MORE MAGICAL MOMENTS AT ORIOLE PARK --
COMMUNITY EVENTS WITH A TRUE HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE
On May 31, the Orioles hosted their annual Union Night at Oriole Park, with more than 25,000 members of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations. Members threw out the first pitch and were honored in a pre-game ceremony. Additionally, one dollar from every ticket sold benefited the Baltimore AFL-CIO Community Services Food Pantry.
On June 2, more than 2,000 Baltimore area Boy Scouts attended the Orioles game against the Detroit Tigers. The Orioles honored the top sellers in the Boy Scouts' popcorn selling fundraiser with a ballpark tour earlier in the day, the opportunity to watch batting practice from the field, presentation of the lineup card, Orioles Heavy Hitter award and the ceremonial first pitch. The top two sellers enjoyed two innings of the game from the grounds crew area, and all participants received a special Oriole Park at Camden Yards scout badge.
On June 11, the Orioles honored the dedicated men and women of The Downtown Partnership's operations teams. Each year, members of these teams make significant contributions to the Baltimore community. Downtown Baltimore Guides assisted more than 300,000 people, Clean Sweep Ambassadors removed more than 1,100 tons of trash from downtown streets and alleys and Park Stewards provided and maintained all of downtown's various green spaces. Before the game, the Orioles recognized three members of The Downtown Partnership who were honored as Employees of the Year for their outstanding performance: Baltimore Guide Robert Archer, Clean Sweep Ambassador Shanica Jones and Park Steward Zack Howard. The Orioles also donated 240 tickets to The Downtown Partnership for the game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
2013 marked a significant loss for the Orioles family, as Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver passed away prior to Opening Day. On April 20, the Orioles hosted a public celebration of life for the legendary manager at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The program, "A Celebration of Earl," included a video tribute and a collection of notable guest speakers to honor the memory of the greatest manager in Orioles history. Guest speakers included Brooks Robinson, Cal Ripken, Rick Dempsey, Buck Showalter, National Baseball Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson and Earl's son, Mike Weaver. One of six Orioles Legends to receive his own larger-than-life bronze sculpture at the ballpark in 2012, Weaver passed away in January at the age of 82. The Orioles also wore a patch on their right uniform sleeve throughout the season in honor of Weaver.
On April 16, along with all other MLB teams, Orioles players and coaches wore Robinson's number 42 jersey for their game against the Tampa Bay Rays. The jerseys were then auctioned online, raising $23,116 for the Jackie Robinson Foundation and the Baltimore Orioles Charitable Foundation. In recognition of the 66th anniversary of Jackie Robinson becoming the first African-American player in Major League Baseball, the Orioles honored a Jackie Robinson Foundation scholar in a special pre-game ceremony. Brittany Thomas, a sophomore at Johns Hopkins University majoring in Public Health Studies and Global Environmental Change and Sustainability, was presented with a #42 jersey by Adam Jones and threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Thomas is one of over a thousand young men and women who were able to attend college thanks to the Jackie Robinson Foundation, Major League Baseball and the Orioles. Jones is also personally supporting a Jackie Robinson Foundation scholar, Alanah Grisham, a junior studying neurobiology at Spelman College from San Diego, CA. Through this grant, Alanah will be supported for four years.
On June 27, the Orioles hosted the 29th annual Buddies Night. Buddies is a group consisting of Baltimore Police and local businessmen and women who raise money for inner city youth programs for the Baltimore Police Department. More than 4,000 people associated with the group attended the game against the Cleveland Indians, and the group participated in a pre-game check presentation and ceremony.
Before the Orioles' game against the Texas Rangers on July 10, the team hosted a special pre-game ceremony at Oriole Park for the student winners of the 2013 Philip F. Haxel, Sr. Elementary School Baton of Patriotism Essay contest. The contest was founded by the American Flag Foundation, the organization that brings the Living American Flag at Fort McHenry and the Traveling Living American Flag to Maryland schools. Mr. Philip F. Haxel, Jr., son of the humanitarian for whom the contest is named, recognized the winners.
Following their games on August 4, July 14 and August 25 the Orioles hosted a Kids Run the Bases event on the field at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Children 14 and under were invited to live out their big league dreams by running the bases after each game.
September 27, prior to the Orioles game vs. the Boston Red Sox, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield presented a check in the amount of $208,000 to the Y of Central Maryland. CareFirst donated $50 for each Orioles walk this season. To complement the over $20,000 in Healthy Walks already earned this year, CareFirst increased their contribution to $208,000 to support the Y of Central Maryland. The Orioles' walks leader, Chris Davis, participated in a check presentation ceremony with CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield and Y of Central Maryland representatives. The money will help support the Y's "Fit and Fun Program."
Every year, Kelly & Associates Insurance Group, Inc. and KTBS Payroll contribute $1,000 for every save recorded by an Orioles pitcher during the season. This season, thanks to the success of the Orioles, highlighted by Jim Johnson's 50 saves and the generous support of Kelly and Associates Insurance Group and KTBS Payroll, The R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center received a check for $55,000 in an on-field ceremony prior to the game against the Toronto Blue Jays on September 28. Since 1996, Kelly and Associates Insurance Group and KTBS Payroll have contributed over $750,000 to The R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center through the "Saves for Shock Trauma" program.
In 2013, more than 12,000 children from disadvantaged areas in the region experienced a game at Oriole Park thanks to the OriolesREACH Gameday Experience Program. By partnering with more than 70 local non-profit and youth groups, the Orioles provide children with complimentary game tickets, concessions vouchers, Orioles t-shirts and caps, and transportation to and from the game.
In 2013, several players supported the program, including Wilson Betemit, Alexi Casilla, Wei-Yin Chen, Chris Davis, Jason Hammel, J.J. Hardy, Tommy Hunter, Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, Brian Matusz, Nate McLouth, Chris Tillman, and Matt Wieters.
More than 100,000 children have participated in the Gameday Experience Program since its inception.
During each home game, the Orioles provide a community booth for charitable, non-profit organizations to distribute information, sell raffle tickets, register participants or provide health care screenings.