On Saturday, July 29, 2017, members of the SABR Baltimore Babe Ruth Chapter gathered at 3:45 P.M. at Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, Maryland. Thirty-two SABR stalwarts received our tickets and a warm welcome from Ironbirds personnel who seemed very pleased to be working with SABR.
Seated in air-conditioned comfort we heard from our speakers, all from the Ironbirds staff. The professionalism of the organization was evident as we heard from Matt Slatus, the Ironbirds’ General Manager, Jack Graham, Team Operations Manager (also a former player) and
Daniel Kurish, the team’s announcer, broadcaster and media coordinator.
They addressed us together and were generous with their time and easily answered every question we put to them. They left in time to continue their duties for the game that day.
We were then privileged to enjoy an all-you-can-eat ballpark buffet that included black bean & corn roasted salad, green salad, mashed potatoes, rice pilaf, baked ham, glazed salmon, seasonal vegetables, fresh fruit and assorted baked goods, most popular of which were the mini cheesecakes. (Several members were observed going back more than once!)
We then took advantage of the scheduled free time at the park to watch batting practice, examine the facility and socialize, trading baseball stories and SABR experiences.
The first pitch of the game was at 6:05 P.M. We watched this Class A Short-Season New-York Penn League battle between the visiting Hudson Valley Renegades and the Ironbirds from our double-luxury box! The 4-1 hometown victory featured a home run by the Ironbirds’ third baseman, Kervin Mosequit, his first of the season.
The fireworks after the game made for a very nice end of the day.
— D. Bruce Brown