Oh say can you see...this hot dog disappear down my gullet as I wolf down the tasty treat at Harry Grove Stadium in Frederick, Maryland; home of the Frederick Keys. In case you didn’t know...here’s the history lesson. Frederick is the hometown of Francis Scott Key. Hence the name Keys. If you don’t know who he is, get the hell out of my country. Or at least pay attention in school.
Francis would be proud of the dog served up in the ballpark his namesake team calls home. I didn’t have to sell my car to afford one and it was pretty tasty. It suffers in the point system due to portability and price compared to other similar venues but it slid over my discriminating palate just fine. The ballpark itself is a very typical Single A venue. Low slung, semi-circular, built mainly of textured block with a small press box, suite area. The unique feature in Harry Grove is the overly tall outfield wall that is plastered with enough ads to generate more revenue than the GDP of a small pacific island nation. By the third inning I still had not read all of them. I did however, nearly get an entire section to myself. Not because I am such a hot dog celebrity...although I am...but due to the low turnout.
Bun-nice and fresh.
Taste-the Esskay frank was slightly salty and slightly fatty...in other words it was darn delicious.
Toppings-very nice selection for a small ballpark.
Price-while $4 won’t break you, I have seen cheaper at MLB parks and a lot cheaper at other minor league stadiums.
Portability-the cardboard boat is better than the paper boat, but not much. A paper wrapper would do better.
It Factor-there is the “Keyote Dog” named after the mascot. It is a mammoth crab meat, mac and cheese dog. Great start, but the park needs a few more of these types of offerings for top score.
Location-not that close to downtown. Sort of in a smallish neighborhood. Quiet too. It is directly across the street from a large cemetery.
Access-as far as I could tell it is a drive-to only park. There is free parking however.
GA Ticket Price-$9 is kinda steep for the cheapest ticket in a Single A park. The seat was excellent though.
Cleanliness-pretty clean, but there was a bit of trash here and there.
Fans-we should have all car pooled. A 15-passenger van would have sufficed.
Ambiance-despite its lack of amenities or special history or architecture, Harry Grove has something. It’s a baseball park, albeit a barebones one, and you can feel it.
|Portability||3||GA Ticket Price||4|
I had tried to see a Keys game at least twice before but was foiled by their schedule. While the ballpark sort of blends into my memory of many other Single A parks, I do recommend it. It would be a nice accompaniment to an Orioles game since they are close and Frederick is a farm team of theirs. If you need an escape from the madness of Washington DC (and who doesn’t), a keys game is a short drive away and well worth your time.
|The Intrepid Hot Dog Crew|