Orioles announce plans for first “Birdland Caravan”

The Orioles are devoting the final weekend before pitchers and catchers report to spring training to engaging with fans via a “Birdland Caravan” that covers 12 locations across the region.

A fresher approach leading into a new season.

The winter tour runs from Feb. 7-9 and makes stops in Ellicott City, Annapolis, Aberdeen, Timonium, Bowie, Westminster, Hagerstown, White Marsh, Frederick, Fallston, Fort Meade and York, Pa.

Alberto-Joy-Mancini-Orange-Away-sidebar.jpgPlayers who are participating include Trey Mancini, Hanser Alberto, Rio Ruiz, Austin Hays, Richie Martin, Cedric Mullins and Dwight Smith Jr., and prospects Adley Rutschman, Ryan Mountcastle, Grayson Rodriguez, DL Hall, Gunnar Henderson and Ryan McKenna.

Executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias, assistant Sid Mejdal, manager Brandon Hyde, major league field coordinator and catching instructor Tim Cossins and major league coach Fredi González will attend select events throughout the weekend.

Hall of Famer Eddie Murray and Orioles Hall of Famers Mike Bordick and Brian Roberts also will participate.

Two buses will be making stops on Feb. 7 at multiple community events across the northern and eastern regions. Fans are invited later to join players and coaches at The Greene Turtle in White Marsh for a guest-bartending happy hour from 4-6 p.m. that features Hyde, Cossins, González, Martin, Rutschman, Hall, Henderson and Mullins.

The following day’s events include meet-and-greets at Susan Campbell Park in Annapolis and La Palapa Grill & Cantina in Old Ellicott City. The two groups will end the day at Calvert Brewing Company in Bowie for a guest-bartending happy hour with representatives from the Double-A Bowie Baysox from 4-6 p.m. that features Elias, Mancini, Bordick, Roberts, Alberto and McKenna.

The caravan finishes up on Feb. 9 with events across western Maryland. One bus will travel to Westminster for a meet-and-greet at McDaniel College. A second bus will join representatives from the Single-A Frederick Keys for a meet-and-greet with fans at Carroll Creek Amphitheater in downtown Frederick.

The two buses will meet at Flying Dog Brewery in Frederick for the caravan’s final event from 4-6 p.m. featuring Mejdal, Murray, Smith, Ruiz, Mountcastle and Rodriguez.

“The Birdland Caravan is one of the many new and exciting ways in which we are engaging with fans beyond the ballpark,” Jennifer Grondahl, senior vice president of community development and communications, said in a statement.

“This weekend-long winter tour will take the Oriole Park experience directly to fans throughout Birdland and provide opportunities to interact with players, prospects, and alumni, while also demonstrating the organization’s commitment to community outreach with several charitable projects throughout the region.”

The Feb. 7 stops also include Hall’s Cross Roads Elementary School in Aberdeen, the York County Food Bank, the Humane Society of Harford County in Fallston and Timonium Elementary School.

The Feb. 8 stops include the Fort Meade military base and the Feb. 9 stops include Girls Inc. of Washington County in Hagerstown, Players Fun Zone in Westminster and Carroll Creek Amphitheater in Frederick.

The public events are open to everyone and don’t require a ticket.

More information, including times, locations and autograph and meet-and-greet details, can be found here.

The caravans can be viewed as an alternative to the annual FanFest event that wasn’t held this year. Also, the first “Winter Warm-Up” event took place on Dec. 14 at Camden Yards and featured a Q&A session on Eutaw Street with Elias, Hyde and Mejdal.

Pitchers and catchers report to the Ed Smith Stadium complex in Sarasota, Fla. on Feb. 11.

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