From my fifth-floor window in the warehouse, I look out and see the field at Camden Yards still covered with snow (though the pitcher's mound is starting to peek out from beneath its white blanket). The wind is whipping down Eutaw Street, making it difficult to believe that it's almost time for pitchers and catchers to report to Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Fla.
Brian Roberts has warmer thoughts on his mind, too. And when he's not thinking about baseball, the Orioles second baseman is usually thinking of others.
In this Thursday morning tweet, Roberts hints that he'll be organizing a fundraising Easter egg hunt for the University of Maryland Hospital for Children, one of his favorite charities. He's asking fans to donate plastic eggs and other Easter-themed goodies to the project, which is part of the One For All Fund administered by Brian and his wife Diana.
Click here to purchase or donate plastic eggs, bunny ears, Easter stickers, crayons, coloring books and other items.
Roberts' passion for helping sick kids extends beyond the typical pro athlete-picks-a-local-charity script. As a 5-year-old, Roberts underwent open-heart surgery, so he knows first-hand the overwhelming feelings an ill child feels while in the hospital. Upwards of 400,000 children in the United States are dealing with cardiac abnormalities, so Roberts is doing his part to brighten the days of kids at the hospital, a neighbor of the Orioles' nest at Camden Yards.
We'll publish more details about the Easter egg hunt - the holiday falls on April 24 this year, well after the regular season begins and with the O's hosting the Yankees for a weekend series - as they become available. In the meantime, I'll try to control my urges for jelly beans and Peeps.
UPDATE: Not only is Roberts busy helping raise money for a worthy cause, but he and Adam Jones have spent the past hour or so engaged in an interesting Twitter discussion with Ravens running back Ray Rice, who wants to throw out a ceremonial first pitch at Camden Yards in 2011.