On December 13, 2011, 71 students from City Springs Elementary School came to Dave & Buster's at the Arundel Mills Mall for the 33rd Annual Orioles REACH Holiday Party for Kids. The students met Orioles players and coaches, including Zach Britton, Jeremy Guthrie, Jake Arrieta, Brian Roberts and manager Buck Showalter.
On June 29, Adam Jones joined campers from the Y of Central Maryland's Journeys Camp at the Weinberg Family Center Y in Baltimore to teach basic baseball techniques.
Campers ages 10 to 14 years old received one-on-one training of techniques including batting, throwing and catching.
Several former Orioles appeared at various events both at Oriole Park as well as in the community in 2011. Below is a list of some Orioles Alumni who met with fans throughout the year.
Brady Anderson, Paul Blair, Mike Bordick, Jackie Brandt, Al Bumbry, Rick Dempsey, Mike Devereaux, Ken Dixon, Joe Durham, Dan Ford Ross Grimsley, Dick Hall, Ron Hansen, Chris Hoiles, Bill Hunter, Bob Johnson, Dave Johnson, Rick Krivda, Calvin Maduro, Tippy Martinez, Scott McGregor, John Miller, Tom Niedenfuer, Tim Nordbrook, Joe Orsulak, Jim Palmer, Boog Powell, Larry Sheets, Nate Snell, John Stefero, Garrett Stephenson, Bill Swaggerty, Fred Valentine, Earl Weaver, Jimmy Williams, Mike Young.
This season, OriolesREACH once again teamed with the American Red Cross and University of Maryland Medical Center to host a series of blood drives. Participants received exclusive gifts such as Orioles "I Bleed Orange & Black" t-shirts and Orioles pint glasses, as well as free tickets to an upcoming Orioles game.
On June 11, the Orioles hosted their annual Baltimore City youth baseball clinic at Radecke Park with more than 300 local youth. Orioles Adam Jones and Jake Arrieta offered instruction along with O's coaches Wayne Kirby and Willie Randolph and Orioles Alumni Bill Swaggerty, Al Bumbry, Ken Dixon, Rick Krivda and Joe Orsulak.
The Orioles also provided tickets to that night's game for all children attending the clinic.
On April 23, OriolesREACH teamed up with the Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks to hold a baseball clinic at the Bloomsbury Community Center in Catonsville for children ages 6-14 and adult coaches. Current Orioles pitcher Jake Arrieta provided instruction along with O's Alumni Tim Norris, Larry Sheets, Nate Snell and Bill Swaggerty.
On June 8, Pitcher Brian Matusz traded baseball cards with 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.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter and his wife Angela announced in June their support of KidsPeace, a 129-year-old national children's charity with offices through Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.
KidsPeace provides foster care and community services to hundreds of children with mental or behavioral issues.
As a national spokesperson, Buck will appear in public service announcements while Angela will serve on the Board of Associates for Maryland. The Showalters will also serve as honorary chairs for the KidsPeace Annual 5K Race & Fun walk in Baltimore in October.
Warming up the Birdland Winter, 2011 Orioles FanFest presented by the Sarasota Convention and Visitors Bureau returned to the Baltimore Convention Center and welcomed more than 10,000 fans on Saturday, January 29.
The enthusiastic crowd enjoyed fan forums and autograph stations with current, former and future Orioles stars including Jeremy Guthrie, Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, Brian Roberts, J.J. Hardy, Matt Wieters, Zach Britton, Jim Palmer, Boog Powell, Scott McGregor and more.
Other FanFest activities included ballpark tours, interactive games, clinics for children on a youth-sized baseball diamond, and the first chance to purchase game tickets for the 2011 season.
The event raised over $94,000 for the Orioles Charitable Foundation through proceeds from a memorabilia sale, silent auction and autograph voucher sales.
On April 6, 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 also 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 April 25, pitcher Jeremy Guthrie teamed up with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Harford County for the "Bike Build" Program in Bel Air. Jeremy helped build four brand new bicycles that were then donated to deserving children from the area.
On September 14, Adam Jones will be recognized as the team's nominee for the 2011 Roberto Clemente Award. This annual award recognizes MLB players who best represent the game of baseball through sportsmanship, community involvement and positive contributions to their team.
Dating back to his first days in Baltimore, Adam has focused on making a positive impact on underprivileged youth in Baltimore City. Adam has made numerous appearances at area Boys and Girls Clubs and at the Y of Central Maryland, often playing games with and speaking to the children, encouraging them to be healthy and active.
Adam also visits local public Title I schools, a federal program that provides financial assistance to local school systems and schools with high percentages of poor children, where he speaks in classrooms and interacts with the children during physical education. Adam was also a key participant in First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign kick-off clinic at Camden Yards last year, which is designed to help solve this nation's childhood obesity epidemic.
Adam has also taken a strong interest in working with the participants of Baltimore's Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities (RBI) Program, hosting a clinic at which players from RBI and other Baltimore City baseball leagues learn some of the nuances of the game of baseball from Adam and other former and current Orioles players and coaches. In addition to his participation at youth clinics, Adam is a frequent visitor of the RBI league's games whenever the MLB schedule permits.
This year, Adam started a partnership with BARCS (Baltimore Animal and Rescue Care Shelter) by posing for the OriolesREACH Pet Calendar and participating in an advertising campaign to raise awareness of animal cruelty in the inner city. In addition, Adam also contributes annually to the OriolesREACH Gameday Experience Program, which provides underprivileged children the opportunity to attend an Orioles game, including complimentary game tickets, concessions, Orioles hats and t-shirts, and transportation to and from the game.
For his nomination, a donation will be made in honor of Adam to the Y of Central Maryland.
For the third consecutive year, OriolesREACH teamed with Baltimore City Public Schools and T. Rowe Price to support "Learning with the Orioles," a comprehensive summer learning program teaching math, reading, science and social studies skills to nearly 14,000 students at 80 city public elementary and middle schools.
Written by City Schools teachers and Child First Authority, Inc. curriculum specialists, the program blends skills from each academic discipline for each grade level with facts and games related to the Orioles and baseball. It represents a new style of curriculum for City Schools, one that integrates several different academic subjects into a program that is educational, fun and includes enrichment activities, including a visit to Camden Yards at the end of the summer session.
Nearly 5,000 City Schools students who participated in Learning with the Orioles curriculum also received free tickets to attend the July 20 Orioles vs. Red Sox game at Camden Yards.
Luke Scott visited Dunloggin Middle School on May 24 to meet and greet students and talk about the Oriole Advocates Cardboard to Leather Program. Luke also spoke with kids about the importance of getting the most from education.
Last August, Nick and Christina Markakis and their non-profit organization The Right Side Foundation hosted their Second Annual 5K Run and 1-Mile Fun Walk at Baltimore's Patterson Park. Proceeds from the race benefited distressed children throughout Maryland.
Nick and Christina Markakis also teamed with Samuel F.B. Morse School to select Jacqueline Bassett and her five children as recipients of a special holiday shopping spree, courtesy of OriolesREACH and the Right Side Foundation.
As part of the Orioles' new partnership with Delaware North Sportservice as the official concessionaire of Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the team joined with Rock and Wrap It Up, Inc., a global sustainability think tank, to redistribute prepared but untouched food items to the Maryland Food Bank and other charitable agencies focused on feeding the hungry in our area.
On April 22, Orioles pitchers Jake Arrieta, Zach Britton and Jeremy Guthrie visited Johns Hopkins Hospital to spend time with close to 20 young patients and their families. The players took tours of the Teen Age and School Age Operating Wards and the Children's Oncology Ward.
In July, the Orioles became the fourth Major League Baseball club to release a video public service announcement in support of the It Gets Better Project and The Trevor Project. Written and produced by the team, the video stars Orioles Jake Arrieta, Jason Berken, Zach Britton, Kevin Gregg and Mike Gonzalez delivering messages of encouragement to LGBT youth who are being bullied.
More than 20,000 videos, including several from prominent celebrities and public figures, have been posted at itgetsbetter.org since the program's launch in September 2010 after a rise in teenage suicides from victims of anti-gay harassment and bullying.
On May 20, several Orioles Wives participated in the demolition and rebuild of a Baltimore row home as part of Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake's Baltimore Women Build project. On August 17, Orioles employees helped out on the same project. To date, female volunteers have built more than 1,800 Habitat houses nationwide during National Women Build Week. Locally, Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake has constructed nine Women Build houses.
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 200 destinations in the community 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, Jake Arrieta, Jim Johnson and Jeremy Guthrie at various locations throughout Birdland. Find out where your favorite current or former Orioles are appearing next.
The Orioles once again partnered with Maryland Public Libraries this year to present their annual Summer Reading Program, presented by T. Rowe Price, to young readers at more than 180 Maryland public library branches. This year's program, titled "One World, Many Stories," is designed to encourage and reward area youth who commit to reading throughout the summer.
Beginning in June, children from elementary school through high school were able to register at any Maryland Public Library and receive a reading log that guided them through the Summer Reading Program. Kids who completed the reading log received prizes including Orioles game tickets. All told, more than 150,000 students participated in the Summer Reading Program and the Orioles donated more than 7,000 game tickets to young readers.