Getting Autographs at Frederick Keys Games

BY: T.C.


On the second night of my work trip to Washington, D.C., I went to see the Frederick Keys play the Wilmington Blue Rocks.  I got to the Frederick area early (about 4:30) and was lucky enough to find a little baseball card shop nearby.  I have to plug the shop because the guy that worked there was really cool.  The prices weren’t the best around, but the personnel and atmosphere made up for it.  The name of the place was Burton’s Coins & Baseball Cards, located at 5831 Buckeystown Pike.  I opened a box and a few loose packs of the high number TriStar Projections and hit two triple autograph cards.  Based on those hits, I think it’s safe to say that they’re not searching their products.  That’s good to know in this day and age.


Anyhow, after my excursion to the card shop, I headed over to the game and got in when the gates opened at 6.  I have to say that Harry Grove Stadium is the crappiest minor league stadium that I’ve been to (not to mention one of the worst names—I don’t even want to mention the image that the name conjures up in my head).  The team shop is nothing more than a little booth with a very small selection of merchandise.  The food selection was very poor, as well (although, the buffalo chicken strips were good).  The one positive, though, is that from an autograph seeker’s point of view, this is the BEST stadium that I’ve been to.  The amount of access that you have to the players at this stadium is incredible.  You can literally walk up to their clubhouse door and wait for them to come out.  They have to walk right past you on the stadium concourse to get down to the field.  There are no ropes, ushers, etc. between you and the players.  You can just walk up to them and ask them to sign.  I literally set a personal record with the number of cards that I got signed at this game (well over 100).  Almost all of the players were really cool, with my favorite being Pedro Beato.  He is a really nice dude.  He took time to talk and sign for everyone…no matter how many things they had for him to sign.  I liked Freddy Deza, too.  I had one of his 2006 blue Bowman cards numbered to 150 or 250 or something.  He said he’d never seen it before, so I gave it to him.  He seemed really appreciative and signed everything I had.  He also asked me if I had anything else to sign!


My overall assessment on going to a Frederick Keys game—If your goal is to go and enjoy a baseball game, don’t bother.  You should find another stadium to go to.  If you’re going to get autographs, you better stock up on cards because you’ll probably be getting everything signed that you bring with you.  A picture of Harry Grove Stadium and the prime autograph areas is below.



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