This season, OriolesREACH once again teamed with the University of Maryland Medical Center to host a series of American Red Cross Blood Drives. Participants received exclusive gifts including 20th Anniversary Oriole Park at Camden Yards commemorative baseballs, as well as free tickets to an upcoming Orioles game.
On May 12, the Orioles hosted their annual Baltimore City youth baseball clinic at Radecke Park with more than 300 local youth. Orioles outfielder Adam Jones offered instruction along with O's coaches Wayne Kirby and Rudy Arias and Orioles Alumni Ken Dixon and Rick Krivda. The Orioles also provided tickets to that night's game for all children attending the clinic.
On September 29, Jake Arrieta, Wei-Yin Chen, Brian Matusz, Nate McLouth, and Chris Tillman visited the BARCs Animal Shelter near Oriole Park to meet fans and sign the 2013 Orioles Pet Calendar, presented by Southwest.
On April 25, June 12, and June 29, pitcher Brian Matusz visited pediatric patients at the Herman and Walter Samuelson Children's Hospital at Sinai on behalf of the Casey Cares Foundation, a charity that provides uplifting programs for critically ill children.
On September 12, Orioles Ryan Flaherty, Steve Johnson, Brian Matusz, and Steve Tolleson joined Casey Cares at the Extra Innings facility in Baltimore to meet, sign autographs and play games with critically ill children and their families. This Caring Connections party is one of the programs of the Casey Cares Foundation. The Caring Connections Program encourages families to meet, share, and support each other while taking part in themed, group parties.
The Challenger League offers boys and girls with physical and mental challenges, ages 5-18, the opportunity to participate in an organized game of baseball. The most fundamental goal of the Challenger League is to give everyone a chance to play. The Orioles and the Oriole Advocates team up to support local Challenger Leagues by hosting tournaments, providing equipment, umpires, facility usage, and much more. In addition, Orioles game tickets, concessions and giveaways are provided to all participants in the league. The Orioles also helped host a series of Challenger League clinics and a multi-team tournament inviting teams from Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia to participate.
Also on May 12, Oriole Advocates Challenger Baseball, in conjunction with the Orioles, held a Fantasy Camp for Kids at Freedom Field in Lake Waterford Park in Pasadena. The clinic provided Challenger Baseball players the opportunity to learn baseball skills from Orioles pitchers Jake Arrieta and Jim Johnson and former Orioles Al Bumbry and Bill Swaggerty. The event included a variety of clinics providing over 40 Challenger Baseball players from Anne Arundel County, Frederick, Catonsville and Parkville the opportunity to learn pitching, throwing, catching and fielding skills. Each child also received a personalized jersey, autographs, a complimentary Junior Orioles Dugout Club membership package and tickets to that evening's game against the Rays.
On April 28, Orioles slugger Chris Davis visited with children from the Christian Youth Athletics Program. Chris spoke to the kids before their league's opening game, then threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
On August 29, travelers at Baltimore's Thurgood Marshall BWI Airport were surprised to see Orioles players Darren O'Day and Chris Davis "working" for Southwest Airlines as part of their Trading Places promotion. The players participated in a variety of jobs with Southwest employees, including marshalling an aircraft, taking tickets, making announcements, and welcoming passengers.
The line stretched around the Baltimore Convention Center and then some, as a group that eclipsed 18,500 -- more than twice last year's crowd --- came out to FanFest on January 19. With a few exceptions, the Orioles' entire 40-man roster was on hand for the all-day event. The morning kicked off with a Q&A session with fans and executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette and manager Buck Showalter, who fielded queries about the upcoming season.
On April 5, the entire Orioles team attended the annual Greater Baltimore Committee's Welcome Home Luncheon at the Sheraton Baltimore City Center Hotel. The Sarasota Convention and Visitors Bureau co-hosted the event in recognition of Sarasota's "sister city" relationship with Baltimore and status as the Orioles' Spring Training home. Players and coaches discussed the upcoming season, signed autographs, and interacted with local businessmen and women.
On December 11, 2012, several current and former Orioles teamed up to host the 34th annual OriolesREACH Holiday Party for Kids. The party, which featured first through fifth-grade students at the Baltimore school, took place at Dave & Busters in the Arundel Mills Mall. J.J. Hardy, L.J. Hoes, Steve Johnson and manager Buck Showalter were in attendance, as well as former players Al Bumbry, Chris Hoiles, Dave Johnson and Scott McGregor.
On October 7, Nick and Christina Markakis and their nonprofit organization The Right Side Foundation supported the Third Annual Casey Cares Foundation 5K Run and 1-Mile Fun Walk in Sparks. Proceeds from the race helped The Casey Cares Foundation provide uplifting programs to critically ill children and their families.
One of the clearest examples of the Orioles reaching out into the community is when Orioles players and coaches appear at various functions and events in our neighborhoods. Even the Oriole Bird has "flown" to over 300 events both in the Mid-Atlantic area as well as Sarasota since last season. This year, fans have also had the opportunity to meet their favorite players including Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, Matt Wieters, J.J. Hardy, Jim Johnson, Chris Davis, and Manny Machado at various locations throughout Birdland. Find out where your favorite current or former Orioles are appearing next.
Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) is a youth outreach program designed to promote interest in baseball, increase the self-esteem of disadvantaged children, and encourage kids to stay in school and stay off the streets. The program is a national Major League Baseball initiative administered and financially supported by the Orioles at a local level. The Orioles also provide additional unique experiences for participants, including hosting team members at inner city youth clinics involving current and former players providing instruction, hosting all participants to watch a game at Oriole Park, and providing them with game tickets, bus transportation, concessions, hats and t-shirts. RBI participants in 2012 were also invited to be in the audience for major press conferences, be part of pre-game ceremonies including Opening Day and autograph sessions with players. Each year, the Orioles host a championship game for each division, giving the players a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play baseball on a Major League field at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Winners of each division are presented trophies during a pre-game ceremony and an All-Star team is put together and given the opportunity to play at the Regional Tournament hosted by MLB. This year the tournament was played in Harrisburg, PA, with the Orioles providing bus transportation, per diem and hotel accommodations for two teams.
Skipper Buck Showalter and his wife Angela teamed up with KidsPeace, a private charity dedicated to serving to serving the behavioral and mental health needs of children and their families, to host the third annual Trick-or-Trot 5K Run and 1 Mile Walk on October 27 in Canton. The event benefitted the KidsPeace Foster Care and Community Programs of Maryland.