Orioles announce opening day plans

The Orioles today have announced plans for Opening Day on Thursday, March 29, at 3:05 p.m. ET against the Minnesota Twins, which will air on MASN, Entercom Baltimore’s 105.7 The Fan, and the entire 45-station Orioles Radio Network.

PREGAME FUN AROUND THE YARD

To allow fans the opportunity to experience the excitement of Opening Day, the entire ballpark will open at noon on Thursday. Each fan will receive a 2018 schedule magnet, presented by Long Fence, at the gates. Roving musical groups will entertain fans on Eutaw Street and the main concourses.

PREGAME CEREMONIES

PLAYER INTRODUCTIONS

Fans are encouraged to be in their seats by 2:30 p.m., when pregame ceremonies will begin. MASN and Orioles Radio Network broadcaster Jim Hunter will serve as emcee for the pregame festivities, which are also broadcast on MASN.

In a continuation of the Opening Day tradition, Orioles players and coaches will be introduced prior to the game. Orioles players will run through the center field gate on an orange carpet and take their places between first and second base. Manager Buck Showalter, coaches, and staff will be introduced from the Orioles dugout. Members of the Twins will be announced and will run from their dugout to line up between second and third base.

OriolesREACH has arranged for 100 youth from the Baltimore Orioles Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) Softball Program to line the orange carpet holding Orioles flags during player introductions. Each child will also receive a complimentary game ticket for Opening Day, concessions, an Orioles T-shirt and cap, as well as transportation to and from the game as part of the OriolesREACH Gameday Experience Program.

For the 25th consecutive season, one fan will be chosen to represent all Orioles fans as the team’s “10th man.” The fan will be introduced as a part of the Orioles starting lineup during the pregame ceremonies.

BIRDLAND COMMUNITY HEROES

During Opening Day ceremonies, approximately 60 previous Birdland Community Heroes will be welcomed back to Oriole Park to participate in an on-field ceremony celebrating their contributions to the Birdland community. Orioles Executive Vice President John Angelos will be on hand to present a $200,000 check to the group, which will be evenly distributed among all 2016-17 Birdland Community Heroes’ associated charities. Launched during the 2016 regular season, the Birdland Community Heroes program recognizes community heroes who have inspired others through their spirited commitment to extend a hand in charity, service, hope and harmony. In 2018, the Orioles Charitable Foundation will donate a combined $100,000 to the associated charities of Birdland Community Heroes recognized during weekend games at Oriole Park, bringing the Orioles’ total commitment to $300,000.

NATIONAL ANTHEM AND GOD BLESS AMERICA

American tenor Richard Troxell will perform “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Troxell, a native of Thurmont, Md., has an extensive resume of film and theater performance experience both in the United States and abroad. Troxell will also sing “God Bless America” during the seventh-inning stretch. This year marks the 12th time he has performed the National Anthem on Orioles Opening Day.

During the anthem, a 30’x 42’ American flag from Fort McHenry will be unfurled over the batter’s eye wall in center field. The flag is a replica of the one that flew over Fort McHenry when Francis Scott Key wrote the National Anthem.

Colors will be presented by both an Armed Forces Color Guard, provided by the Military District of Washington, and the Baltimore City Fire Department Honor Guard. Additionally, weather permitting, the 104th Fighter Squadron of the Maryland Air National Guard will fly over Oriole Park at the conclusion of the National Anthem.

CEREMONIAL FIRST PITCH

Longtime Orioles Head Athletic Trainer Richie Bancells will throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day. Bancells retired in 2017 after 30 years as the Orioles Head Athletic Trainer and 41 years in the Orioles organization. In 2011, Bancells received the Herb Armstrong Award, which honors non-uniformed club personnel for their significant contribution to the club, the community, and the sport of baseball. He was inducted into the Maryland Athletic Trainers Hall of Fame in 2008. Bancells was only the third Health Athletic Trainer in Orioles history.

FOOD AND BEVERAGE POLICY

The Orioles have one of the most fan-friendly food policies in professional sports. Outside food and beverages may be brought into Oriole Park, subject to the following guidelines:

No hard-sided coolers, thermoses, glass bottles, cans, or alcoholic beverages are permitted into the ballpark. Fans must leave these items in their vehicles before entering the ballpark.

Non-alcoholic beverages in plastic bottles are permitted into the park. All items will be checked at the gates and any beverage that has been opened or partially consumed prior to entry is subject to confiscation if it is thought to contain alcohol. In addition, no plastic or paper cups of beverages are permitted into the park at the entry gates.

SOCIAL MEDIA ON OPENING DAY

Fans are encouraged to use social media while at Oriole Park at Camden Yards to share their Opening Day experiences with friends and followers. By using the hashtag #Birdland on Twitter and on Instagram, fans can have their tweets and/or photos selected to appear on the Oriole Park video board before and during the game. Fans are encouraged to visit www.orioles.com/connect and sign up to follow all of the Orioles official social media platforms.

CHECK-IN 4 MORE

This season, the Orioles will offer Check-In 4 More, a new program available exclusively within the free MLB Ballpark mobile application at Oriole Park.

Fans earn rewards by using the MLB Ballpark app at 2018 Orioles games at Oriole Park through Thursday, August 30. Fans who check-in while logged in to their Orioles.com account will earn an “RBI” at each home game. Once fans have earned four RBI, they will receive a free Upper Level ticket voucher for a 2018 value or classic game via their Orioles.com account. Additionally, fans who check-in four, eight, 12, 20, and 32 times will have an opportunity to win additional prizes including an autographed ball, jersey, and a VIP trip to Oriole Park. Check-In 4 More also offers rewards for every home game, as well as season-long offers.

Daily offers for every game include:

Exclusive T-Shirt: A limited edition Check-In 4 More T-shirt for 25 random fans who check in and unlock this offer.

For more details about Check-In 4 More, visit orioles.com/checkin.

MLB Ballpark, the official app of Oriole Park at Camden Yards, offers mobile check in, social media, special offers, rewards, and exclusive content for anyone with a supported Android smartphone or iPhone. To learn more, visit orioles.com/ballparkapp.

DEROGATORY LANGUAGE POLICY

In collaboration with Major League Baseball, the Orioles have developed guidelines to maintain a respectful experience for all fans and personnel. The Orioles will not tolerate the use of foul or abusive language, including derogatory language concerning another person’s race, ethnicity, gender, religion, disability, age, sexual orientation, or national origin. Violators are subject to ejection from the ballpark.

MLB SECURITY MEASURES

All Major League Baseball teams have mandatory metal detection screening of all fans prior to entry at every ballpark. Oriole Park at Camden Yards will again have walk-through magnetometers or hand-held metal detectors at each entrance in order to ensure a safe and fun environment for fans attending Orioles games. Fans are advised to allow themselves plenty of time for entry.

Prior to screening, fans will be asked to remove their keys and mobile phone from their pockets. Wallets and other identification or money holders can remain in their pocket or size-compliant bag (see below for rules on bags). Bags that do not meet size requirements will not be allowed into the ballpark.

Fans without a bag can utilize one of several Express Lanes found at Gates A, C, F, or H to go through security. Other security measures include the following:

* All items permitted into the ballpark will be inspected. No bags or items exceeding the maximum size of 16” x 16” x 8” are allowed into the ballpark. Permitted items must easily fit into a 16” x 16” x 8” container. Bags on wheels are prohibited.

* No containers or unauthorized items can be left at any park entrance. Fans will be asked to return them to their vehicle.

* No re-entry will be permitted. Once fans enter the ballpark, they will not be permitted to leave and re-enter the facility. Fans should make sure they have everything they need before entering the ballpark.

* Only vehicles dropping off or picking up guests with disabilities are permitted to stop curbside at the ballpark. No other vehicles are permitted curbside, nor will fans be able to stand and wait with their vehicles.

* The Orioles welcome fan support in the form of handmade banners and signs. To ensure that all fans will have an unobstructed view of the ballgame, the Orioles do not permit the hanging of banners anywhere in the ballpark. Banners may only be displayed before and after the game and between innings. Banners are subject to confiscation if the content is commercial, political, and/or in bad taste according to the Orioles’ discretion. The Orioles reserve the right to remove any banner at any time.

* Air horns, cowbells, and other noisemakers are not permitted in the ballpark.
Firearms, knives, or weapons of any kind are not permitted at Oriole Park.

NOTE TO ALL ELECTRONIC MEDIA

All broadcasters using radio frequency technologies must coordinate and register their frequencies on Opening Day. If an outlet intends to use RF communications devices either before or during the game either inside or immediately outside the ballpark (cell phones excluded), that outlet must contact the Orioles’ RF Coordinator, Ken Cardosa, at 410-868-5939 or kjcardosa@comcast.net. It is preferable that this coordination occur prior to arrival on site.

OPENING DAY TIMING

* 9:30 a.m. - Press box and Home Plate Will Call window opens for media credential pickup
* 10 a.m. - Orioles parking lot opens to fans
* 10:50-11:40 a.m. - Orioles clubhouse open to credentialed media
* 11:40 a.m. - Buck Showalter pregame availability (Auxiliary Clubhouse)
* Noon-12:45 p.m. - Orioles batting practice
* Noon - Gates open
* 12:45-1:35 p.m. - Twins batting practice
* 1:35-2:30 p.m. - Field preparation
* 2:30 p.m. - Ceremonies begin
* 3:05 p.m. - Play ball!