Orioles fans compete for 'Bucks on the Pond'

Orioles fans compete for 'Bucks on the Pond'

Peter Schoenbrodt is an engineer working for Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) in McLean, Va., and Jacquelyn Gill is a bartender working in downtown Baltimore at Rusty Scupper. They grew up in Maryland, graduated from local schools, and we are happy to report they are still dating even after their episode of "Bucks on the Pond."

Let's just say that their beloved Orioles are doing better this season than they did in episode seven of the new MLB.com game show that is growing in popularity around Major League Baseball. Watch for yourself and see what happens when two neighbors on a ballpark date are invited to be trivia contestants at Camden Yards before a game earlier this season.

"It was a blast," Schoenbrodt said Thursday, in an email to MLB.com. "Who isn't ready to win some money? It was a lot of fun to play something like that at my team's stadium, and mix in a little pop and Orioles trivia. I wouldn't have done as well if it was another team's trivia! Plus, you can't beat the atmosphere of Eutaw Street."

"Bucks on the Pond" is hosted by Jeremy Brisiel, and you might be a part of it when you least expect it. Fans at the ballpark interact with MLB.com's studio through the magic of technology in conjunction with game action inside, and new episodes are being released every Tuesday and Thursday this season.

In creating a new experience for fans, MLB.com is giving people a chance to earn bucks while they spend bucks there. This marked the second episode featuring Orioles fans, as Baltimore appeared in the debut episode featuring Shenandoah University cross-country teammates Denise Mitchell and Roni Frye. Fans are selected randomly on the day the "Bucks" team is at that park.

Contestants are asked a trivia question -- general knowledge and baseball -- on each pitch during a half-inning of baseball. Get the question correct and win money. Get the question wrong and it's a strike. Three strikes and you're out.

The questions' difficulty and value increase with the number of outs in the on-field action: $5 easy questions to start, $10 medium-difficulty questions after one out and $20 hard questions after two outs. If the contestant lasts longer than the team's at-bat, they win the bucks in their bank. Just ask the guy wearing the orange No. 21 Nick Markakis T-shirt in the video.

"I remember we were walking into the stadium with some friends, and noticed the MLB.com setup," Schoenbrodt said. "One of the guys spotted us, headed over and asked us if we are good at trivia. I was intrigued, my girlfriend [was] skeptical at first but we answered the couple sample questions easily so we got to play. In the end, she was as excited as I was."

At the start of the show, Schoenbrodt said with enthusiasm: "I'm ready to win some money." How many people ever say that at a Major League game? Winning is the object, but that generally applies to the team you are backing.

Right now, this couple is happy to be backing a team that was only a half-game out in the American League Wild Card picture entering Thursday, continuing a stellar season in a tough AL East. This is a waning-summer time of year, but their focus is still on the MLB standings.

"I'm an avid Orioles fan, but I am also a Ravens fan and she is a Redskins fan, so hopefully the Orioles extend into October," Schoenbrodt said.

By then, we will not only know whether Baltimore is finally back in the postseason, but they probably will have watched a Bruce Willis show or two. Watch the video to see why.

"My sense is you two are gonna do just great," JB said as the couple walks off together to find their seats after the "Bucks" appearance. "Don't mind us."

In addition to the Orioles, "Bucks on the Pond" has visited the Yankees, Red Sox, Marlins, Dodgers, Royals, Astros, Cubs and White Sox. Be on the lookout for the "Bucks" crew at your ballpark.

Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.