Josh Michael: With O’s on West Coast, check out affiliates’ promotions

This week, I wanted to shift gears, just like the weather finally seems to be, and focus on some fun things going on at some of the Orioles’ minor league affiliates’ ballparks this weekend.

Three of the four O’s full-season affiliates will be home this weekend, with the high Single-A Frederick Keys being the lone affiliate on the road. The Triple-A Norfolk Tides, Double-A Bowie Baysox and low Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds will all be home and there is a lot of fun to be had at their respective ball parks.

This is always a fun week/weekend around the minor leagues (and for the big leagues for that matter) thanks to the ever popular “May the 4th be with you” “Star Wars” theme that so many teams take advantage of on the promotion calendar. When you throw in the fact that the weather finally seems to be warming up for good and some pretty good forecasts, this weekend is a great one to head out and catch a game.

Norfolk Tides - Harbor Park: It will be a loaded weekend at Harbor Park with some sort of a promotion every day. On Thursday, fans get to enjoy the routine of Thursday happy hour with drink specials. Friday will be the ever popular postgame fireworks extravaganza.

Saturday and Sunday could be the most fun of it all. On Saturday, in addition to a pregame high school game between Oscar Smith and Tallwood high schools (that fans can enjoy for free with their Tides game ticket), it will also be Superhero Saturday. The Tides encourage fans to dress as their favorite superhero to join forces with other costumed characters from Tidewater Comicon. Fans can pose for pictures and help them fight for truth, justice and the American way.

On Sunday, the first 4,000 fans will receive a collectable photo of outfielder DJ Stewart, plus Stewart will be scheduled to sign autographs on the concourse prior to the game. In addition, it will also be Sunday Funday and Talon, the No. 1 fan of D.C. United will also be on the concourse to meet fans, take pictures and sign autographs.

Bowie Baysox - Prince George’s Stadium: The Baysox will be having back-to-back fireworks nights on Friday and Saturday. The fun doesn’t end there, though.

On Thursday, the first 350 fans ages 13 and older will receive a mystery bobblehead. The bobblehead will be wrapped up and could be a bobblehead of Zach Britton, Manny Machado, Dylan Bundy, Babe Ruth, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan or others. It will truly be a mystery.

In addition to fireworks after the game Saturday, it is also Tribute to the Negro Leagues Night, which will feature appearances by former Negro League players, who will be there to sign autographs and take photos with fans. There’s even more fun to have on Saturday as it’s also Art in the Park Night, where fans will have the opportunity to interact with up to 10 published youth authors from Prince George’s County and kids can help paint a mural that will be hung inside Prince George’s Stadium during the 2018 season.

Last, but certainly not least, Sunday is Character-A-Palooza, where you have the opportunity to meet and take pictures with three of everyone’s current favorite characters in Peppa & George, as well as Doc McStuffins.

Delmarva Shorebirds - Arthur W. Perdue Stadium: As I mentioned, several teams around the country will be having a “Star Wars” theme on May 4, and the Shorebirds will be hosting “Star Wars” Night on Friday. There will be “Star Wars” characters in attendance to interact with fans and the Shorebirds will be wearing “Star Wars” jerseys, as well. That’s not all though, the first 1,000 fans with receive a storm trooper Manny Machado bobblehead.

The Shorebirds will also have postgame fireworks on Saturday and will celebrate mascot Sherman’s birthday on Sunday, when some mascot friends are expected to be in attendance.

It’s setting up to be a fun weekend around Birdland, and since the O’s are on the West Coast, be sure to go check out your favorite affiliate. You won’t regret it.

Josh Michael blogs about the Orioles for Baby Birdland. Follow him on Twitter: @BabyBirdland. His opinions on the Orioles will appear here as part of MASNsports.com’s longstanding initiative of welcoming guest bloggers to our pages. All opinions expressed are those of the guest bloggers, who are not employed by MASNsports.com but are just as passionate about their baseball as our roster of writers.

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