Orioles to celebrate Jackie Robinson Day, Wednesday, April 15

In recognition of the 68th anniversary of Jackie Robinson becoming the first African-American player in Major League Baseball, the Orioles will honor Robinson's legacy on Wednesday, April 15, by hosting a "self-expression" contest with the Boys & Girls Club. Members will be challenged to express their thoughts creatively through a speech, poem, art, or skit about Robinson's nine values for success: citizenship, commitment, courage, determination, excellence, integrity, justice, persistence, and teamwork. The goal of the contest is to strengthen reading, writing, and public speaking skills of Boys & Girls Club members while teaching about the impact Robinson had not only on Major League Baseball but on the world around him.

A panel consisting of three distinguished individuals will evaluate each project: Orioles outfielder ADAM JONES, Chair of the Jackie Robinson Foundation's Mid-Atlantic Scholar Advisory Committee KENDRA GAITHER, and Secretary of the Jackie Robinson Foundation Alumni Association LAURYN NWANKPA. Jones is an active supporter of the Foundation and has made individual contributions to fund scholarships, leadership development, and mentoring programs. Nwankpa is also an associate producer for a DC-based film production company and served as a representative of the Foundation on the set of the 2013 Jackie Robinson biopic "42." The project winner will have an opportunity to throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the Orioles' Jackie Robinson Night game on April 15 at 7:05 p.m. The contest is open to the media and will be held at the Westport Homes Boys & Girls Club (2343 Norfolk Street, Baltimore, MD 21230) from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Additionally, the Orioles, through the OriolesREACH Gameday Experience Program, will donate 150 game tickets to the Boys & Girls Club of Metropolitan Baltimore.

Over the past several years, Jones has donated his time and resources to enhance the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore. Together, Jones and the Orioles have donated more than $100,000 toward the expansion and renovation of the Brooklyn O'Malley Boys & Girls Club Technology and Learning Center and the complete remodeling of the "Teen Center" at the Boys & Girls Club, Westport/Winans Homes Center. 

During Wednesday's game, all Orioles uniformed personnel will wear No. 42, Robinson's retired number, joining all other Major League teams in honoring Robinson's historic achievement. Each player's authenticated game-worn and autographed No. 42 jersey will be auctioned at www.orioles.com/auction to benefit the Baltimore Orioles Charitable Foundation and the Jackie Robinson Foundation. The auction will begin on April 15 at 7:00 p.m. and will conclude on April 22 at 10:00 p.m. In addition, MLB.com will be auctioning off an Orioles team autographed No. 42 jersey at mlb.mlb.com/42jersey to benefit the Jackie Robinson Foundation. 

Since 2009, the Orioles have raised more than $70,000 for the Jackie Robinson Foundation through the online jersey auction. To learn more about the Foundation, fans can visit jackierobinson.org or @JRFoundation on Twitter.
 
SPECIAL CEREMONIES AND INITIATIVES

ORIOLES REACH AND MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PARTNER WITH AUTISM SPEAKS
On Saturday, April 11, the Orioles will host Autism Awareness Night, as OriolesREACH and Major League Baseball partner with Autism Speaks to recognize April as National Autism Awareness Month. Throughout the month, MLB and the Orioles will support the initiative by activating in-park opportunities, hosting autism awareness nights, and raising awareness in partnership with Autism Speaks. Discounted Upper Reserve tickets are available for purchase at www.orioles.com/tix/autism and $5 for every ticket sold through the site will benefit Autism Speaks. 

The following resources will also be available for Autism Awareness Night on Saturday at Oriole Park:

  • Quiet Room: Families looking to get some reprieve for a few innings can go to Suite 73. Families can still watch the game from this area, but in a quieter, climate-controlled suite.
  • Information Booth: Fans can stop by the Orioles Community Booth inside of Gate D to learn more about autism, Autism Speaks, and resources available in the Baltimore community.

In special pre-game ceremonies, six-year old Owen Skerry from Lutherville, MD, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Skerry attends Padonia Elementary School in Cockeysville, MD and is the inspiration for one of the top Baltimore Walk Now for Autism Speaks teams, "Team O'Dawg." 

As part of pre-game festivities, a representative from The Course for the Cause, BRENDON BEHAN, will be honored as a top sponsor of the 2014 Baltimore Walk Now for Autism Speaks held last October. Behan will participate in an on-field check presentation to Baltimore Walk Now for Autism Speaks team representatives. 

IN THE COMMUNITY

GREATER BALTIMORE COMMITTEE'S WELCOME HOME COCKTAIL RECEPTION 
Orioles players and coaches will attend the Greater Baltimore Committee's Welcome Home Cocktail Reception at the Hilton Baltimore later this evening. Baltimore businessmen and women will have the opportunity to take pictures with and get autographs from players. In addition, Baltimore businessmen and women will be able to participate in a Q & A forum with 2014 American League Manager of the Year, BUCK SHOWALTER, and Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations, DAN DUQUETTE. The event is not open to the media.

WTTR BIRDS ARE BACK RALLY
On Saturday, April 11, at TownMall of Westminster, Orioles Radio Network Affiliate WTTR Radio (1470 AM) will host the annual "Birds are Back" Rally. The event will be held from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and Orioles pitchers ZACH BRITTON and MIGUEL GONZALEZ and former Oriole LARRY BIGBIE will attend and sign autographs for fans from noon to 1:00 p.m. The Oriole Bird also will make an appearance. This event is free for all Orioles fans and is open to the media.

ZACH BRITTON TO VISIT JOHNS HOPKINS HOSPITAL
On Monday, April 13, Orioles pitcher ZACH BRITTON will visit the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center Division of Pediatric Oncology, to spend time with children suffering from cancer. One child from the hospital will be selected to throw out the first pitch to Britton prior to that night's game against the Yankees at 7:05 p.m. Media interested in covering this event should contact Michelle Potter or Valerie Mehl with the Johns Hopkins Office of Public Affairs at 410-955-1287.

AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION CLINIC 
On Friday, April 17, the Orioles will partner with the American Heart Association to celebrate the completion of the AHA's 2015 Recess Baltimore curriculum -- a seven-month program designed to encourage Baltimore City children, ages 5-13, to eat nutritious food and get 60 minutes of daily physical activity. More than 250 students from participating recreation and parks centers (Mt. Royal, John E. Howard, Samuel F.B. Morse, Patterson Park, Patapsco, and James D. Gross) will participate in baseball and other physical activities with Orioles Alumni BRIAN BASS, AL BUMBRY, and BILL SWAGGERTY. The event will be held from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Druid Hill Park (2600 Madison Ave, Baltimore, MD 21217). This event is open to the media. 

THE PRESIDENT'S CUP SHOWCASE
For the fifth consecutive year, the President's Cup Showcase will be held at Oriole Park on Saturday, April 18, starting at 1:00 p.m., and will feature an East vs. West All-Star game featuring public and private high school players from schools throughout Baltimore City. The game will bring together players from diverse backgrounds, allowing all participants to interact with each other and form lasting and meaningful relationships. 

"The President's Cup Showcase presents a wealth of opportunities for Baltimore City student athletes," City Council President BERNARD C. YOUNG said. "From our kick-off event at the Sports Legends Museum to playing on the same field as the greats like Cal Ripken, Jr., these students are sharing an experience of a lifetime that they can bond over."

The 2015 President's Cup Showcase participants will meet at the Sports Legends Museum on Thursday to tour the facility's extensive sports memorabilia collection and enjoy a meal with their new teammates. All players will visit Johns Hopkins' newly renovated field on April 11 for a practice before the game scheduled for the following Saturday. 

The showcase game is free and open to the public. Fans and media are encouraged to park in Lot A and enter the ballpark through the Home Plate Plaza entrance. Concession stands and restrooms will be open in the concourse behind home plate only. 


AT THE BALLPARK

KIDS' OPENING DAY
The Orioles will host their first-ever Kids' Opening Day at Oriole Park at Camden Yards when the Orioles take on the Blue Jays on Sunday, April 12, at 1:35 p.m. The celebration will welcome children and their families to a new season of Orioles Baseball with many fun activities and unique gameday opportunities for several lucky kids throughout the day.

Kids' Opening Day will feature a kids-only giveaway, as the first 7,500 fans age 14 and under will receive an Orioles braided rope necklace. In addition, all fans 14 and under will be able to participate in a post-game Kids Run the Bases. 

Among the most exciting elements of Kids' Opening Day are opportunities for children age 14 and under to be selected to participate in pre-game experiences. Eleven of the rope necklace giveaways will be specially marked with an Orange Ticket containing a prize: nine children will receive a ticket allowing them to take the field with the Orioles starters for the National Anthem; one child will help deliver the lineup card during the pre-game exchange at home plate; and one child will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the game. 

In addition, there will be plenty of in-game entertainment for children, including the "Tweet for a Bird Visit" promotion in which fans tweet for the chance to have the Oriole Bird deliver an Orioles prize pack to their seats. Children are also strongly encouraged to show their Orioles spirit with costumes and signs, and some of the most-festive fans will receive Orioles autographed items for their efforts. Additionally, face painters will be at the Kids Corner near Gate C from 11:35 a.m. until approximately 2:30 p.m.

Kids' Opening Day offers an affordable entertainment experience for children of all ages to enjoy many activities and events before, during, and after the game. For more information, visit www.orioles.com/kids.

ORIOLES MILITARY APPRECIATION PROGRAM
As part of the Orioles Military Appreciation Program, presented by GEICO, the Orioles and OriolesREACH donate a catered private suite at each Sunday home game at Oriole Park to servicemen and women. This Sunday, April 12, military members from the USO -- an organization that supports deployed troops, military families, wounded, ill, and injured troops and their caregivers, and families of the fallen -- will enjoy the game against the Blue Jays from a catered suite, have a meet-and-greet with CHRIS DAVIS and DARREN O'DAY, and receive a player t-shirt and hat.

STEAL SECOND BASE PRESENTED BY ESSKAY
The Orioles will again feature the Steal Second Base contest for every Sunday home game this season. Presented by ESSKAY, the Steal Second Base contest allows a young fan to participate in a timed race from the grounds crew area in center field to retrieve second base. Fans can sign up for the opportunity at any Fan Assistance Center at Oriole Park. The lucky winner will receive four tickets to that day's game, gift certificates to use inside the park, an Orioles jersey, and an Orioles prize pack, as well as the actual second base. This Sunday's participant is 8-year old HALLIE WINEHOLT of Westminster, MD. 

ALUMNI AUTOGRAPH SERIES
Every Monday and Thursday home game, former Orioles players will sign autographs on Eutaw Street as part of the Orioles Alumni Autograph Series. On Monday, April 14, RON HANSEN, TIPPY MARTINEZ, and CALVIN PICKERING are scheduled to greet fans and sign autographs from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

ORIOLES REACH COMMUNITY BOOTH
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. The following groups will be at the community booth, located near Gate D, during this homestand: 

DATE - ORGANIZATION    
Fri, April 10 - LUNGevity 
Sat, April 11 - Autism Speaks 
Sun, April 12 - Oriole Advocates Charitable Foundation 
Mon, April 13 - Basset Rescue of the Old Dominion (BROOD)
Tue, April 14 - Saving Grace Animal Rescue of Maryland 
Wed, April 15 - Baltimore City Cancer Program 


ORIOLES REACH GAMEDAY EXPERIENCE PROGRAM
This season, OriolesREACH will again host thousands of underprivileged youth as part of the Gameday Experience Program. Group members receive game tickets, concessions vouchers, an Orioles t-shirt, a cap, and transportation to and from the game. Tickets are provided courtesy of Orioles players. Players participating in the program this year include WEI-YIN CHEN, CHRIS DAVIS, MIGUEL GONZALEZ, J.J. HARDY, TOMMY HUNTER, ADAM JONES, BRIAN MATUSZ, BUD NORRIS, TRAVIS SNIDER, CHRIS TILLMAN, and MATT WIETERS. The following organizations will attend games at Oriole Park during this homestand, courtesy of these Orioles players: 

DATE - ORGANIZATION - GROUP SIZE - PLAYER SPONSOR
Sat, April 11 - The Fatherhood Collective - 150 - Chris Davis  
Sun, April 12 - Peace Project - 150 - Chris Tillman 
Mon, April 13 - Greater Baltimore Urban League - 150 - J.J. Hardy 
Tue, April 14 - ConneXtions School - 150 - Brian Matusz
Wed, April 15 - Boys & Girls Club - 150 - Adam Jones 

GIVEAWAYS AND TICKET OFFERS
DATE - ITEM/OFFER - SPONSOR - ELIGIBILITY
Fri, April 10 - 2015 Schedule Fathead® Decal - Pizza Boli's All fans 
Sat, April 11 - 2014 AL East Champions Wall Art - First 20,000 fans 15 & over
Sun, April 12 - Kid's Opening Day
Orioles Braided Necklace - First 7,500 fans 14 & under 
Kids Run the Bases (post-game) - All fans 14 & under 
Tue, April 14 - Ollie's Bargain Night - Ollie's Bargain Outlet All Upper Reserve seats $10