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Take me out to a ball game

April 14, 1999

Jay-Jay, Suns MascotBy MEG H. PARTINGTON / Staff Writer

photo: KEVIN G. GILBERT / staff photographer




The ballpark has so much more to offer than baseballs, bases and bat-wielding athletes.

Stadiums in the area offer all sorts of attractions for the sports fan as well as the person who's just tagging along.

Some offer live music, including country, Big Band and rock. Play areas for little kids and adults with youthful spirits also are available, as well as sports art and tons of giveaways.

[cont. from lifestyle]

Of course, there's always the hot dogs and soft pretzels. But finer cuisine awaits visitors craving something more refined.

Remember, it's not whether the home team wins or loses, it's how much fun you have while they play the game.

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HAGERSTOWN SUNS




Magic and mascot antics are among the attractions at Municipal Stadium.

On Friday nights, local magician Michael T shows off his talents. Jay Jay, the Hagerstown Suns mascot, entertains crowds with dancing and occasionally competes against fans between innings in races around the bases.

Visitors are sure to have a ball in the Bouncy-bounce Pig Race, during which contestants bounce to a finish line on giant rubber balls.

For those who like to enjoy more than one sport at a time, there's another contest available during which people compete to land a golf ball closest to a pin on a green.

In addition to typical ballpark fare, The Sunset Grille on the third-base line offers a variety of edibles, along with a bar and television.

There also are fireworks several times during the season.

FREDERICK KEYS




Live music jams on Fridays get fans swingin' before the first pitch is thrown at Harry Grove Stadium in Frederick, Md.

When the gates open Fridays at 5:30 p.m., the tunes begin. Until 6:45 p.m. - 20 minutes before the Frederick Keys start to play - visitors can hear country, Big Band, reggae or rock 'n' roll.

For families, the stadium offers a fun zone for children that includes a carousel, jungle gyms, assorted inflatable and carnival games.

There also is a restaurant on the premises.

"It's not just hot dogs and hamburgers," says Heather Clabaugh, director of public relations, but there certainly are plenty of those for buying, too.

Various promotions are done between innings, including a giant slingshot that hurls T-shirts into the stands, a bowling game and base races for kids. Among the giveaways available are lottery tickets, floppy hats, bats and team photographs.

There will be 12 fireworks displays this season.

BALTIMORE ORIOLES




On game days, Camden Yards is like a big celebration.

"Our Eutaw Street setup is probably the best in sports," says Mike Lehr, vice president of marketing and broadcasting for the Baltimore Orioles. With food and drink samples and the chance to listen to live music while watching batting practice, the atmosphere is similar to a block party, he says.

For collectors of sports art, Gallery E awaits with paintings, lithographs, statues and carvings ranging in price from $10 to $30,000.

Also available are a deli and a pub with video games and an Orioles store.

Between innings, the audience is treated to interactive games and giveaways, including magnetic team schedules, floppy hats and a set of pins bearing retired jersey numbers, Lehr says.

The $3 program includes an O's lucky numbers game, which nets winners all sorts of prizes, including airline tickets and televisions.

MARK THE CALENDAR




Home games to catch this weekend:

Hagerstown Suns at Municipal Stadium in Hagerstown:

Games Friday, April 16, and Saturday, April 17, 7:05 p.m., vs. Greensboro (N.C.) Bats

Game Sunday, April 18, 2:05 p.m., vs. Greensboro Bats

Frederick Keys at Harry Grove Stadium in Frederick, Md.:

Games today, Friday, April 16, and Saturday, April 17, 7:05 p.m. vs. Salem (Va.) Avalanche

Friday Night Jam at 5:30 p.m. Friday will feature rock 'n' roll music by The Mighty Chihuahas.

Saturday is Scout Night - all Girl and Boy Scouts who show up in uniform get in free; Dinosaur figures from Jurassic All-Stars will entertain.

Game Sunday, April 18, 1:05 p.m., vs. Salem Avalanche

Sunday is Maryland Special Olympics Volunteer Appreciation Day; Myron Noodleman, a Jerry Lewis-type character, will entertain.

TICKET PRICES




  • Hagerstown Suns
  • Box seats: $7
  • General admission, adult: $5
  • Kids 17 and younger, senior citizens and military: $3


  • Frederick Keys
  • Box seats: $8 to $10
  • General admission, adult: $6
  • Kids ages 6 to 12, senior citizens and military: $3
  • Kids younger than 5 or those wearing baseball or softball jerseys and hats: admitted free


  • Baltimore Orioles
  • Field box seats: $30
  • Most seats: $9 to $16
  • Standing-room only: $7
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