It’s widely considered that the rivalry between our nation’s military and naval academies is the greatest in all of American sports. And while that rivarly is mostly associated with the annual Army-Navy football game, don’t think that it doesn’t carry over into other sports (or just about anything, for that matter).
How cool is it that we have the Naval Academy right in our backyard in historic Annapolis and get to witness this rivalry firsthand year-round? Now that rivalry is being brought up close and personal to local baseball fans.
On Wednesday, the Orioles announced a new multi-year partnership with the United States Naval Academy, which will include a variety of programs and events designed to recognize and honor the U.S. Naval Academy. This partnership between the Orioles and Navy includes four primary elements:
* The Orioles and Oriole Park at Camden Yards will serve as the host site for an Army-Navy baseball doubleheader for charity on Sunday, March 25, raising funds for two nonprofit organizations
* The Orioles will host “Navy Day” at Oriole Park in August, when more than 1,000 Naval Academy Midshipmen will be invited to an evening at the ballpark, which will serve as their first off-campus experience since becoming plebes
* The Orioles will play an exhibition game at Max Bishop Stadium in Annapolis against another major league team in March 2019
* The Orioles will host the Naval Academy baseball team at the Orioles’ year-round Sarasota complex during spring training in future years
So you’re getting America’s most treasured rivalry playing our national pastime in The Ballpark That Forever Changed Baseball.
Sounds like a history lesson.
“The entire Orioles organization is honored to join with the United States Naval Academy now and for many years to come in this unique year-round partnership in sports and charitable programming that brings Orioles players and fans together with the Midshipmen and leadership of such a venerated national institution,” said Orioles executive vice president and MASN president John Angelos in a statement. “It has been my personal honor to work hand-in-hand with those who set the course at the Naval Academy to develop this one-of-a-kind collaborative effort of a professional sports team with the great military service academy that calls our state of Maryland and the mid-Atlantic region that the Orioles serve its home. We show our appreciation for the Academy’s presence here in our community and our respect for the example that its members set every day by calling attention to and working in support of the Academy’s enduring service to our nation.”
The Army-Navy doubleheader at Camden Yards will take place on March 25 at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. You can purchase tickets now at www.orioles.com/navy and are $10 for general admission lower level seating. Members of the military in uniform will receive free admission at the gates. Concessions will be available for purchase in the ballpark, and parking in Lots A, B and C at Camden Yards will available for $5.
All the day’s proceeds will be split evenly by the Naval Academy Athletic Association and the Fisher House Foundation, which provides a home away from home for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and Veterans Affairs medical centers. The homes provide temporary free lodging, so families can be close to their loved ones during a medical crisis. There are several Fisher Houses located throughout the Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia areas, including five houses at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda.
Game 1 of the doubleheader will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network.
As part of honoring the contributions of the Naval Academy and the Midshipmen themselves, the Orioles will provide complimentary tickets to more than 1,000 plebes during a special Navy Day celebration in August. Stay tuned as more details, including the specific date and information about special pregame and in-game ceremonies, will be announced at a later time.
“These are exciting times to be partnered with the Orioles on a number of events,” said Chet Gladchuk, director of athletics for the Naval Academy Athletic Association. “The baseball team will enjoy an amazing experience, and the doubleheader is a fantastic way to showcase the great Army-Navy rivalry. Our thanks to the Angelos family and Orioles management for making these opportunities for the athletes and the Brigade of Midshipmen happen. Go Navy! Go O’s!”
The agreement also calls for the Orioles to play an exhibition game against another major league team in March 2019 at Max Bishop Stadium at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, schedule permitting. More details will be announced following the 2018 regular season. Additionally, the Navy baseball team will travel to Sarasota, Fla., to visit the Orioles’ year-round training facility, work out with the Orioles and play exhibition games against the club’s minor league teams during future spring training seasons.
Be sure to get your tickets for this historic event soon, as they are expected to sell out quickly. And continue to check back for more details as they are released!