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Prince George's Stadium

 

Prince George's Stadium

 

Prince George's Stadium is the home of the Baltimore Orioles' Double-A affiliate in the Eastern League, the Bowie Baysox.

The stadium, originally slated to open at the start of the 1994 season, did not open until June 16, 1994, because of construction delays due to poor weather. Its capacity for baseball is listed at 10,000, but when the Double-A All-Star Game was held there in 2000, the attendance was about 14,000. The 2002 Major League Lacrosse All-Star Game was held at the stadium.

While the stadium was being finished, the Baysox played one full season (1993) at Baltimore's Memorial Stadium and a few series in 1994 at fields belonging to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, and the University of Maryland, College Park, as well as the minor league stadiums of the Frederick Keys and Wilmington Blue Rocks.

Prince George's Stadium is located near the intersection of U.S. Route 301 and U.S. Route 50. It has been host to the Double-A All-Star Game (2000), the Eastern League All-Star Game (2004), the "Congressional Baseball Game" for charity, the Allen Iverson Celebrity Softball Classic, the 2002 MLL Lacrosse All-Star Game, the 2008 USA Women's Olympic Softball team, Super Yard Sales, concerts, and Tulip Gulch Productions' Halloween Haunted House Events in addition to its primary function as home of the Orioles' Class AA Minor League Affiliate.

Due to its close proximity to several local military bases including Fort George G. Meade, Andrews Air Force Base and the United States Naval Academy, the stadium is also regularly the site of related promotions involving enlisted persons. For example, June 14, 2007, 5,000 Baysox tickets were distributed to soldiers to celebrate Flag Day with professional wrestler Sergeant Slaughter.

In 2004, it also served as the home of the D.C. Forward, the city's Pro Cricket team.

Prince George's Stadium was featured in the January 30, 2007 episode ("Well Digger") [Watch Episode] of the hit Discovery Channel show Dirty Jobs where host Mike Rowe performed a variety of jobs including singing the National Anthem.

In 2012, the Baysox celebrated their 20th season in team history in addtition to the 20th season as the Class AA Affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles. In those 20 seasons, over 140 players had put on the Baysox uniform and have gone on to play in the Major Leagues, many of them for the Orioles. [Baysox To The Bigs]. The 2012 season saw a mix of some of the top prospects in the Orioles' system - Manny Machado, Jonathan Schoop mixed with veteran talent like brandon Waring and Robbie Widlansky. For the first time since 2008 and for just the 5th time in franchise history, the Baysox clinched a playoff spot, finishing second in the Western Division behind the Akron Aeros. Bowie would take Games 1 & 2 at home but would lose Games 3, 4 & 5 on the road.

In 2013, the Baysox would finish just out of the playoffs with a 71-71 record. Six players were selected to play in the Eastern League All-Star Game: Caleb Joseph, Henry Urrutia, Ty Kelly, Niuman Romero, Mike Wright and Jason Gurka. 2013 would also see catcher Caleb Joseph set a Bowie franchise mark, becoming the first player to ever appear in 400 games in a Baysox uniform.

The 2015 season was by far the most successful season on the field in Baysox franchise history as the team would go on to win its first ever playoff series, defeating the Altoona Curve three games to one in the Western Division Championship Series. The Baysox would then go on to face the Reading Fightin' Phil's in the Eastern League Championship Series and would win their FIRST EVER EASTERN LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP as they defeated Reading three games to two in a thrilling series. The Baysox won the championship at home in front of a boisterous crowd on Saturday, September 19, 2015.

The 2016 season saw the Baysox finish last in the Western Division with a 56-86 record (.394) and they did not qualify for the Eastern League Playoffs. Despite the team's record, five players from the 2016 team would make their Major League Debuts for the Orioles. They included: Trey Mancini, Jayson Aquino, Parker Bridwell, Donnie Hart and Ashur Tolliver.

In 2017, the Baysox would celebrate the team's 25th Season in team history by returning to the Eastern League Playoffs once again under Manager Gary Kendall's tutelage. The team would finish with a 72-68 record and in second place to the Altoona Curve in the Eastern League's Western Division. The team would drop their Division Championship Series three games to none to Altoona. Baysox Utility man Garabez Rosa would be voted the Eastern League MVP after playing in 124 games, hitting .310 with 14 HRs, 91 RBIs and 162 hits. Rosa led the league in hits, RBIs and Batting Average and was third in runs scored, and second in total bases. Rosa was the third player in team history to be named Eastern League MVP (Calvin Pickering - 1998; Lou Montanez - 2008). Two members of the 2017 Baysox would go on to make their Major League Debuts for the Orioles during the season - pitcher Tanner Scott and Outfielder Austin Hays, who was impressive in a 64 game stint with Bowie duirng the second half of the season, hitting .330 with 16 HRs and 54 RBIs before being called up to the Orioles on the eve of the Baysox playoffs beginning. 

 

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