It seems like only yesterday that we were celebrating the Chris Davis grand slam that capped off an opening day victory for the Orioles at Camden Yards against the Twins. How quickly almost six months can pass when you're busy charting victories and significant milestones.
But the end of the 2013 regular season is near, and the six-game homestand that begins Sept. 24 against the Blue Jays will be the Orioles' final one of the season. Which means it's a perfect time to celebrate what's happened this season by rewarding the faithful during the annual fan appreciation celebration.
For the three-game series against Toronto and the three-game set that follows against Boston, the O's are pulling out all the stops. Fans are encouraged to wear their best Orioles clothing and arrive early for each game. Eutaw Street will open two hours before scheduled first pitch, and the entire ballpark will be open 90 minutes before the home plate umpire shouts, "Play ball!"
The Orioles have extended the American Heart Association 50 percent ticket discount for their series against the Blue Jays, Sept. 24-26. For a $10 donation per ticket to the American Heart Association, fans will receive 50 percdent=== all tickets. To take advantage of this offer, fans must visit www.orioles.com/aha.
Here's a day-by-day recap of fan appreciation celebration activities, events and prizes:
Tuesday, Sept. 24: Fans will be randomly selected throughout the game to win prices and be featured on the video board in center field. Prizes include two Southwest Airlines travel vouchers, autographed memorabilia, 2014 opening day tickets and a 13-game season ticket plan for next season.
Wednesday, Sept. 25: The Orioles will host their first Social Media Night at Oriole Park. An exclusive pregame party on the centerfield roof deck will host 250 of the Orioles' most avid social media followers, including the top members of the Orioles' social rewards program, O's Birds Nest. The pregame party will also include a visit from Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette and a Q&A with MASNsports.com writer Roch Kubatko and Orioles.com writer Brittany Shiroli. A limited number of tickets to this event are still available at www.orioles.com/socialmedianight.
Social Media Night will include numerous promotions and prizes for all fans in attendance and following virtually. Some of the promotions are listed below. Fans should visit www.orioles.com/socialmedianight for further details.
* The Orioles' "Catch a #Winner" promotion will occur pregame during batting practice. Fans who retrieve baseballs that have been stamped "#Winner" can show the baseball at the Orioles Fan Assistance in the warehouse to receive a prize.
* For fans at the ballpark and those who are unable to attend, the Orioles' official Twitter account will retweet fans who assist with the play-by-play of the game.
* During the game, the Orioles' Instagram account will reveal photo clues to lead fans to a location in the ballpark. The fan who reaches the location first will have a chance to win an autographed item.
* Orioles fans will have a chance to have complimentary food delivered to their seats during the game, just by tweeting #BringMeFood, their desired menu item and their seat location.
Additional promotions will be going on throughout the night both for fans in attendance and those following at home. Fans are encouraged to stay tuned to the Orioles' social accounts for details, announcements and exclusive clues. A complete list of the team's social media platforms is available at www.orioles.com/connect.
Thursday, Sept. 26: Nine fans will be randomly selected to take the field and stand with an Orioles player during the national anthem. The first 10,000 fans 15 and over will receive a t-shirt designed by Scott Thompson of Rockville, Md., who won the contest encouraging fans to design a team giveaway. Fans chose his "Orioles Magic Shaving Cream Pie" t-shirt design.
Friday, Sept. 27: Orioles players will toss baseballs into the stands and the lucky fans who receive a specially marked baseball will be invited, along with a guest, to watch the postgame fireworks from the field. The music for the fireworks show will be a compilation of songs chosen by Orioles fans. Previously, the Orioles asked fans via Facebook and Twitter what songs they would like to hear played during the postgame fireworks and selected songs based on those requests.
Saturday, Sept. 28: One randomly selected fan will be chosen for a chance to throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the game. Keep an eye out for Orioles players who will be making appearances throughout Oriole Park and interacting with fans by performing various ballpark jobs. In addition, several fans will be randomly selected to take part in a number of ballpark experiences, including exchanging the lineup card, taking a turn as a guest public address announcer for an inning, visiting the MASN TV booth and Orioles Radio Network booth, sitting with the grounds crew in the outfield and watching the game with Duquette for an inning.
Sunday, Sept. 29: The first 25,000 fans 15 and over will receive a Chris Davis bobblehead. Davis was selected as the AT&T Fans' Choice Bobblehead earlier this season. Fans will be chosen at random to go onto the field prior to the game to receive the shirts off the back of an Orioles player. Players will autograph their game-worn jerseys and send them to the chosen fans once the season is completed.
There additional promotions and activities will also take place:
* Orioles staff will wear "Thank You Fans" shirts and/or buttons, and a video tribute to fans will be played each game on the centerfield video board. The video will also be available at www.orioles.com/fans for fans to view.
* During each game of the homestand, the fan that is chosen as Fan of the Game before the bottom of the fifth inning on the Orioles centerfield video board will receive an Ultimate Orioles Prize Pack.
* All fans who check in at Oriole Park via MLB.com's At The Ballpark application between Sept. 27-29 will receive a 20 percent off discount offer for the MLB.com Shop. One lucky fan who checks in Sunday will receive a $50 online gift code for the MLB.com Shop.