O’s celebrate Jackie Robinson Day, honor Earl Weaver

In recognition of the 66th anniversary of Jackie Robinson becoming the first African-American player in Major League Baseball, the Orioles will honor a Jackie Robinson Foundation scholar in a special pre-game ceremony before their game this evening against the Tampa Bay Rays. Brittany Thomas, a sophomore at Johns Hopkins University majoring in Public Health Studies and Global Environmental Change and Sustainability, will be presented with a #42 jersey by Orioles outfielder Adam Jones and will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Thomas is one of over a thousand young men and women who were able to attend college thanks to the Jackie Robinson Foundation, Major League Baseball and the Orioles.

Jones is personally supporting a Jackie Robinson Foundation scholar, Alanah Grisham, a freshman studying neurobiology at Spelman College from San Diego, CA. Through this grant, Alanah will be supported for four years.

Also on Tuesday, all Orioles uniformed personnel will wear #42, Robinson’s number, during the game against the Rays, joining all other major league teams in honoring Robinson’s historic achievement. Each player’s authenticated game-worn and autographed #42 jersey will be auctioned at www.orioles.com to benefit the Baltimore Orioles Charitable Foundation and the Jackie Robinson Foundation. The auction begins tonight at 7:00 p.m. and ends April 23 at midnight. To date the Orioles have raised $45,000 for the Jackie Robinson Foundation. In addition, MLB.com will be auctioning off a team autographed #42 jersey at www.mlb.com/42jersey to benefit the Jackie Robinson Foundation.

On Saturday, April 20, the Orioles will host a celebration of life for legendary manager EARL WEAVER. The program, “A Celebration of Earl,” will begin at 6:00 p.m. and will include a video tribute and a collection of notable guest speakers to honor the memory of the greatest manager in Orioles history.

Guest speakers include Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, Jim Palmer, Buck Showalter, Rick Dempsey, National Baseball Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson and Earl’s son, Mike Weaver.

One of six Orioles Legends to receive his own larger-than-life bronze sculpture at the ballpark last season, Weaver passed away in January at the age of 82. The Orioles are wearing a patch on their right uniform sleeve throughout the season in his honor. . Fans are encouraged to visit www.orioles.com/4earl to share their memories of Weaver.

The Orioles will hold a moment of silence before tonight’s game in honor of the victims of yesterday’s tragedy in Boston and two longtime fans who recently passed away. Matt Hersl, who died when he was struck by a car on April 9, was a season plan holder and a frequent visitor for Orioles batting practice as well as events throughout the region. Tommy Conelius, who passed away from cancer on February 15, was a longtime Orioles season ticket holder who could be seen sitting in front of the press box at nearly every home game as well as at area events.

Maryland suffered a record-breaking number of military losses during the month of March, and on Sunday, April 21 the Orioles will honor these fallen heroes during a pre-game ceremony. The Orioleswill present the families of Army Cpt. Sara M. Knutson of Eldersburg, Navy LTJG Valerie Cappelaere Delaney of Ellicott City, and Marine Lance Corporal William Taylor Wild IV of Severna Park with an honorary Orioles jersey on the field prior to the game. A moment of silence will be observed during the ceremony and the family members will be recognized as part of the Orioles Military Appreciation Program that day.