Nine Innings with the Bowie Baysox:
Your Hometown Baseball Team
With the 2005 baseball season soon approaching, it is time to reveal a diamond in the rough. Prince George's Stadium serves as the home to the Bowie Baysox, the Class AA affiliate for the Baltimore Orioles. Not only is this one of the premier sports venues in the region but the Baysox also offer a whole host of affordable family entertainment options. To more fully understand what happens in Bowie through the dog days of summer, let's spend nine innings with the Bowie Baysox:
First Inning - Talkin' Baseball:
The Baysox do baseball the way it was meant to be, in a fun setting by players who play for the love of the game. Ten-year-old Prince George's Stadium provides a perfect view of the game in the intimate confines of the ballpark. All of the stadium's 10,000 seats make you feel like you're a part of the game, bringing you closer to the action than any big league park could. As the O's Double-A affiliate, the team is made up of players who are just a year or two away from making it to the Yard. They compete in the Eastern League, which features affiliates of both the Yankees (Trenton Thunder) and Red Sox (Portland Sea Dogs). So if you come to Bowie, chances are you'll be watching several future big leaguers in action. And if you play your cards right, you might even see a current Oriole rehabbing from an injury with the Baysox. In recent years, David Segui, Melvin Mora, Jerry Hairston, Jay Gibbons, and Rodrigo Lopez have all had rehab stints with the Baysox.
Second Inning - Baysox to the Bigs:
The best prospects the Orioles have usually make a stop in Bowie on the way to Baltimore. In fact, just last season three players went directly from the Baysox to the O's roster. One of those, Daniel Cabrera, was one of the Orioles' best pitchers throughout the summer. Another, outfielder Val Majewski, was named the organization's Minor League Player of the Year, while the organization's Pitcher of the Year, Hayden Penn, finished the year in Bowie. Among the big names to come through Bowie: Armando Benitez, Sidney Ponson, Jerry Hairston, Luis Matos, Larry Bigbie, and Brian Roberts.
Third Inning - Families First:
For many people, baseball is a family game. Parents bringing their kids to the park and teaching them the fine points of the game is an age-old tradition. The Baysox recognize this, and have created a family-friendly atmosphere that provides something for everyone. The friendly Baysox staff is all over the stadium, helping give fans the best experience possible every night. Young fans will want to visit "K-Town, MD," a kid's park located behind the stands on the right field line featuring a carousel. In 2005 kids will also be treated to a free activity book as they walk through the gate.
Fourth Inning - Bang for your Buck:
While a trip to the ballpark with family or friends can cost more than a hundred dollars in the big leagues, a night with the Baysox won't drain your wallet. Tickets start as low as $6 for youth and seniors and $9 for adults. Children five and under are free. There are also several promotional nights throughout the season that feature discounted ticket prices. Plus, the Baysox have free parking for all events! If you're looking for a big-league bargain, look no further than Bowie.
Fifth Inning - Hometown Team:
If you go to a Baysox game, the only long drives will be the ones that fly over the wall for a home run. Prince George's Stadium is just a 15-20 minute drive from Annapolis near the intersection of Routes 50 and 301. Just take Rt. 50 West to Exit 13A for Rt. 301 South. Take the second left onto Ballpark Road by the Baysox marquee. The stadium is at the end of the driveway.
Sixth Inning - Not Just Baseball:
What are LeBron James, Allen Iverson, and Tracy McGrady doing in Bowie? They all participated in last year's Allen Iverson Celebrity Softball Challenge, which will return to Prince George's Stadium July 16, 2005. Even when the Baysox aren't playing, there is still lots to do at the ballpark. Prince George's Stadium has played host to a boxing match featuring Laila Ali, the Eastern League All-Star Game, the annual Congressional Baseball Game, and a Haunted House. So on any given night, you can come to Bowie and see a slugger, a senator, or a spirit.
Seventh Inning - Fireworks!:
The Baysox don't stop at just putting on a baseball game, and there's plenty more fun to be had in addition to baseball. The Baysox have 24 Fireworks Nights on the 2005 schedule, including a fireworks spectacular following every Saturday game! There will also be two Dog Days at the ballpark, May 1st and June 8th, where fans can bring a canine friend to the game. Every Sunday is Family FunDay, where parents can play catch in the outfield with their son or daughter before the game, and kids can run around the bases after the game. Tuesdays throughout the season are Dollar Nights, with General Admission tickets going for just $1. Visit the Baysox website, www.baysox.com and look for promotions throughout the year.
Eighth Inning - A Gathering Place:
Looking for a place to hold your company picnic? The Baysox are a great place for all kinds of business groups and corporate functions. The stadium has conference rooms and hospitality suites for groups all season long. In the off-season, Prince George's Stadium can play host to your office's holiday party. The Baysox offer a unique way to reward employees and relax with co-workers by taking in a baseball game.
Ninth Inning - Louie:
The one thing all fans will notice as soon as they walk through the gate is a jolly green giant patrolling Prince George's Stadium. That's Louie, the Baysox mascot, who will turn eight years old during the 2005 season. Louie is the Baysox's biggest fan, and not just because he's 6'6" and wears size 84 shoes. He spends all his time entertaining the crowd at Baysox games, particularly kids. A hairy hug from Louie is always the best way to cap off a great night with the Baysox.
For more information on the Baysox or to sign up for their weekly e-mail newsletter, visit them on-line at www.baysox.com. You can purchase tickets on-line or by calling (301) 464-4865.