The Orioles have announced plans for the first game of their 2012 spring training season and their third season in Sarasota. The team will face the Pittsburgh Pirates at the newly renovated Ed Smith Stadium on Monday, March 5, at 7:05 p.m.
On Monday and throughout the season, ballpark gates will open two hours prior to the scheduled first pitch. All fans will receive a 2012 spring training magnet schedule presented by the Sarasota Convention & Visitors Bureau and the first 1,000 female fans in attendance will receive a Bird of Paradise flower courtesy of Beneva Flowers.
Orioles Hall of Famer and current Special Assistant to the Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Brady Anderson will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the game.
A veteran of 15 major league seasons, 14 with Baltimore, Anderson holds the Orioles' all-time stolen bases record (307). He ranks among the top 10 in Orioles career batting leaders in 12 categories and also holds the club single-season records for total bases (369), home runs (50), extra-base hits; (92) and hit by pitch (24). Anderson was named to the American League All-Star team three times and was inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame in 2004.
In his current role Anderson assists Dan Duquette with player relations and player development and oversees conditioning throughout the organization.
Fans attending the spring training opener are encouraged to bring donations for Goodwill Manasota. A Goodwill Manasota truck will be located in the East Lot off 12th Street to collect items. All donations stay in the community and help provide job placement, job training, housing and other free social services to individuals with disabilities and other barriers to opportunity. Goodwill is hoping that their first "Donate and Change Lives donathon" with the Orioles will help increase those donations and bring awareness to their mission. The Orioles have partnered with Goodwill Manasota to collect donations from fans attending four team workouts as well as the home opener.
National Anthem & Color Guard
For the third straight year tenor Joshua Kohl will perform the National Anthem. Kohl is currently performing as Edgardo in Lucia Di Lammermoor at the Sarasota Opera.
Colors will be presented by the Sarasota Military Academy.
A Job Well Done
In appreciation for their hard work, the Orioles have given every construction worker who was involved in the Baseball Operations Center renovation project a pair of tickets to the Opening Night game, over 750 tickets for workers from 50 different companies. Workers will be recognized during the game.
New in 2012
CafÃ© 54, located behind home plate, has added Chick-fil-A to the menu to go along with its Boar's Head sandwiches and wraps. Other new food items this season at the ballpark include Baltimore favorite Pollock Johnny's sausage, soft shell crab sandwiches, grilled salmon sandwiches, fried clam strips and fried shrimp baskets, grouper bites and chicken cheesesteak sandwiches.
The Orioles Team Store, now open on both gamedays and non-gamedays, features an expanded selection of merchandise featuring the Orioles' cartoon bird logo.
The World Series Suites down the first base line highlight each of the Orioles' three World Series championships - 1966, 1970 and 1983. Each suite features memorabilia and photos from the championship season, including a full wall graphic of the post-game celebration.
The Orioles now offer premium infield box seats that can include access to climate-controlled Home Plate Suite with food and beverage service. In addition, the Left Field Pavilion bistro tables now feature waiter service.
Sarasota artist Dale Aylward has hand-painted murals throughout the concourse area, including a chronological row of spring training logos and a large road trip mural featuring all the Grapefruit League venues.
The Orioles have one of the most liberal food policies in professional sports. Outside food and beverages may be brought into Ed Smith Stadium, subject to the following guidelines:
* Soft-sided and paper bags are permitted at Ed Smith Stadium, as long as they fit into a 16" x 16" x 8" container. Hard-sided coolers, thermoses, glass bottles, cans or alcoholic beverages are not permitted into the ballpark.
* Non-alcoholic beverages in plastic bottles are permitted into the park. All items will be checked at the gates and any beverage which 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.
* 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.
* No containers or unauthorized items can be left at any park entrance.
* No re-entry will be permitted once a fan has entered the ballpark gates.
* Vehicles dropping off or picking up guests with special needs or disabilities are permitted to utilize the East Lot for this purpose. No vehicles are permitted to park curbside, nor are people able to stand and wait with vehicles.
Opening night timing (Gates open at 5 p.m.)
4 p.m. - 4:10 p.m. Orioles Infield
4:15 p.m. - 5:15 p.m. Orioles Batting Practice
5:20 p.m. - 6:10 p.m Pirates Batting Practice
6:10 p.m. -6:20 p.m Pirates Infield
7:05 p.m. Play Ball!