Orioles announce Opening Day plans
The Orioles have announced plans for the first home game of their 60th season, this Friday, April 5 at 3:05 p.m. against the Minnesota Twins. Here’s the full scoop, per a team release…
*To allow fans the opportunity to experience the excitement of Opening Day, the entire ballpark will open at noon on Friday. Each fan will receive a 2013 schedule/car magnet at the gates. Roving musical groups will entertain fans on Eutaw Street and the main concourses, and “The BUCKle Up Birds: An Underdog Story” will air on the centerfield video board beginning at approximately 1:10.
*Fans are encouraged to be in their seats by 2:30 p.m., when pre-game ceremonies will begin. MASN personality JIM HUNTER will serve as emcee for the pre-game festivities.
*In a continuation of the Opening Day tradition, Orioles players and coaches will be introduced prior to the game. Orioles players will run through the center field gate on an orange carpet and take their places between first and second base. Manager BUCK SHOWALTER, coaches and staff will be introduced from the Orioles dugout. Members of the Twins will be announced and will run from their dugout to line up between second and third base.
*OriolesREACH has arranged for 80 youth from KidsPeace to line the orange carpet holding Orioles flags during player introductions. Founded in 1882, KidsPeace is dedicated to serving the behavioral and mental health needs of children, teens and young adults. The national charity provides a variety of foster care and community-based treatment programs to help youth in need overcome challenges and transform their lives.
*For the 20th straight season, one fan will be chosen to represent all Orioles fans as the team’s “10th man”. The fan will be introduced as a part of the Orioles starting lineup during the pre-game ceremonies.
*Nationally acclaimed operatic tenor ROLANDO SANZ will perform the National Anthem and God Bless America. Sanz is a native of Rockville, MD, and he recently made his Carnegie Hall debut singing the role of Kostik in the world premiere of Prokofiev’s lost opera Dalëkie Morja (Distant Seas).
During the anthem, a 30’x 42’ American flag from Fort McHenry will be unfurled over the batter’s eye wall in center field. The flag is a replica of the one that flew over Fort McHenry when Francis Scott Key wrote the National Anthem.
Colors will be presented by the United States Armed Forces Color Guard provided by the Military District of Washington and the combined Honor Guard Team from the Baltimore City Police and Baltimore City Fire Departments.
GOLD GLOVE AWARDS PRESENTATION FOR HARDY, JONES AND WIETERS
Rawlings established the Rawlings Gold Glove Award in 1957 to recognize the best fielders at each position; it has evolved into baseball’s greatest measure of defensive excellence. Every year, managers and coaches of each Major League Baseball team select a squad of the best defensemen in their respective leagues, excluding their own teams.
In 2012, shortstop J.J. HARDY, center fielder ADAM JONES and catcher MATT WIETERS were named Gold Glove Award winners at their respective positions. It was the first award for Hardy and the second for both Jones and Wieters. In a pre-game ceremony, a representative from Rawlings will present all three with their Gold Glove Awards.
NEW BALLPARK ENHANCEMENTS
Warning Track: This past off-season, the Orioles replaced the rubberized warning track that had been in place since Oriole Park opened in 1992 with a natural surface composed of crushed stone. The color of the stone was designed to match the brick that appears throughout the ballpark and in the Warehouse. Actual samples of those same Williamsport, Maryland bricks were used in the final material to achieve the proper blend. The new surface covers approximately 20,000 square feet and required 300 tons of material.
Flag Court: With the move of the Houston Astros to the American League West this season, a 15th flagpole was installed in the Flag Court. There are now three rows of five flagpoles, which feature the daily standings of each division.
*This season, fans are encouraged to use social media while at Oriole Park at Camden Yards and share their experiences with friends and followers. By tweeting the hashtag #birdland, fans could have their tweets selected to appear on the Oriole Park video board before and during the game. Fans are also encouraged to visit http://www.orioles.com/connect and sign up to follow all of the Orioles official social media platforms.