In a special on-field ceremony during the team's final weekend of the regular season, Adam Jones was presented with a Key to the City by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings- Blake. Adam was honored for his extensive work with Baltimore City youth as well as his work with children from the Y of Central Maryland.
The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association named Adam Jones the winner of the 2012 Heart and Hustle Award. Former Orioles pitcher Dave Johnson presented the award to Jones in a pre-game ceremony on August 8. The Annual Heart and Hustle Award recognizes one player on each Major League team who demonstrates a passion for the game of baseball and best embodies the values, spirit and traditions of the game. The award is a departure from the standard recognition of pure on field performance and instead recognizes the intangible values of a true team player and leader.
In 2012, the Orioles continued the Orioles Alumni Autograph Series. Before every Monday and Thursday home game, fans were invited to meet some of their favorite former Orioles, as O's Alumni signed autographs and shared memories at the MASN Booth on Eutaw Street for one full hour prior to the game. Some of the players who appeared this year included Paul Blair, Mike Boddicker, Don Buford, Al Bumbry, Andy Etchebarren, Dan Ford, Ron Hansen, Chris Hoiles, Bill Hunter, Tippy Martinez, Ben McDonald, Scott McGregor, Joe Orsulak, and Larry Sheets.
On May 5, 2012 Oriole Park hosted the Baltimore City Public High School Championship game between Digital Harbor and Baltimore Polytechnic Institute. Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and City Councilman Brandon Scott were in attendance after throwing out the ceremonial first pitches. Digital Harbor went on to win the game 6-0, earning the title of 2012 City Champions.
On May 14, 2012 the Orioles recognized the Baltimore City Schools 2012 Teacher of the Year, Bradley Nornhold of KIPP Ujima Village Academy. Nornhold is a founding teacher at the school that opened in 2001. He teaches 7th and 8th grade math and chairs the math department at KIPP. Baltimore City Schools Teacher of the Year finalists Mark Miazga and Whitney Ward and Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Dr. Andres Alonso also joined Nornhold in throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.
The Orioles hosted more than 1,500 children and family members from the Boy Scouts of America at the O's vs. Rays game on May 12, 2012. Each participating scout received a specially designed Orioles Scout Night badge and top sellers in the Boy Scout's popcorn selling fundraising efforts were honored with a personal ballpark tour, the chance to watch batting practice from the field, participation in the game's lineup card presentation, and the ceremonial first pitch.
On June 10, 2012 the Orioles hosted the 31st Annual Brooks Robinson High School All-Star Game at Camden Yards. Each All-Star team was made up of 15 student-athletes, four alternates and three coaches from across Maryland. The day before, the All-Stars were recognized during an on-field ceremony before the Orioles/Rays game.
The Orioles hosted a pregame ceremony on May 15, 2012 in honor of Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life First Prize winner and seventh grade student, Hunter Youngblood of Newburg, Maryland. The on-field recognition included Sharon Robinson, daughter of Jackie Robinson, author and Educational Programming Consultant for Major League Baseball. Hunter's essay detailed his commitment to overcome a learning disability. The essay contest, which recognized students for their efforts to overcome personal barriers using the values exemplified by Jackie Robinson, was a significant component of Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life. Using baseball-themed activities, the program, developed by Major League Baseball, Sharon Robinson, and Scholastic, was designed to provide students of diverse backgrounds in grades four through nine with strategies to deal with barriers and challenges in their lives, while at the same time conveying the significance of Robinson breaking Baseball's color barrier in 1947.
On June 28, 2012 the Orioles hosted the 30th Annual Buddies Night, honoring Baltimore Police and local businessmen and women who raise money for inner city youth programs for the Baltimore Police Department. Each year, Buddies sells approximately 4,000 tickets.
On August 14, 2012 Miguel Gonzalez and Omar Quintanilla held a bullpen clinic for 25 male and female baseball and softball players from Ecuador, Panama, and Mexico from the U.S. Department of State Sports Visitor Program. The two week program was structured to provide an opportunity for the youth to learn about sports in the U.S. by participating in numerous activities with their American peers. The focus of the program was on nutritional education, conflict resolution and disability sports. This marked the second consecutive year that the Sports Visitor Program attended a clinic at Oriole Park.
In September 2012, the Orioles and OriolesREACH teamed up with the Oriole Advocates and Legg Mason to hold the Annual Cardboard to Leather Collection. Before the September 9 game against the Yankees, fans were encouraged to bring donations of new or gently used baseball and softball equipment or monetary donations to help support youth in developing countries. Over $5,000 was raised through the silent auction and gate collection, while representatives from Legg Mason presented the Oriole Advocates Charitable Fund with a $17,500 contribution during special on-field ceremonies. The Baseball Tomorrow Fund also awarded a $5,000 grant to the Foundation for the purchase of new equipment.
On September 27, 2012 prior to the Orioles game vs. the Red Sox, Orioles Partner CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield presented a check in the amount of $75,000 to support the Living Classrooms Foundation. CareFirst donated $50 for each Orioles walk this season.
On selected dates throughout the 2012 season, Citi continued the ABA Education Foundation's Teach Kids to Save Program by explaining the importance of saving to students from the Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship, Living Classrooms and KidsPeace. Players and coaches spoke to students while the Orioles provided game tickets, concession vouchers, hats, t-shirts and transportation for the students. Buck Showalter met with members of KidsPeace to discuss saving money and some of his experiences. Citi also made a $20,000 donation to the Baltimore Orioles Charitable Foundation.
On May 14, 2012 Adam Jones and Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson represented all Major League Baseball players by presenting a $10,000 check to the Cool Kids Campaign Foundation. The Cool Kids Campaign was co-founded by Rob Belanger, son of the late Oriole great and MLBPA Special Assistant, Mark Belanger, and its mission is to improve the quality of life for children living with cancer. The funds from the Players Association and proceeds from other events including the Ken Singleton Celebrity Golf Classic enable the Cool Kids Foundation to create programs for the children and their families, including a new learning center.
On July 26, 2012 the Orioles hosted their annual Day Camper Day with more than 4,300 day campers from 50 different camps around Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic region attending the Orioles' 12:35 p.m. game against the Rays. One lucky camper was selected throw out the day's ceremonial first pitch.
Every Sunday home game, the Orioles and ESSKAY once again partnered to feature the Steal Second Base contest, allowing one young fan the chance to participate in a timed race from the grounds crew area in center field to retrieve second base. Fans sign up for the chance to participate at Oriole Park, and each winner receives four game tickets, gift certificates to use inside Oriole Park, an
The Orioles capped off the regular season by once again hosting their annual Fan Appreciation Weekend, a celebration and recognition of the loyal fans of Birdland. Activities included the chance for fans to be randomly chosen to win partial season ticket plans for 2013, tickets to 2013 Opening Day, Orioles memorabilia and more. Throughout the final weekend, fans were also given the opportunity to win unique Orioles experiences, including on-field Orioles player visits, the chance to take the field with players during the National Anthem and the popular "Shirts Off Our Backs" program, in which players hand their game worn, autographed jerseys to fans.
On May 23, 2012 OriolesREACH partnered with MASN and WJZTV to host Field Trip Day at Oriole Park. More than 6,000 students from local elementary and middle schools gathered at Camden Yards to learn about the weather from WJZ-TV's First Warning Weather Team of Bob Turk, Bernadette Woods and Tim Williams. Orioles Head Groundskeeper Nicole Sherry and Chris Strong from the National Weather Service also explained to the students how weather patterns affect the playing conditions at Oriole Park, as well as impact the game itself. The students learned about the jet stream, clouds, winter weather, lightning, tornadoes and hurricanes prior to that day's afternoon game against the Red Sox.
The Orioles Wives, Oriole Advocates, MASN and WJZTV teamed up to host the 26th Annual OriolesREACH Food Drive at Camden Yards June 8-10, 2012 to benefit the Maryland Food Bank. Representatives were stationed at each entry gate at the park to collect non-perishable food items and cash donations for the Maryland Food Bank and their work with local soup kitchens, food pantries and emergency shelters throughout Central Maryland. More than 4,000 pounds of food and more than $20,000 in cash donations were collected.
More than 4,660 pounds of food and over $21,000 in cash donations were collected.
Again this season, OriolesREACH teamed up with Giant Food to present the Honorary Bat Kids Program. Children ages 6-14 could pick up an entry form at select Giant Food Stores to become eligible. The Orioles selected one boy and one girl for each Monday through Saturday home game during the summer, and the winners received four complimentary tickets to the game, on-field access to watch the Orioles take batting practice, autographs, and a t-shirt. They also participated in an on-field pregame ceremony, where winners were presented with an Official Honorary Bat Boy/Girl certificate and a photo with the Oriole Bird.
The Orioles once again partnered with Giant Food to host a series of youth baseball clinics at Oriole Park. On June 25, 2012 two clinics were held with pitchers Luis Ayala and Pedro Strop. Former Orioles players provided on-field instruction while current players held a Q&A and autograph session with the children. The third and final clinic was held on June 29 featuring All-Star closer Jim Johnson. Kids participated in baseball drills and received expert instruction from the current Orioles players as well as several Orioles Alumni.
In celebration of the Girl Scouts' 100th Anniversary and the 50th Anniversary of the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland, the Orioles hosted the Girl Scouts' Grand Slam Celebration on June 24 at Oriole Park. Throughout the last hundred years, girls have worked with their adult leaders to improve neighborhoods, provide comfort and company to nursing home and hospital residents, and help feed the hungry. In the 1940's and 1950's, Girl Scouts were prepared to assist our military, serving as bicycle messengers and first-aiders. Today the tradition of partnering with the military continues, as Girl Scouts can often be found at the USO Welcome Center at BWI/Marshall airport cheering soldiers as they return from and depart to duty overseas. The Girl Scouts sold more than 7,000 tickets for the Grand Slam Celebration, of which a portion of the proceeds benefited the Girl Scouts themselves. As part of the celebration, the Orioles welcomed 1,000 of the girls to line-up on the warning track as the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland Chorus performed the National Anthem and presented the colors. Sheela Murphy, Chair of the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland Board of Directors, threw out the ceremonial first pitch, and the top ticket sellers were welcomed on-field to receive a baseball and be recognized for their efforts.
On May 13, 2012 Major League Baseball and Susan G. Komen for the Cure announced the Orioles' winner of the Honorary Bat Girl contest, a campaign designed to recognize incredible baseball fans who are going to bat against breast cancer in their daily lives. The Orioles' winner, Tammy Kestler of Glen Burnie, is a one-year survivor of breast cancer, mother of three, and Team Captain for her Young Survivors Group for Komen's Race for the Cure. She was recognized in a special on-field ceremony prior to the Orioles' afternoon game that day against the Rays and also threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
The Honorary Bat Girl contest was developed to raise additional awareness and support for the annual Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer program, a joint program between MLB and Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world's largest breast cancer organization.
One player from each Club was deemed a representative on Mother's Day, and most have personally experienced the effects breast cancer and other cancers have had on their families. The Orioles representative was Nick Markakis whose mother survived breast cancer. In addition, the team donated 200 tickets to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Maryland supporters.
In recognition of the 65th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's historic debut as the first African-American player in Major League Baseball on April 15, 2012 all Orioles players and coaches wore Robinson's famous number 42 for their game in Toronto against the Blue Jays. Each jersey was then autographed, authenticated and made available for auction on Orioles.com, raising more than $11,000 to support the Baltimore Orioles Charitable Foundation and the Jackie Robinson Foundation. Then, in a pre-game ceremony on April 24, the Orioles celebrated Jackie Robinson Day at Camden Yards by recognizing Jackie Robinson Foundation scholar Matthew Robinson. Matthew, a student at Howard University, was presented with a number 42 jersey by Orioles outfielder Adam Jones. Matthew is one of over 1,300 young men and women who are able to attend college thanks to the Jackie Robinson Foundation, Major League Baseball and the Orioles.
On August 7, 2012 the Orioles welcomed 150 youth from KidsPeace as part of the OriolesREACH Gameday Experience. KidsPeace is an organization dedicated to serving the behavioral and mental health needs of children, preadolescents, teens and young adults, offering a comprehensive range of residential treatment programs; accredited educational services; and a variety of foster care and community-based programs to give hope, help and healing to children, families and communities. KidsPeace offers services in Georgia, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the District of Columbia. During pre-game ceremonies KidsPeace foster parent DJ Jordan threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
After the games on June 24 and August 12, 2012 the Orioles and OriolesREACH hosted Kids Run the Bases events on the field at Oriole Park. Hundreds of children were able to live out their Major League dreams by running the Oriole Park bases.
As part of the year-long recognition of Oriole Park's 20th Anniversary, six of the greatest Orioles of all time were immortalized with larger-than-life bronze sculptures in the newly renovated center field picnic area. Frank Robinson, Earl Weaver, Jim Palmer, Eddie Murray, Cal Ripken, and Brooks Robinson were honored as part of the Orioles Legends Celebration Series. At six special games in 2012, fans were treated to pregame ceremonies celebrating each former Oriole's legendary career and everyone received a limited edition replica sculpture to commemorate the occasion. The new sculptures are part of a new public park area that is open for visitors free of charge on non game days.
More than 25,000 area Little Leaguers were able to spend a day in the Big Leagues as the Orioles once again hosted two Little League Days in 2012 on April 29 and May 27. The annual events bring local Little League players and coaches to Oriole Park to participate in a pregame parade around the warning track on the field. The young players were invited to carry banners and waive to fans while Orioles players lined up in the dugout to greet each Little League player as the parade passed by.
Before the game on July 13, 2012 the Orioles hosted special pregame ceremonies honoring the winners of the 2012 Philip F. Haxel, Sr. Elementary School Baton of Patriotism Essay Contest. Students from Bayview Elementary School in North East, Maryland, were honored. The contest, which asks students to "explain in what ways the U.S. Flag has been and is today an important symbol of our country," was founded by the American Flag Foundation, the organization that brings the Living American Flag at Fort McHenry and The Traveling Living American Flag to Maryland schools.
The Orioles and the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association's subsidiary Major League Alumni Marketing once again partnered to conduct silent auctions during home games throughout the season. The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA) was formed in 1982 in order to promote the game of baseball, raise money for charity, inspire and educate youth through positive sport images and protect the dignity of the game through former players. Thanks to support from fans, the Alumni Association made a $7,500 donation to OriolesREACH in 2012.
OriolesREACH began the 20th Anniversary Season of Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Opening Day Friday, April 6, 2012 exactly 20 years to the day that the ballpark hosted its first regular season game in 1992. As part of the day's ceremonies, the team arranged for 80 children from local Girl Scout Troops to line the orange carpet holding Orioles flags during player introductions. Participants also received free tickets to the game. 2012 also marked the 100th Anniversary of the Girl Scouts of America.
In 2012, the Orioles hosted three "Chevy Youth Baseball Clinics" at Oriole Park. More than 100 kids from the surrounding Baltimore metro area attended each clinic and participated in a variety of baseball related activities, including base running, batting off of a tee, fielding and pitching. Instruction was provided by former Orioles, including Al Bumbry, Dave Johnson, Rick Krivda, Bill Swaggerty and Chris Hoiles. The youth also got to meet current Oriole Chris Davis. After each clinic, kids received hot dogs, pretzels, and beverages provided by the Orioles, as well as two tickets to an O's game.
On April 21, 2012 the Orioles hosted Gilman and Mount St. Joseph in the President's Cup Championship Game at Oriole Park. The President's Cup is a 16-team, single-elimination tournament that gives public and private schools in Baltimore City an opportunity to compete against one another. Former Orioles outfielder and National Baseball Hall of Famer Frank Robinson threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Established by Baltimore City Council President Jack Young, The President's Cup is a city-wide baseball tournament featuring several public and private high schools from across Baltimore City. Backed by the Orioles and Major League Baseball, the tournament raises awareness of high school baseball in Baltimore and builds bridges between Baltimore City students of different backgrounds. Mount Saint Joseph avenged a 2011 loss to Gilman by winning the 2012 President's Cup championship, 12- 11. The two teams were then recognized in an on-field ceremony prior to the Orioles June 13 game. This year's game also included ceremonies marking the Orioles involvement with Growing the Game, a major financial campaign to help provide Baltimore City youth with an opportunity to play on safe, well-maintained baseball fields. To date, the campaign has raised more than $166,000, thanks in large part to a matching gift of $83,000 from Orioles' Principal Owner and Managing Partner Peter Angelos. All proceeds from this campaign will be used to help renovate and maintain city ball fields and to ensure that children have a safe place to play in their own neighborhoods.
During each home game, the Orioles provide a community booth for charitable, non-profit organizations to distribute information, sell raffle tickets, register participants or conduct health care screenings for Orioles fans.
On July 27, 2012 pitcher Kevin Gregg and members of the Orioles staff, in conjunction with the PLAY Campaign, welcomed 100 youth from the Y of Central Maryland and HC Drug Free. PLAY (Promoting a Lifetime of Activity for Youth) is a public awareness campaign of the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS), in conjunction with the Taylor Hooton Foundation. The PLAY campaign combats childhood obesity and promotes healthy living and decision making among young people throughout the country. Gregg spoke to the kids about making smart life choices, avoiding drugs, and living a more active and healthy lifestyle.
The Orioles hosted the Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit & Run Tournament at Oriole Park on June 23. The top 16 qualifiers from Maryland and Virginia competed in the hopes of advancing to the National Finals at the 2012 Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Kansas City. Participants were also honored in an on-field ceremony before the Orioles game against the Nationals.
The Orioles, in conjunction with Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association, joined the Prostate Cancer Foundation, the world's largest philanthropic source of support for prostate cancer research, to promote prostate cancer awareness through the Home Run Challenge. With support from Major League teams, players, managers, coaching staffs, groundskeepers, and umpires, each home run hit in 75 selected games leading up to Father's Day from June 7-17 raised money to fight prostate cancer. In 2011, 90 home runs were hit during 60 games, raising nearly $2 million for prostate cancer. Nick Markakis is the Orioles team representative and Manager Buck Showalter is a lead manager representative for the program. On June 12, Jeffrey Graham, the top Eastern Region fundraiser for Movember, a charity in partnership with PCF, threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
On August 29, before their game against the White Sox, the Orioles recognized players and coaches of the RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) League championship teams from the 13-15 and 16-18 age groups in a special on-field ceremony with RBI League supporter Adam Jones. The James Mosher Astros, champions of the 13-15 age group, and the Hampden Heat, champions of the 16-18 age group, were honored. All summer, more than 300 Baltimore teenagers participated in the Orioles-funded league.
On April 7, the Orioles hosted 10,000 Safety Patrol members from Maryland and the DC Metro Area. Select Safety Patrol members were recognized during a pre-game ceremony for their dedication and hard work throughout the school year, assisting elementary school age children in getting to and from school safely.
In 2012, corporate partners Kelly & Associates Insurance Group and KTBS Payroll donated $1,000 to the University of Maryland R Adams Crowley Shock Trauma Center for every save recorded by an Orioles pitcher. Thanks to the team's success and closer Jim Johnson's team record-breaking save total, $51,000 was raised to help UMMS save lives.
Orioles Adam Jones and Matt Wieters, along with MMA Fighter John Rallo and Ravens Wide Receiver Torrey Smith, teamed up with Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings- Blake's Anti-Animal Abuse Advisory Commission and became spokesmen for the Show Your Soft Side campaign. The campaign was developed to combat the alarming incidence of animal abuse in Baltimore. Rallo and Smith threw out the ceremonial first pitches prior to the game on June 14.
The Maryland Teacher of the Year Program is the state's premiere teacher recognition and teaching ambassador program. This program selects a teacher representative from each of the 24 local school districts in Maryland to be nominated for the State's Teacher of the Year. This year's winner, Joshua Parker, is from Baltimore County and teaches English at Windsor Mill Middle School in Randallstown. He also organized a middle school all-male reading club, coached a boys' junior varsity basketball team, and directed a top-ten finishing Black Saga Team. The Orioles recognized all 24 teacher nominees during a pre-game ceremony prior to the game on August 26 where Parker threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
More than 22,000 members of the AFL-CIO attended the June 22 Orioles game in a celebration of Union Night. AFL-CIO members from Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia and Pennsylvania attended the game and took part in special pre-game ceremonies. Also, $1 from every ticket sold benefitted the Baltimore AFL-CIO Community Services Food Pantry.