well as writing GameDay features. Chaz completed studies at Frederick Community College obtaining an AA in Communications while at FCC, Chaz received an excellence in journalism award from his journalism professor for his contributions to the FCC student newspaper The Commuter. After completing his associates at FCC, Chaz started his own Facebook Live sports program called SportsTalk with Chaz which he did from his home from 2016 to 2017 interviewing several local sports personalities including Frank Herzog, Brenda Frese, Rob Ambrose and ESPN NFL Analyst Anita Marks. Recently, Chaz worked for local Republican Frederick County State Delegate Dan Cox in Annapolis as a Legislative Aide during the 2019 and 2020 legislative sessions. Chaz will be a regular contributor to the Tentacle touching on local and regional sports as well as his interest in the political process both locally and nationally touching on the issues from a conservative point of view. Tentacle Readers will enjoy Chaz’s depth of knowledge on the subjects he shares a passion for.