The Baltimore Orioles and OriolesREACH (the team’s charity wing) announced yesterday that they would be doing a three-day “caravan” involving players, coaches, and even GM Dan Duquette next week. I suppose that it’s no coincidence that Orioles FanFest is next Saturday, so the caravan appears to kind of lead into that event. The Boston Red Sox famously have a caravan each winter to grow interest in the team as it leads into spring training, so I’m guessing the Orioles are basing their event on that in a sense. The events of the caravan are as follows:
- Wednesday, January 16th - Pitchers Brian Matusz and Kevin Gausman (who was the team’s first round pick in last year’s draft) will be meeting with with kids from the Police Athletic League and the Frederick Boys and Girls Club from 4:00 – 5:30 PM. This will take place at the William Talley Recreation Center at 121 North Bentz St. in Frederick, MD. Gausman and Matusz will sign autographs, and play games with the kids. (This event is open to the public and it’s free of charge.)
- Thursday, January 17th - Pitchers Zach Britton and Chris Tillman will head down I-97 to the Westfield Annapolis Mall from 6 – 8 PM. They’ll sign autographs and pose for photos, all while taking questions from fans at the JC Penny concourse. I believe there will also be some sort of raffle to benefit the Bowie Health Center, but it’s unclear at this time what will be raffled off. (This event is open to the public and it’s free of charge.)
- Thursday, January 17th - Manager Buck Showalter will be the keynote speaker at the annual Aberdeen Ironbirds’ Hot Stove Dinner from 6 – 8 PM at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, MD. Tickets are required for the event, and admission is $40; visit www.ironbirdsbaseball.com to purchase tickets. Orioles’ closer Jim Johnson will also be in attendance.
- Friday, January 18th - Adam Jones will be at the Weinberg Family Center Y (900 E 33rd St, Baltimore, MD), joining the Y of Central Maryland for a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This is a breakfast event which runs from 9 – 10:30 AM; Jones and MLK Foundation President and CEO Harry E. Johnson will both speak. (This event is open to the public.)
Orioles’ GM Dan Duquette will also serve as the keynote speaker at the January 26th Delmarva Shorebirds Hot Stove Dinner at the Delmar VFW . The dinner lasts from 5 – 8 PM; tickets are $33, and can be purchased at www.theshorebirds.com. If you notice there appears to be a concentrated effort to get players and coaches into the minor league markets, all of which are “shadow markets” in a sense to Baltimore. Here’s another interesting take that I got from the list above; I found it interesting that the Orioles are sending Kevin Gausman to appear in Frederick, MD with Brian Matusz. Might the organization want the fans to meet a rising star that could potentially be playing in their town this summer?!