Play Ball Weekend highlights Orioles seven-game homestand

The Orioles will open a seven-game homestand tonight when they host the Detroit Tigers at 7:05 p.m. ET. During the homestand, the Orioles will join all 29 other clubs in celebrating Major League Baseball's inaugural Play Ball Weekend - a league-wide campaign to encourage youth participation in all forms of baseball and softball activities on Saturday, May 14, and Sunday, May 15.

In support of Play Ball Weekend, during both weekend games against the Tigers, all Orioles uniformed personnel will wear special Play Ball t-shirts during batting practice and all jerseys will feature a Play Ball patch. Additionally, ten players from the Roland Park Panthers International League, a coach-pitch league for youth players ages 8-9, will participate in a pregame cap exchange with Orioles players on Sunday, May 15. Players on both sides will autograph and exchange caps with each other.

The Orioles are also welcoming youth to the ballpark for Play Ball Weekend with special events and giveaways. On Saturday, May 14, the first 7,500 fans 14 and under will receive an Orioles youth bat and ball set. On Sunday, May 15, all fans 14 and under will be able to participate in a postgame Kids Run the Bases, the fourth of 13 Sunday home games when kids can round the bases like their favorite Orioles. Also on Sunday, more than 10,000 pre-registered youth baseball and softball players will participate in a pregame parade, presented by Ripken Baseball, around the warning track and be greeted by Orioles players as they walk by the dugout. Teams, dressed in their uniforms, will carry banners and wave to their family members as they round the field.

Additionally, the Orioles will host two baseball clinics on Saturday, May 14. Beginning at 11:00 a.m., the Orioles will partner with the Oriole Advocates to host more than 40 children with mental and/or physical challenges from the Oriole Advocates Challenger Baseball program at Freedom Field in Lake Waterford Park in Pasadena, Md. Orioles pitcher Brad Brach and former Orioles Ken Dixon and Larry Bigbie will teach the fundamentals of pitching, throwing, and catching. Each child will receive a personalized replica Majestic Orioles jersey, autographs, and other Orioles gift items. The Orioles donated tickets to more than 900 participants in Challenger League baseball programs from Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia for that night's game against the Detroit Tigers.

Oriole Advocates Challenger Baseball (OACB) is a program of the Charitable Foundation of the Oriole Advocates in collaboration with the Orioles. OACB provides assistance to Challenger baseball teams in Maryland, northern Virginia, and southern Pennsylvania. These teams are from youth baseball leagues, county recreation programs, Miracle League, and local community programs with the mission of providing children with mental and/or physical challenges an opportunity to enjoy the experience of playing baseball. Additional information about Oriole Advocates Challenger Baseball can be found at www.OrioleAdvocates.org. Media should contact Chris Martrich (cmartrich@orioles.com) to RSVP.

The Orioles will also conduct a clinic for 100 Fort Meade youth baseball players from 11:00 a.m. until noon at Fort Meade. Orioles pitchers Zach Britton and Darren O'Day and former Orioles Al Bumbry and Rick Krivda will help teach baseball fundamentals with a focus on throwing, baserunning, and hitting with the support of Fort Meade youth baseball coaches. The Orioles will provide each participant with an Orioles hat, t-shirt, and tickets to Saturday's game. Additionally, Esskay will provide hotdogs to those attending the clinic. Media wishing to cover the event should RSVP to the Fort Meade Public Affairs Office at (301) 677-5592/1465. The Fort Meade Youth Sports Program is responsible for ensuring the children whose parents serve on Fort Meade have opportunities to participate in youth sports including baseball, lacrosse, football, and karate.

 

IN THE COMMUNITY

Manny Machado to host third annual BaseBOWL Tournament

Orioles infielder Manny Machado will host his third annual Manny Machado BaseBOWL Tournament, a celebrity charity event to support Baltimore City's Department of Recreation and Parks on Sunday, May 15. The sold-out event will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Mustang Alleys Bar, Bowling and Bistro, located at 1300 Bank Street in Baltimore. Nearly all of Machado's teammates are expected to attend including Pedro Alvarez, Zach Britton, Chris Davis, Kevin Gausman, Adam Jones, Darren O'Day, Jonathan Schoop, Chris Tillman and Matt Wieters, as well as Orioles manager Buck Showalter, several Orioles coaches and Orioles legend Cal Ripken, Jr.

In support of Machado's efforts, the Orioles will donate $10,000 to Baltimore City Recreation and Parks and host participating youth at an upcoming Orioles home game through the OriolesREACH Gameday Experience Program. The children will receive game tickets, concessions, an Orioles t-shirt and cap, and transportation to and from the game.

Mychal Givens to visit St. Francis Academy

Orioles pitcher Mychal Givens will visit the students of Saint Francis Academy (SFA) on Tuesday, May 17. Givens will share his story of becoming a professional baseball player and battling through adversity in life. Saint Frances Academy was opened by Mother Mary Lange in 1828. The Academy, the oldest continuously operating, predominantly African-American Catholic High School in the world, moved to its current location in Baltimore in 1870. Saint Frances Academy currently serves nearly 200 students from ninth to twelfth grade. Nearly 92 percent of their graduates matriculate to a four-year college with 90 percent of those students graduating within four years. The educational opportunities made possible by Saint Frances provide under-served students with a solid foundation and a legitimate opportunity for a better life.

 

AT THE BALLPARK

Birdland Commuity Heroes Program

The Orioles have launched the Birdland Community Heroes Program to recognize community heroes who have inspired others through their spirited commitment to extend a hand in charity, service, hope, and harmony. This recognition honors the heroism of members of our extended Orioles community from all walks of life, occupations, and diverse backgrounds living in our region, our country, and abroad, who have distinguished themselves by selflessly working or volunteering in fields that care for, serve, teach, protect, and improve the lives of others, around the corner or around the globe, who are most in need.

Throughout the 2016 season, the Orioles will recognize local Birdland Community Heroes on the scoreboard at Oriole Park, during every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday home game.

  • May 13 - Cee Griffin and Sy Wainwright; for their support of Let's Feed the City, an effort to feed, clothe, educate, and provide entertainment to homeless men, women, and children in Baltimore.
  • May 14 - Debbie Rohlwing; for her ongoing support of adapted sports programs. Rohlwing is leader of the Parkville Conquerors Challenger Baseball Program. She is this year's John Salony Memorial Award recipient for her efforts in supporting Challenger Baseball.
  • May 15 - Don Salamone; for serving the communities of Baltimore City for 44 years, including 17 years in partnership with the Orioles and the RBI (Reviving Baseball in the Inner City) Program.

Both Rohlwing and Salamone will be honored during Major League Baseball's inaugural Play Ball Weekend for their support of youth baseball and softball activities throughout the region.

Shannon's Fund Silent Auction at Oriole Park

On Friday, May 13, the Orioles will host an auction benefiting Shannon's Fund during the 7:05 p.m. game against the Detroit Tigers. Fans attending that night's game will be able to bid on memorabilia using the MLB.com Ballpark app from 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Auction memorabilia will be available to view on the lower concourse by Gate E.

Shannon's Fund was created in memory of Shannon Obaker, the team's Director of Community Outreach who bravely fought cancer for over a year before passing away in 2007 at age 29. Shannon's Fund is administered by the University of Maryland Medical Center with the funds donated to patients and their family members as need arises to assist with the general expenses associated with the treatment process, including hospital parking, alternate housing, food costs and household bills.

One featured item in the auction will be Orioles scout Ryan Powell's custom-made, MLB-certified bat inscribed with his and his mother's initials that was autographed by the entire 2016 Orioles team. This bat was used in honor of Powell's mother, Wendy Powell, who was diagnosed with brain cancer in June 2015. On March 29, Ryan played in a Class-A Spring Training game at Twin Lakes Park in Sarasota, Fla., to fulfill his mother's wish of seeing him play in one last game and to serve as an inspiration to her in her fight against cancer. As part of the pregame ceremonies on May 13, Powell will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Leon Day 100th birthday ceremonial first pitch

Seven years ago, the second Saturday in May was designated by the state as Negro League Day in Maryland. On Saturday, May 14, the Orioles will honor this day and the centennial of the birth of one of the Negro Leagues' best players, Leon Day. Day's birthdate is October 30, but the Orioles will celebrate his birthday on May 14, as a way to further honor his life and career. Day spent his 10-year Negro League career with the Baltimore Black Sox and Newark Eagles, posting a 13-0 record in 1937. In 1942, he recorded a league-record 18 strikeouts in a single game and later tossed a no-hitter on Opening Day in 1946. In 1995, Day was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, six days before he passed away on March 13, 1995. Prior to the May 14 game against the Tigers, his wife, Geraldine Day, a passionate supporter of the Orioles, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. As part of Play Ball Weekend, the Orioles will also invite 150 youth from Baltimore City Parks and Recreation League programs, which Day supported following his retirement from baseball, to that night's game.

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's OrchKids program pregame performance in Maryland Square

On Sunday, May 15, from 12:45 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. prior to the game against the Tigers, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's OrchKids Program will perform in Maryland Square outside of Gate C.

Oriole Garden installation at Oriole Park 

To educate and inspire fans to "Grow Together," the Orioles are collaborating with The National Wildlife Federation, the National Aquarium, and Maryland Stadium Authority to design and install a showplace demonstration garden at Oriole Park. On Tuesday, May 17, from 11:00 a.m. to noon, the "Oriole Garden" will be unveiled near the Gate A Eutaw Street entrance to Oriole Park at Camden Yards. As part of the National Wildlife Federation's "Grow Together Baltimore" project, this Oriole Garden will help provide vibrant green spaces and an urban wildlife habitat in Baltimore. The garden will feature 12,000 native plants that will attract the native Baltimore Oriole Bird, other local birds, and butterflies. This week, members of the Orioles On Deck Employee Volunteer program as well as volunteers from the National Aquarium and National Wildlife Federation helped to install the garden. Prior to Tuesday night's game against the Mariners at 7:05 p.m., the National Wildlife Federation President and CEO Collin O'Mara will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Baltimore City Schools Night at Oriole Park

On Wednesday, May 18, the Orioles will celebrate Baltimore City Schools Night with more than 7,000 students, teachers, and staff in attendance for the 7:05 p.m. game against the Mariners. "The Star-Spangled Banner" will be performed by the Mt. Royal Choir and the color guard will be presented by Patterson High School. The ceremonial first pitch will be thrown by Teacher of the Year, Sia Kyriakaos, an art teacher at Merganthaler Vocational Technical High. Kyriakaos will be accompanied by Tammy Turner, acting CEO of Baltimore City Schools. The Orioles will be donating a suite to the Baltimore City School Teacher of the Year nominees.

Field Trip Day presented by MASN & WJZ-TV

On Thursday, May 19, more than 10,000 students from local schools will attend the 12:35 p.m. game against the Mariners for the ninth annual Field Trip Day presented by MASN, and WJZ-TV. The students will have an opportunity to learn about weather from WJZ-TV's weather team of Chelsea Ingram, Bob Turik and Tim Williams, and Orioles Head Groundskeeper Nicole McFayden. Ingram will also sing the national anthem prior to the game.

Orioles and Brian Matusz support Fare Walk for Food Allergies

Orioles pitcher Brian Matusz is partnering in the FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) Walk for Food Allergy on Sunday, October 9, at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. Matusz, who suffers from a peanut allergy, is being recognized as the local FARE Honorary Ambassador. As a fundraising incentive, the Orioles will donate items such as a signed Matusz jersey and a pregame on-field meet and greet with Orioles players, including four tickets to a select game. To learn more or register for the FARE Walk, fans can visit www.FoodAllergyWalk.org/Baltimore2016.

The Orioles will host a peanut allergy suite for seven dates this season beginning on Thursday, May 12. The other six dates are as follows: May 30, June 17, July 8, July 22, August 2, and August 29. Tickets for this suite are available via phone at 888-848-BIRD.

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, May 12, Calvin Maduro, Scott McGregor and John Stefero will be on hand to meet fans and sign autographs from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. On Thursday, May 19, Al Bumbry, Bill Hunter and another former Orioles player to be announced will sign autographs from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

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, May 15, military members from the Fort Meade Alliance will enjoy the game against the Detroit Tigers at 1:35 p.m. from a catered suite, have a meet-and-greet with Chris Davis and Chris Tillman, 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, May 15, is Nicklaus Dooling, a 10-year-old from Forrest Hill, Md.

Safety Patrol Night

The Orioles have donated a total of 10,000 tickets to safety patrol students throughout the state of Maryland and their families as part of two Safety Patrol Appreciation Nights this month. The second night will be held on Saturday, May 14. This is the 62nd year the club has supported the safety patrol program.

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:

  • May 12 - National Kidney Foundation of Maryland
  • May 13 - Veterans Crisis Line
  • May 14 - Boy Scouts of America, Baltimore Area Council
  • May 15 - Oriole Advocates Foundation, Inc.
  • May 17 - 24-HoB
  • May 18 - Maryland Natural Resources Police
  • May 19 - Baltimore Humane Society

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:

  • May 12 - Freetown Elementary School (Ubaldo Jiménez)
  • May 13 - Meade Middle School (Chris Tillman)
  • May 14 - Matthew Henson Community Associations (Manny Machado)
  • May 15 - BSO OrchKids Program (Kevin Gausman)
  • May 17 - North Bend Elementary/Middle School (Chris Davis)
  • May 18 - Mount Royal Elementary/Middle School (Matt Wieters)
  • May 19 - The Armistead Garden School #243 (Mark Trumbo)