Orioles to launch “Have A Catch” campaign

As part of a new, youth baseball initiative, the Orioles are encouraging fans to go outside and #HaveACatch beginning Father’s Day weekend on Saturday, June 17. Expanding upon Major League Baseball’s successful PLAY BALL campaign, the Orioles will launch the ‘Have A Catch’ campaign, a new program designed to encourage children, and fans of all ages, to go outside and enjoy a game of catch.

Beginning this Saturday, the Orioles will host a week-long series of ‘Have A Catch’ events with local youth organizations including Baltimore City Public Schools, KidsPeace, the Y of Central Maryland, and Buddies, Inc. At each event, children will have an opportunity to have a catch with special guests including The Oriole Bird, Orioles players, Orioles Alumni, Orioles ballboys and ballgirls, Oriole Advocates, and/or Orioles staff from the Orioles On Deck Employee Volunteer Program, presented by Bank of America. Several of the Orioles minor league affiliates, as well as the club’s year-round southern home in Sarasota, Fla. will also promote the ‘Have A Catch’ initiative locally in an effort to expand the program throughout Birdland. As part of the campaign, the Orioles will donate approximately 500 Major League baseballs, foam baseballs, and youth bat and ball sets to encourage children to play catch.

On Monday, June 19, Orioles pitcher Mychal Givens and the Oriole Bird will visit Pauline Fauntleroy Park at noon to play catch with more than 50 students from New Song Academy. A full schedule of ‘Have A Catch’ events is listed below.

“Playing catch is one of the most basic elements of our game and yet also one of the most rewarding,” said Greg Bader, Orioles Vice President, Communications & Marketing. “Whether it’s the memory of that first game of catch with a loved one or a friendly toss between teammates at the game’s highest level, the simple act of playing catch is a meaningful experience. The best part of this initiative is that children don’t need expensive equipment or an entire team to have a catch - just a ball and a throwing partner.”

As part of the ‘Have A Catch’ campaign, fans will have an opportunity to be randomly selected to win unique prizes and experiences by posting videos and photos of their own experiences playing catch using #HaveACatch on Twitter and Instagram. Prizes will include autographed memorabilia, tickets to an upcoming Orioles game, and an opportunity to throw a ceremonial first pitch at Oriole Park.

The Orioles will introduce the ‘Have A Catch’ program over Father’s Day weekend when the club hosts the annual Father’s Day Catch on the Field at Oriole Park this Sunday, June 18. The sold-out event, which has raised more than $20,000 for the Orioles Charitable Foundation, offers fans an opportunity to enjoy a Father’s Day catch in the Oriole Park outfield prior to Sunday’s series finale against the St. Louis Cardinals at 1:35 p.m. As always, children ages 4-14 are invited to also run the bases like their favorite Orioles players after the game as part of Kids Run the Bases, presented by Weis Markets.

Additionally, the Orioles will host 14-year old Luke Terry for a ceremonial first catch from a special, surprise guest on Wednesday, June 21, prior to that evening’s game. An eighth-grade catcher from Cornersville, Tenn., Terry had his right arm amputated as an infant. Through perseverance and hard work, he has overcome physical challenges on the field and inspired millions of supporters with his determination. Terry will join catchers Welington Castillo and Caleb Joseph, as well as bench coach John Russell, for a personal catching clinic and workout that afternoon at Oriole Park. Media are invited to interview Terry and his family on Wednesday at approximately 5:00 p.m. on the warning track behind home plate. The Sheraton Inner Harbor will provide accommodations for their visit.

Major League Baseball launched the PLAY BALL campaign in 2015 to encourage widespread participation in both formal and casual baseball and softball activities. The initiative was expanded in 2016 to include PLAY BALL WEEKEND, an annual league-wide effort to showcase efforts to grow youth baseball and softball. In addition to encouraging participation in both formal and casual baseball activities, PLAY BALL aims to give kids the opportunity to enjoy the game in a fun environment by highlighting the many ways baseball can be played and providing memorable experiences. The PLAY BALL campaign is supported by a national television and online advertising campaign highlighting kids enjoying games of catch in various environments.

Date

Time

Event/Organization

Location

Sunday, June 18

11:15 a.m.

Father’s Day Catch on the Field

Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Monday, June 19

12:00 p.m.

New Song Academy

Baltimore City Public Schools

Pauline Fauntleroy Park

1335 N. Stricker St.

Baltimore, MD 21217

Tuesday, June 20

1:00 p.m.

The Orokawa Y in Towson

600 W. Chesapeake Ave

Towson, MD 21204

Wednesday, June 21

12:00 p.m.

KidsPeace

Meadowbrook Park

5001 Meadowbrook Ln.

Ellicott City, MD 21043

6:30 p.m.

Ceremonial First Catch from 14-year old Luke Terry

Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Thursday, June 22

2:00 p.m.

Buddies, Inc.

Joseph E. Lee Park

6200 E. Pratt St.

Baltimore, MD 21224

Friday, June 23

1:00 p.m.

The Weinberg Y in Waverly

900 E. 33rd St.

Baltimore, MD 21218