Wave to the team mascot. See your favorite batters and pitchers warm up. Get a baseball signed.
Feel a sense of camaraderie, the smell of freshly popped button popcorn, the sounds of slurping sodas, the vividness of cotton candy.
Few things are better than watching baseball in person under warm, brightening skies, especially during an electrifying ninth-inning rally.
And when you move into an apartment or townhouse in Frederick County, Maryland, and Harford County, Maryland, two fun-filled, cost-effective options are available to you. Both are a quick drive away.
Let’s get into five reasons why you’ll want to say “play ball” in Frederick, Maryland, and Aberdeen, Maryland, today.
Affordable Ticket Prices
Maryland’s home team, the Baltimore Orioles, reportedly had the second-most expensive Opening Day tickets in 2021, and TicketSmarter, a ticket resale marketplace, says that the average price for an Orioles ticket in 2021 was about $121.
Your backyard minor league team offers a far more cost-effective alternative.
A single ticket to see the Aberdeen IronBirds, in Aberdeen County, Maryland, is generally $15, a team spokesperson said. The Frederick Keys in Frederick County, Maryland, offers similarly priced tickets.
“Frederick County, Maryland, residents and visitors should prioritize seeing a Keys games because we are the leaders in affordable family fun and entertainment in the area,” says Maci Hill, the director of marketing for the Frederick Keys.
That key phrase—“affordable”—was echoed by Tyler Weigandt, senior manager of community relations for the IronBirds in Aberdeen County.
“Attending an IronBirds game is safe, affordable and fun, all wrapped into one package,” Weigandt said.
Better-priced Concession, Food, Snack Deals
It’s hard to hit up a ballgame and not eat a hot dog—or pretzel, or bag of peanuts or cotton candy—while sipping on an ice-cold soda or beer.
Baseball stadiums know this well, particularly major league ones, where the prices for these concessions match—sometimes even exceed—the price of admission.
CreditCards.com reported in 2016 that it cost $219.53 for a family of four to attend an MLB game, tickets, food and parking—another under-the-radar cost—included.
Alternatively, MiLB, the league for all minor league teams, said the same sized family could see a ballgame for just $64.
Again, your local minor league franchise offers more bang for your buck, Hill says.
“Parking is convenient, and our many food options and locations alleviant food lines and prices while allowing more variety,” Hill says about Frederick Keys baseball games.
At an Aberdeen IronBirds game, a wildly popular food draw is the team’s Crab Feast dates, Weigandt says.
“Crab Feasts take place on select Sundays in the schedule and allow fans to have all-you-can-eat crabs along with standard ballpark fares such as hot dogs, hamburgers, mac n’ cheese, salad and cookies,” he said—all for just $56 per person.
How much would all that cost at faraway Camden Yards?
Great Stadiums, Great Seats
Another obstacle with Major League Baseball games is the view—you’re farther away from the field, up in the stands, lost inside a massive-sized stadium. So, in essence, you pay more to see less.
Not so at a minor league game in Frederick or Harford County, Maryland.
Minor League Baseball allows for “a more up-close and personal interaction with the players and plays on the field,” Weigandt says. “This impacts younger fans in a great way and gives parents a great sense of joy to see their children having such a grand experience.”
The size of both stadiums—Nymeo Field At Harry Grove Stadium in Frederick, Maryland, and Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, Maryland—offer personal, zoomed-up views—as if you were watching it at home on the TV.
“(We do) not have a bad seat in the house, and fans can expect great entertainment coupled with incredible baseball action,” Weigandt says.
A More Personal Fan Experience
Minor League Baseball games tend to offer more “side entertainment” than their major league counterparts do—all of which are “fan-focused” and are a hit with the hometown crowd, Hill says.
Examples include themed game nights and between-inning promotions at both venues.
JJ Michalski, a broadcast assistant with the Keys, says the team’s fireworks spectacular, set for every Friday and Saturday night of a home game, is “always a big hit.”
“Fans also come out to the park for select bobblehead giveaways throughout the season,” Michalski says.
In Aberdeen, Maryland, a baseball outing with the IronBirds includes similar fan favorites, Weigandt says.
“Another event that fans cannot get enough of is our award-winning fireworks shows, which take place after select home games, usually on Friday or Saturdays,” he says. “This is great fun for the whole family and always has a sellout crowd.”
An Experience That Benefits the Community
Both teams like to give back to the community and offer in-game events to back this support.
In Frederick County, Maryland, Michalski says one reoccurring baseball event that “draws fans year in and year out” are “our specialty jersey nights, which benefit different charity organizations or groups in the Frederick area.”
For instance, in 2021, the team had an Art in the Park jersey with proceeds benefitting the Frederick Arts Council, Michalski says.
“We also have a game each year with the American Cancer Society, and the team jerseys this year were a big hit. They had names on them of Keys fans who have battled with cancer,” he said.
In Aberdeen, the IronBirds have a heartwarming deal with a local construction firm: Every time the hometown team hits a homerun, the construction company donates $25 to the Harford Family House, a non-profit and largest provider of transitional housing for homeless families in Harford County, Maryland.
Similarly, Freedom Federal Credit Union donates $5 for every IronBirds hit during home games. The Boys and Girls Club Hits for Healthy Kids program is the beneficiary.
Whether you’re a brand-new resident living in an apartment or townhouse in Frederick County, Maryland or Harford County, Maryland, or a long-time tenant, an enjoyable, low-cost night out on the town enjoying America’s pastime is just a quick road trip—and homerun swing—away.