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August 12, 2010

Orioles extend agreements with minor league clubs

Orioles minor league baseball will remain in Maryland and Virginia for at least the next four seasons.

Working agreements with minor league affiliates in Norfolk, Bowie and Frederick have been extended through the 2014 season, the Orioles announced Thursday.

“We are very pleased to continue our working agreements with the Norfolk, Bowie and Frederick clubs,” Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said in a news release. “We have formed great partnerships with each of these clubs and look forward to continue developing our talent in the supportive environment that these cities provide.”

The Triple-A Norfolk Tides have been affiliated with the O's for four seasons, while the Double-A Bowie Baysox and the Single-A Frederick Keys have been with Baltimore since 1993 and 1989, respectively. Those were the clubs' inaugural seasons.

“We are extremely excited to continue our partnership with the Baltimore Orioles franchise,” said Ken Young, owner of the Tides, Baysox and Keys.  “The proximity of Baltimore is a natural geographical fit for Norfolk, Bowie and Frederick, and we are thrilled that our fans will continue to get the opportunity to watch their favorite Orioles prospects move up the organizational ladder.  The Orioles have also served as such a valuable force in our community, and we look forward to working with them to ensure the next four years are even more successful.”

Posted by Baltimore Sun sports at 2:16 PM | | Comments (4)


Great! A chance to mention the Bluefield Orioles, whom I've actually seen play. There are two Bluefields, or rather one Bluefield straddling the states of Virginia and West Virginia, deep in the coalfields of Appalachia. Their rookie team has been introducing Oriole youngsters to pro ball since 1958, making it the longest MLB-minor league affiliation in America. It's unlikely anyone reading this will have the great pleasure of visiting Bluefield, but do yourself a huge favor and get out to see minor-league ball wherever you are.

After reading this I wonder what about Aberdeen and Delmarva?

Hey Uncle Goose don't go picking on Bluefield. It's only a 3 hours drive from where I live in NC and I'll be up there over the next 3 weekends including a Johnson City, TN weekend.

Also, the way things are going right now for Bowie and Frederick these two teams seemed headed for their leagues playoffs.

Jeff Z's reply: As I told another poster, the Delmarva deal was already extended through 2014 earlier this season. I have nothing on Aberdeen, however.

Any word on the Delmarva Shorebirds?

Jeff Z's reply: Their agreement with the Orioles was extended through the 2014 season earlier this season.

The Orioles should've considered exchanging Class AA affiliates with the Nationals. Both minor league teams in question are in the Eastern League. The Bowie Baysox are based in Prince Georges County, obviously part of metro Washington. The Harrisburg Senators are from South Central Pennsylvania, where the Orioles have had a massive fanbase since 1954.

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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