Harry Grove Stadium is the home of the Frederick Keys, Single A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles. Opened in 1990, it has hosted an All Star game, concerts and professional wrestling.
As far as minor league baseball goes, it's kind of average.
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All of your regular ballpark fare can be had here, your peanuts, popcorn, burgers, dogs and pizza. You've got a crab cake sandwich, but it's Maryland, that's to be expected. There is nothing special, but if you're dying for ballpark nachos or Dippin' Dots, you won't be disappointed. Beer selection is small and average priced.
One of the great things about minor league baseball is how hard they go out of their way to entertain you. While the Keys make a great effort at this, the effort was marred by the sound system. It was difficult (near impossible, actually) to hear anything from the outfield speakers, which seemed to be the only ones working.
They do have a kids area with a merry-go-round, moon bounce and tee ball. They invited some fans on to the field between innings for various activities, including the "Albert Haynesworth Challenge," where two fans tried to do the conditioning test so famously (and repeatedly) failed by the Redskins defensive tackle. One of the fans passed it.
You can hang out in the parking lot before or after the game. Oh, and there's a graveyard across the street, if that's your bag. Short of that, it's the game. I mean, there's lots of stuff to do in the town of Frederick, but not without driving to it.
Good fans are into the game, yell at the players and the umpires, and are generally well involved in the game. All true here in Frederick, but there were just not enough of them to warrant a higher score.
There is plenty of free parking available at the stadium, which is easily found just off of Interstate 70 west of Baltimore. The bathrooms sparkle and are a good size, no waiting.
Everything, from food to tickets is well priced. You can see baseball in a decent park with decent ballpark food at a decent price. Overall though there isn't a good return on your investment, only because there is nothing special or exciting about this venue.
There is a good-sized family section here where there is no beer allowed. It's a great place to teach your kid about the game being played the right way.
If you are in the Frederick area and want to see a minor league ballgame, rent a car and drive to Hagerstown or Bowie. If you can't rent a car, well, you can't go see the Keys anyway, because you can't walk there from anywhere. It was ok, I guess. But you can do better around here.
Geoff Crawley is the Mid Atlantic Regional Correspondent and Voice of the Fan and is the host of a weekly podcast.
Enjoy making the trip to Harry Grove. Easy to get to and good sight lines. Not many thrills, but a good family park. Enjoyed a SkyBox for a game which was nice but nothing really extraordinary. Overall a good park to watch future O's.
My parents are partial season ticket holders for the Frederick Keys, so I decided to join them on 9/1/2012. I'd been to the stadium a couple times, but not in a few years.
Food & Beverage: Standard Ball Park fair. Prices were reasonable for a ball park. Staff was friendly and helpful.
Atmosphere/Fans: The atmosphere was pretty good. The park was clean...pretty much no nonsense baseball. Haven't seen a park with bleachers in a while...I'm glad I bought a seat. This is as close to no-nonsense baseball as I've seen in a while. The ushers show you to your seat and clean it off for you...a nice, classy touch.
The big screen could use an upgrade. It's comically small compared to other stadiums I've seen, including regional Atlantic League teams (York Revolution and Lancaster Barnstormers).
Fans are there to see a baseball game. The stadium was pretty full that night. Points for that, Frederick!
Neighborhood/Access: Neighborhood is fine. Parking is ample, and free. It's very easy to get to from the major highways, but you will have to drive.
Return on Investment: For me, high, because I got to enjoy it with my parents. In general though, there are probably better parks in the region to go to. If you're in Frederick though, it's definitely worth the price.
Extras: There weren't many extras...except meeting Rudy (yeah, that Rudy) who was there that night signing autographs. The key jingle is cute, as is the weird soybean competition...
As I said in the comments, I was an intern here for the 2009 season and then came back for a game in 2012. I thought it was a great experience. There's obviously a different feeling than if you went to Camden or Nationals Park but that's not bad; it's a more cozy, personal feeling. The Keys and the Keyote mascot try to get everyone involved. Not to mention that with only a few thousand people there at most each game, you always have a chance at catching a foul ball!
And I haven't been to any other minor league park for a long time so I don't know if $11 for general admission is high or not. It seems to have definitely gone up the past few years, but I'm sure it's not the only place that has. They also run fun promotions, one where if you buy a ticket to a game and the Keys lose that night, you get to attend another weekday game for free.
They always run promotions and it's easy to get to. I never tried traveling around Frederick so I do doubt there's much to do there but to watch minor league baseball where the organization does care about the fans, Harry Grove is a good place to go.
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5646 Buckeystown Pike
Frederick, MD 21704