OriolesREACH began the 2011 season on Opening Day - April 4 - as the team arranged for 90 children from the Maryland National Guard Child & Youth Program to line the orange carpet holding Orioles flags during player introductions.
Participants also received free tickets to the game. The program is designed to meet the social, emotional and educational needs of military children.
During each home game, the Orioles provide a community booth for charitable, non-profit organizations to distribute information, sell raffle tickets, register participants or conduct health care screenings for Orioles fans. To check on availability for your group, please call 888-848-BIRD and ask for OriolesREACH.
In 2011, the Orioles continued the popular Orioles Alumni Autograph Series. Before every Monday and Thursday home game, fans are invited to meet some of their favorite former Orioles, as O's Alumni sign autographs and share memories at the MASN Booth on Eutaw Street for one full hour prior to the game. Some of the players appearing this year include Mike Boddicker, Mike Bordick, Don Buford, Al Bumbry, Andy Etchebarren, Dan Ford, Ron Hansen, Chris Hoiles, Bill Hunter, Tippy Martinez, Ben McDonald, Scott McGregor, Curt Motton, Joe Orsulak and Larry Sheets.
Every Sunday home game, the Orioles and ESSKAY once again partnered on the Steal Second Base contest, allowing one young fan the chance to participate in a timed race from the grounds crew area in right center field to retrieve second base. Fans sign up for the chance to participate at Oriole Park, and each winner receives four game tickets, gift certificates to use inside Camden Yards, an Orioles jersey, the base they stole, and a prize pack.
Again this season, OriolesREACH teamed with Giant Food to present the Honorary Bat Kids Program. Children ages 6-14 filled out an entry forms at select Giant Food Stores to become eligible. The Orioles selected one boy and one girl for each Monday through Saturday home game during the summer, and the winners received four complimentary tickets to the game, on-field access to watch the Orioles take batting practice, autographs, and a t-shirt. They also participated in an on-field pre-game ceremony, where winners were presented with an Official Honorary Bat Boy/Girl certificate and a photo with the Oriole Bird.
In recognition of the 64th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's historic debut as the first African-American player in Major League Baseball on April 15, all Orioles players and coaches wore Robinson's famous number 42 for their game in Cleveland against the Indians. Each jersey was then autographed, authenticated and made available for auction on Orioles.com. The auction raised more than $14,000 for the Baltimore Orioles Charitable Foundation and the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
Then, in a pre-game ceremony on April 18, the Orioles celebrated Jackie Robinson Day at Camden Yards by recognizing Jackie Robinson Foundation scholar Kapria Lee. Kapria, a Baltimore native and student at the University of Maryland, was presented with a number 42 jersey by Orioles outfielder Adam Jones. Kapria is one of over 1,300 young men and women who are able to attend college thanks to the Jackie Robinson Foundation, Major League Baseball and the Orioles.
On select dates throughout the 2011 season, Citi continued the ABA Education Foundation's Teach Kids to Save Program by explaining the importance of saving to students from the Bluford Drew Jemison STEM Academy East, The Crossroads School and Junior Achievement of Central Maryland. Players and coaches spoke to students while the Orioles provided game tickets, concession vouchers, hats, t-shirts and transportation for the students. Citi also made an additional $20,000 donation to the Baltimore Orioles Charitable Foundation.
Oriole Advocate Challenger Baseball hosted youth baseball teams made up of athletes with physical and developmental disabilities at the Orioles' game against the Blue Jays on June 4. Players representing Parkville, Catonsville, Sparrows Point, and Timonium/Lutherville in Baltimore County; along with those from Anne Arundel, Calvert, Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Somerset and Talbot Counties in Maryland; York and Lancaster in Pennsylvania; and King George and Spotsylvania in Virginia, were in attendance. The Orioles provided more than 700 tickets for the event and donated t-shirts, hats and other gifts along with a visit from the Oriole Bird.
In pre-game ceremonies, Oriole Advocate Challenger Baseball presented the John Salony Award for Outstanding Service to Challenger Baseball to Robin Murphy, leader of the Mid-Shore Challengers for her dedication and support to the program she founded over 23 years ago.
More than 23,000 area Little Leaguers were able to spend a day in the Big Leagues as the Orioles once again hosted two Little League Days in 2011 on May 22 and June 5. The annual events bring local Little League players and coaches to Oriole Park to participate in a pre-game parade around the warning track on the field. The young players were invited to carry banners and waive to fans while Orioles players lined up in the dugout to greet each Little League player as the parade passed by.
For the fourth consecutive season, OriolesREACH partnered with MASN and WJZ-TV to host Field Trip Day at Oriole Park. On May 26, more than 7,000 students from local elementary and middle schools gathered at Camden Yards to learn about the weather from WJZ-TV's First Warning Weather Team of Bob Turk, Bernadette Woods and Tim Williams. Orioles Head Groundskeeper Nicole Sherry and Chris Strong from the National Weather Service also explained to the students how weather patterns affect the playing conditions at Oriole Park, as well as impact the game itself. The students learned about the jet stream, clouds, winter weather, lightning, tornadoes and hurricanes prior to that day's afternoon game against the Royals.
The Orioles hosted more than 1,500 children and family members from the Boy Scouts of America at the O's vs. Nationals game on May 21. Each participating scout received a specially designed Orioles Scout Night badge and top sellers in the Boy Scout's popcorn-selling fundraising efforts were honored with a personal ballpark tour, the chance to watch batting practice from the field, participation in the game's lineup card presentation, and the ceremonial first pitch.
On May 8, Major League Baseball and Susan G. Komen for the Cure announced the Orioles' winner of the Honorary Bat Girl contest, a campaign designed to recognize incredible baseball fans who are going to bat against breast cancer in their daily lives. The Orioles' winner, Brigid Morahan of Annapolis, is a one-year survivor of breast cancer, mother of three, and pediatric nurse in the Intensive Care Unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She was recognized in a special on-field ceremony prior to the Orioles' afternoon game that day against the Rays and also threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
The Honorary Bat Girl contest was developed to raise additional awareness and support for the annual Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer program, a joint program between MLB and Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world's largest breast cancer organization.
One player from each Club was deemed a representative on Mother's Day, and most have personally experienced the effects breast cancer and other cancers have had on their families. The Orioles representative was Nick Markakis, whose mother is a breast cancer survivor. In addition, the team donated 200 tickets to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Maryland supporters.
The Orioles Wives, Oriole Advocates, MASN and WJZ-TV teamed up to host the 25th Annual OriolesREACH Food Drive at Camden Yards July 15-17 to benefit the Maryland Food Bank. Representatives were stationed at each entry gate at the park to collect non-perishable food items and cash donations for the Maryland Food Bank and their work with local soup kitchens, food pantries and emergency shelters throughout Central Maryland.
More than 4,660 pounds of food and over $21,000 in cash donations were collected.
The Orioles hosted the Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit & Run Tournament at Oriole Park on June 4. The top 16 qualifiers from Maryland and Virginia competed in the hopes of advancing to the National Finals at the 2011 Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Phoenix. Participants were also honored in an on-field ceremony before the Orioles game against the Blue Jays.
On June 13, the Orioles hosted the 30th annual Brooks Robinson High School All-Star Game at Camden Yards. Each All-Star team was made up of 15 student-athletes, four alternates and three coaches from across Maryland. The day before, the All-Stars were recognized during an on-field ceremony before the Orioles/Rays game.
The Orioles hosted nearly 600 cancer survivors, friends and family members for St. Joseph's Hospital's Survivors Party on June 12. The team donated more than 20 private suites along with catering to provide a fun afternoon at the ballpark for these patients.
In addition to attending the game, two patients - Jackie Corum-Jackson and Eric Eidsness - threw out the ceremonial first pitches prior to the game against the Rays.
The Orioles hosted their annual 4 ALS Day at Camden Yards on July 17, continuing MLB's longstanding commitment to ALS awareness and recognizing the courage and strength of those battling the disease. Before the game, Philip Rogers, who is currently battling ALS, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. The Orioles also donated 100 tickets to MDA, the Orioles local ALS chapter.
More than 19,000 members of the AFL-CIO attended the Orioles vs. Reds game on June 24 in a celebration of Union Night. AFL-CIO members from Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia and Pennsylvania attended the game and took part in special pre-game ceremonies. Also, $1 from every ticket sold benefitted the Baltimore AFL-CIO Community Services Food Pantry.
On July 24, after their game against the Cleveland Indians, the Orioles and OriolesREACH hosted a Kids Run the Bases event on the field at Camden Yards. Nearly 1,000 children were able to live out their Major League dreams by running the Oriole Park bases.
On June 28, All-Star catcher Matt Wieters and members of the Orioles staff in conjunction with We Promote Health and HC Drug Free, welcomed 100 Howard County youth from the PLAY campaign to Camden Yards. PLAY, which stands for Promoting a Lifetime of Activity for Youth, is a public awareness campaign of the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS), in conjunction with the Taylor Hooton Foundation. The PLAY campaign combats childhood obesity and promotes healthy living and decision making among young people in America. The youth heard positive messages from Matt about making smart life choices, avoiding drugs, and living a more active and healthy lifestyle.
The day was a rousing success, as voiced by HC Drug Free Executive Director Joan Webb Scornaienchi: "I want to thank you for making today's event one that the youth will never forget. Together, I trust we created memories and maybe, just maybe, we will keep at least one child from using drugs or help him or her make healthier choices."
Before the game on July 14, the Orioles hosted special pre-game ceremonies honoring the winners of the 2011 Philip F. Haxel, Sr. Elementary School Baton of Patriotism Essay Contest. Students from Meadowvale Elementary School in Havre de Grace were honored, including fifth-grader Lim Maurice and third-graders Sydney Young and Averee Radonovich.
The contest, which asks students to "explain in what ways the U.S. Flag has been and is today an important symbol of our country," 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.
On July 20, the Orioles hosted their annual Day Camper Day with more 5,000 day campers from 61 different camps around Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic region attending the Orioles' 12:35 p.m. game against the Boston Red Sox. One lucky camper was selected to throw out the game's ceremonial first pitch.
On August 9, the Players Trust's annual Buses for Baseball visited Oriole Park and hosted children with cancer from the Cool Kids Campaign. The children met with Orioles Adam Jones, Josh Bell, Zach Britton and Jeremy Guthrie prior to the game, and received round-trip transportation to the game plus free tickets, food, beverages and souvenirs compliments of OriolesREACH.
This season, Buses for Baseball will provide transportation and personal greetings for more than 750 underprivileged children attending Major League Baseball games as invited guests of their big league heroes. Buses for Baseball provides many of the children their first chance to attend a Major League Baseball game. The Cool Kids Campaign provides children with cancer with a higher quality of life for themselves and their families as they face their health challenges.
Last September, the Orioles and OriolesREACH teamed up with the Oriole Advocates and Legg Mason to hold the Annual Cardboard to Leather Collection. Before the September 18 game against the Yankees, fans were encouraged to bring donations of new or gently used baseball and softball equipment or monetary donations to help support youth in Venezuela.
A silent auction was also held during the game, while representatives from Legg Mason presented the Oriole Advocates Charitable Fund with a $20,000 contribution during special on-field ceremonies. Similar events are planned for the 2011 season on September 17.
The Orioles once again closed out the 2010 season with their annual Fan Appreciation Weekend, a celebration and recognition of the loyal fans of Birdland. Activities included the chance for fans to be randomly chosen to win full or partial season ticket plans, Southwest Airlines travel vouchers, Orioles memorabilia and more. Throughout the final weekend, fans were also given the opportunity to win unique Orioles experiences including on-field Orioles player visits, the chance to take the field with players during the National Anthem and the popular "Shirts Off Our Backs" program, in which players hand their game-worn, autographed jerseys to fans. A silent auction also raised more than $20,000 for the Baltimore Orioles Charitable Foundation.
On April 9, the Orioles honored 10,000 Safety Patrol members from Maryland and the DC Metro Area for their dedication and hard work throughout the school year, assisting elementary school age children in getting to and from school safely.
Established by Baltimore City Council President Jack Young, The President's Cup is a city-wide baseball tournament featuring several public and private high schools from across Baltimore City. Backed by the Orioles and Major League Baseball, the tournament raises awareness of high school baseball in Baltimore and builds bridges between Baltimore City students of different backgrounds.
Eight teams competed in the inaugural President's Cup - Boys' Latin, Douglass, Dunbar, Friends, Gilman, Mervo, Mount Saint Joseph and Saint Frances - with the final two teams, Gilman and Mount Saint Joseph, facing off at Camden Yards to decide the championship. In honor of Baltimore's Negro League past, Gilman and Mount Saint Joseph wore replica Baltimore Elite Giants and Black Sox hats during their championship game. Flanked by honorary captain and former Oriole Al Bumbry, Gilman defeated Mount Saint Joseph (and honorary captain Paul Blair), 2-0 to win the inaugural President's Cup. The two teams were then recognized in an on-field ceremony prior to the Orioles game on June 3.
The Maryland Teacher of the Year Program is the state's premier teacher recognition and teaching ambassador program. This program annually selects a teacher representative from each of the 24 local school districts in Maryland as their Teacher of the Year. This year's winner, Michelle Shearer, was announced as the 2011 National Teacher of the Year on May 3 by President Barack Obama in a ceremony in the Rose Garden at the White House. Michelle is from Frederick County and teaches chemistry at Urbana High School in Ijamsville, Maryland. Shearer and the other Maryland district representatives were recognized for their accomplishments in a pre-game ceremony at Camden Yards on June 5.
Orioles players Nick Markakis and Derrek Lee and manager Buck Showalter, along with representatives from each of the 29 other Major League clubs, teamed up with the Prostate Cancer Foundation to help "Keep Dad in the Game." The 2011 Prostate Cancer Foundation Home Run Challenge ensured that home runs hit during games on June 10 took on greater meaning. Each time a major league player went deep during sixty selected games throughout Father's Day week, fans and the American public made pledges to raise money for prostate cancer research. In 2010, over $2.3 million was raised and donated to local research institutions, including the John Hopkins Medical School.
Major League Baseball announced the winners of the 2011 "My Dad, My MVP" contest, who were recognized on the field at MLB ballparks as part of the MLB Father's Day celebration. One winner for each of the 30 MLB Clubs, featuring a diverse group of fans including firefighters, active military servicemen, cancer survivors, baseball coaches and more were selected by a celebrity panel of judges and nearly 270,000 fan votes on MLB.com/mvpdad. The "My Dad, My MVP" contest gave fans a special opportunity to celebrate the father figures in their lives.
The Orioles representative in 2011 was Jimmie Rubeling, a former Engineman in the Navy and retired Lieutenant of the Baltimore City Fire Department. Jimmie was recognized during a pre-game ceremony on June 24 and was presented with a special Orioles jersey before the game.
On June 25, the Orioles hosted a special "State of the Orioles" event open only to Orioles Season Plan Holders. Gates opened early to Full Season and 29-Game Plan Holders so fans could access a special autograph session with Orioles players. Later in the day, all Season Plan Holders were treated to a special Q & A session with Orioles President of Baseball Operations Andy MacPhail and Manager Buck Showalter.
On June 30, the Orioles hosted the 29th Annual Buddies Night, honoring Baltimore Police and local businessmen and women who raise money for inner city youth programs for the Baltimore Police Department. Each year, Buddies sells approximately 4,000 tickets.
In 2011, the Orioles hosted three "Chevy Youth Baseball Clinics" at Camden Yards. More than 100 kids from the surrounding Baltimore metro area attended each clinic and participated in a variety of baseball related activities including base running, batting off of a tee, fielding, and pitching. Instruction was provided by former Orioles, including Al Bumbry, Dave Johnson, Rick Krivda, Bill Swaggerty and Chris Hoiles. After each clinic, kids received hot dogs, pretzels, and beverages provided by the Orioles, as well as two tickets to an O's game.
On August 12, before their game against the Tigers, the Orioles recognized players and coaches of the RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) League championship teams from the 13-15 and 16-18 age groups in a special on-field ceremony, as outfielder Adam Jones presented each player with a trophy. All summer, more than 300 Baltimore teenagers participated in the Orioles-funded league.