The Orioles will open their first spring training season at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota tomorrow, Wednesday, March 3 against the Tampa Bay Rays at 1:05 p.m. The entire ballpark will open at 11:00 a.m. for fans to come early and enjoy batting practice and pregame preparations.
Tickets are still available by visiting www.orioles.com, by calling (888) 329-3365 or by visiting the Ed Smith Stadium box office.
NATIONAL ANTHEM AND COLOR GUARD
American tenor Joshua Kohl will perform the National Anthem prior to the game. Kohl is currently singing the principal role of Tamino in Sarasota Opera’s production of “The Magic Flute.”
Colors will be presented by students from the Sarasota Military Academy.
CEREMONIAL FIRST PITCHES
All five Sarasota County Commissioners - Joe Barbetta, Carolyn Mason, Nora Patterson, Shannon Staub and Jon Thaxton - will be present at tomorrow’s game and will throw out the ceremonial first pitches to Orioles players prior to the game.
PUBLIC ADDRESS ANNOUNCER
After a day of open tryouts that resulted in more than 70 applicants for the role, the Orioles have selected Billy Johnson as their new public address announcer for Ed Smith Stadium. Johnson, a native of Canton, Ohio, has made Sarasota his winter home for the last 10 years and has made extended stays in the area for the last 25 years. He has extensive experience in radio, including commercials and comedy writing. He is also an inventor, having created a motorcycle wheel cleaning unit called “Wheel Easy” that was distributed by Harley-Davidson. Johnson and his wife, Karen, enjoy riding their Harley-Davidson motorcycles and have visited all 50 states in their travels.
HUNGRY FOR BASEBALL
The Orioles have brought a Maryland staple with them to Florida. In addition to the usual ballpark fare, fans in attendance can enjoy a Phillips Seafood Maryland crab cake while watching the games at Ed Smith Stadium.
OPENING DAY TIMING
Until 11:15 a.m.
Orioles Batting Practice
11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Rays Batting Practice