Baseball is scheduled to be back in Aberdeen by mid-May, as the IronBirds will host their first home game in nearly two years.
The High-A East schedule, released Thursday, has Aberdeen scheduled to begin play May 4, but a pair of six-game series will put the team on the road for two weeks. The ‘Birds will visit Wilmington (Nationals) from May 4-9 and Hudson Valley (Yankees) from May 11-16, with an scheduled off day between them on May 10.
The season runs May 4 to Sept. 19 with every Monday listed as an off day. The schedule is set for 120 games, 60 home and 60 away. Past Aberdeen schedules, which were played in Short Season Low A, featured 76 total games with approximately half played at home.
Aberdeen’s first home game is set for May 18, the first of six against Wilmington. The IronBirds will then close the opening month with six games at Brooklyn (Mets) from May 25-30.
“The IronBirds can’t wait to begin a new era in professional baseball in Aberdeen,” said Jack Graham, the IronBirds’ general manager. “More baseball at a higher level will mean a better experience at Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium, with the same family-friendly, affordable options that Harford County has come to know and love.”
In the release, the organization wrote, “This is an incredibly exciting day for our team. We are very proud to be a part of the Baltimore Orioles system and continue to do what we do best — create a best-in-class fan experience, develop big league ballplayers, grow our business and support our community. Our fans can rest assured that the future of baseball in Aberdeen is strong.”
Other home series dates and opponents are June 1-6, Hickory (Rangers); June 22-27, Rome (Braves); June 29-July 4, Brooklyn; July 20-25, Hudson Valley; July 27-Aug. 1, Bowling Green (Rays); Aug. 10-15, Asheville (Astros); Aug. 17-22, Wilmington; Aug. 31-Sept. 5, Jersey Shore (Phillies); and Sept. 14-19, Greenville (Red Sox).
The release also addresses the continuing COVID-19 issues where stadium seating is concerned.
The release read, “With the 2021 schedule release, we are in the process of spacing all season seat members out in the ballpark in compliance with MLB and Maryland’s social distancing laws and regulations. Please be patient. We have thousands of IronBirds season seat accounts and a reduced ticketing staff to process them. We are doing our best to keep everyone in their same section in socially distanced pods of seats. As a bonus and to thank our season seat members, they will receive additional games at no cost, for rolling your plan into the 2021 season.”