This week, the Orioles continue the first homestand of the 2016 season with two games against the Minnesota Twins and a weekend series against the Tampa Bay Rays. The homestand will feature several special events including the second annual Kids' Opening Day on Sunday, April 10. 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 "Eat. Sleep. Orioles." T-shirt giveaway, available to the first 7,500 fans age 14 and under. Additionally, all fans 14 and under will be able to participate in a postgame Kids Run the Bases, the first of 13 Sunday home games when kids can round the bases like their favorite Orioles.
Among the most exciting elements of Kids' Opening Day are opportunities for children age 14 and under to be selected to participate in pregame experiences. On their way into the ballpark, 11 randomly selected Orioles fans will receive an Orange Ticket for a memorable lifetime experience later that day; 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 pregame exchange at home plate; and one child will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the game.
There will be plenty of in-game entertainment for children as well, 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-supportive young fans will receive Orioles autographed items for their efforts. Additionally, face painters will be at the Kids' Corner near Gate C from the time gates open until approximately an hour after the scheduled first pitch.
IN THE COMMUNITY
"BIRDS ARE BACK" RALLY
On Saturday, April 9, the annual "Birds are Back" rally presented by Orioles Radio Network affiliate WTTR Radio (1470 AM) will take place at Westminster Island Green (1199 S Pleasant Valley Road, Westminster, MD 21158) from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Orioles catcher CALEB JOSEPH and Orioles Hall of Famer AL BUMBRY are expected to attend and sign autographs for fans from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. The event will also include an appearance from the Oriole Bird.
AT THE BALLPARK
DISABILITY ADVOCATE BRYCE WEILER TO THROW CEREMONIAL FIRST PITCH
On Wednesday, April 6, disability advocate Bryce Weiler will throw out the ceremonial first pitch to Twins manager Paul Molitor. Weiler has developed a relationship with Molitor and Twins bench coach Joe Vavra over the past several years. He has also earned a master's degree in sports management and has interned for Minor League Baseball. Weiler, an ambassador to the disabled community for sports, was born four months early with retinopathy of prematurity causing him to be blind. He has spent time working with teams in various sports in an effort to improve amenities for fans with disabled needs at sports venues and to help recruit and assimilate disabled people into the workforce. The Orioles have invited Weiler to attend games on Wednesday and Thursday when the Orioles host the Minnesota Twins.
THE PRESIDENT'S CUP
The sixth annual President's Cup Showcase will once again be held at Oriole Park on Saturday, April 16, at 1:00 p.m., and will feature an East vs. West All-Star game showcasing public and private high school players from Baltimore City, with diverse backgrounds, interacting with each other and forming lasting and meaningful relationships.
"We're excited to partner again with the Baltimore Orioles to provide student-athletes an opportunity to build relationships through the great game of baseball," said Baltimore City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young. "The players in this year's President's Cup will have an opportunity to live out the dream of a lifetime by playing on the beautiful field at Oriole Park at Camden Yards."
The Orioles have hosted the President's Cup every year since its inception. The showcase game is free and open to the public. Fans and media interested in attending the event can park in Lot A and enter the ballpark through the Home Plate Plaza entrance. East Side teams participating in the President's Cup include Archbishop Curley High School, Baltimore City College, Digital Harbor High School, Friends School of Baltimore, Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical, National Academy Foundation School, Patterson High School, Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, and W.E.B. Dubois. West Side teams participating in the showcase include Academy for College and Career Exploration, Boys' Latin School of Maryland, Edmondson-Westside High School, Frederick Douglass, The Gilman School, and Mount Saint Joseph High School.
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. On Sunday, April 10, military members from the Wounded Warrior Project will enjoy the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at 1:35 p.m. from a catered suite, have a meet-and-greet with CHRIS DAVIS and DARREN O'DAY, and receive a player T-shirt.
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 the ballpark at any Fan Assistance Center. The lucky winner will receive four tickets to that day's game, a parking pass for the game and an Orioles jersey. The contestants will also get to keep the authentic base that they steal. The winner for Sunday, April 10, is BELLA ISACCO, an eight-year-old from Mt. Airy, 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 Thursday, April 7, TIPPY MARTINEZ, RON HANSEN, and KEN DIXON will be on hand to meet fans and sign autographs from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
ORIOLES REACH COMMUNITY BOOTH
During each home game, the Orioles provide a community booth for charitable, nonprofit 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:
APRIL 6 - Robert Packard Center for ALS Research
APRIL 7 - Casey Cares Foundation
APRIL 8 - Bella's Bully Buddies
APRIL 9 - Maryland SPCA
APRIL 10 - Oriole Advocates Charitable Foundation
ORIOLES REACH GAMEDAY EXPERIENCE
This season, OriolesREACH will again host thousands of underprivileged youth as part of the OriolesREACH 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 CHRIS DAVIS, YOVANI GALLARDO, KEVIN GAUSMAN, J.J. HARDY, UBALDO JIMENEZ, ADAM JONES, MANNY MACHADO, BRIAN MATUSZ, CHRIS TILLMAN, MARK TRUMBO, and MATT WIETERS. The following organizations will attend games at Oriole Park during this homestand, courtesy of these Orioles players:
APRIL 6 - Sharp-Leadenhall Elementary (J.J. Hardy)
APRIL 7 - School's Out Program at Leith Walk Elementary School (Chris Davis)
APRIL 8 - Abbottston Elementary School #50 (Matt Wieters)
APRIL 9 - True Worship Ministries (Manny Machado)
APRIL 10 - Focused on Fatherhood (Chris Tillman)