The Baltimore Orioles announced Monday they have extended their working agreement with the Class-A Aberdeen IronBirds, signing a two-year extension through the 2018 season.
The IronBirds are owned by Ripken Baseball, whose principal investor is Orioles Hall of Fame player, Cal Ripken Jr., an Aberdeen native.
The Aberdeen team is an affiliate of the New York-Penn League and began play in 2002. The team's home, Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium, opened the same year.
Nine players on the Orioles' current active roster started their professional baseball careers in Aberdeen, according to a news release from the Orioles.
"The Orioles appreciate the commitment the IronBirds make every year to develop Major League players and we enjoy working with Ripken Baseball to provide entertaining teams for our fans," Orioles Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Dan Duquette said in a statement. "Aberdeen is an excellent town for Orioles players, and we are happy to continue this community investment alongside our goal to provide our fans a perennial contending team."
"We are thrilled to continue our relationship with the Baltimore Orioles," IronBirds General Manager Matt Slatus said. "The IronBirds take great pride in serving as an extension of the Orioles' storied traditions and continued success, while serving as the 'front gates' to Birdland."
New York – Penn League teams play a 76-game "short season" beginning in mid-June and finishing in early September.
In the 2016, Aberdeen finished in last place in the league's four-team McNamara Division with a 32-43 record.