“It’s about the recreational sports, and the team building, and having something to do,” said John Angelos, Orioles Chairman and CEO. “And yes, it’s about whether you win 80 games or 100 or somewhere in between. But the more important things are the outside the lines stuff. You can always be a champion at that, and that’s what we are trying to be every year.”
The Orioles have made it a priority to go beyond baseball and truly make an impact in the City of Baltimore, State of Maryland, and Sarasota community. Over the past 31 years, the Orioles have been one of the leading catalysts for year-round tourism in Baltimore and Maryland, deriving more than $10 billion in economic impact for the city and state, from the more than 74 million fans who have visited Oriole Park.
According to a recent independent analysis commissioned by Sarasota County, the Orioles’ economic impact in the state of Florida has topped more than $600 million since 2015, while their economic impact in Sarasota has topped $512 million.
“There are sports teams that are in cities, and sports teams that are of cities. The Orioles are in the latter. They are a deep part of Baltimore.” – Baltimore Mayor, Brandon M. Scott.
The Orioles’ commitment to communities across the Mid-Atlantic region and into Florida is evident in more than just their economic impact. With a focus on strengthening the community and empowering the youth, the Orioles make a difference in lives every day.
Throughout 2022, the Orioles addressed food and housing insecurity within their direct communities. They partnered with All Faiths Food Bank and the Maryland Food Bank to host food drives and food distribution events. They also partnered with Habitat for Humanity to build three new-construction rowhomes in Baltimore’s Pigtown neighborhood.
The O’s are committed to the youth, giving Baltimore children a safe place to learn and be themselves through their Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities Program and encouraging Sarasota children to be their best through the Sarasota Health & Fitness Challenge.
It is the community members who make an organization great, and that is why the Orioles are not just committed to being in Baltimore and Sarasota, but more importantly, being of and for the communities of whom have given them so much. Now and in the future.
Community and Club Initiatives
Pepsi Stronger Together
For the second year in a row, the Orioles and Pepsi Stronger Together partnership empowered the next generation of baseball and softball players in Baltimore City through initiatives focused on three areas: equipment collections, Jr. RBI, and a local field revitalization.
Through these initiatives, Baltimore City youth had the opportunity to receive access to proper new and gently used equipment, learn valuable life skills including teamwork, self-esteem, self-discipline, and leadership through the games of baseball and softball, and play on improved fields
Cardboard to Leather Equipment Collections
As part of the Pepsi Stronger Together partnership, the Orioles and the Orioles Advocates held two Cardboard to Leather Equipment Collections at Oriole Park. Fans supported this great cause by contributing over $1,800 in cash donations and donating new and gently used equipment.
Because of those collections, the Orioles Advocates were able to distribute 276 pieces of equipment to youth baseball and softball players in the Baltimore area. They also sent a 20-foot shipping container of equipment to youth in countries where they don’t have access to proper playing equipment.
Orioles Jr. RBI Program
The Orioles sponsored three teams during the J[TS1] r. RBI season, where 146 players ages 4-12 participated in over 50 games during the 2022 season. In the second year of this program, this was the first season where games took place. The Orioles also provided 246 jerseys to players in the program. To celebrate the completion of the Jr. RBI season, the Orioles hosted an end-of-season party prior to an Orioles game in July, where participants enjoyed a pre-game picnic, and received a game ticket and Orioles goodie bag.
Orioles Field Revitalization Project
The Orioles Field Revitalization Project is designed to improve the field conditions of baseball and softball fields in Baltimore City, making them safe, playable, and inviting places for youth to enjoy the game.
“It is so important to us that we have a great city, a strong city, and that our kids are able to play in an environment that enables them to be safe,” said Jennifer Grondahl, Orioles SVP of Communications and Community Development. “This is our second year of the partnership, we will do another field next year, and we do really truly believe that we are stronger together.“
In coordination with Baltimore City Recreation and Parks, Orioles Director of Field Operations, Nicole Sherry, and other parties, the Orioles identified the 60-foot youth field at Carroll Park as the site for the 2022 project.
Members of the Orioles’ Orange and Black Gives Back Employee Volunteer Program, Pepsi staff, Baltimore City Recreation and Parks staff, and the Orioles Advocates assisted with putting the finishing touches on the field by laying sod, painting fencing, picking up trash in the park, and raking and lining the field.
After the field ribbon cutting, the Orioles held a clinic for youth baseball and softball players to learn and improve their baseball and softball skills on the revitalized field.
Back-to-School Supplies Drive
The Orioles hosted a Back-to-School Supplies Drive at the ballpark on August 7 . Fans donated more than 4,300 pieces of school supplies and more than $850 in monetary donations. All donations benefited the Living Classrooms Foundation in Baltimore, which is dedicated to improving the lives and futures of children, youth, and families as they serve communities with holistic and transformative opportunities.
Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (R.B.I.) Program
The Baltimore Orioles Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program is a Baltimore City youth baseball and softball league designed to promote interest in the game, increase the self-esteem of children, and encourage them to stay in school and stay off the streets.
As part of the Major League Baseball youth initiative, the Orioles RBI program has been inspiring unserved Baltimore City youth to play baseball and softball since 1989. In 2022, 471 players participated on 33 teams, playing a total of 284 games during the season.
Each RBI Division Championship team was recognized on the field prior to an Orioles game and was featured on the videoboard during the game. While on the field, they were presented with trophies and got their picture taken with Orioles manager Brandon Hyde and the Oriole Bird.
The Orioles held a clinic for RBI players at James Mosher Field in May. Orioles pitcher Dillon Tate, first base coach Anthony Sanders, and former Orioles outfielder Al Bumbry taught players fielding, hitting, and base running.
Kids Opening Day
The Orioles provided 260 Kids Opening Day tickets to various organizations whose work impacts kids and their families across the area.
Baltimore City Public Schools College Fair
More than 1,700 students from 29 Baltimore City Public High Schools attended a college fair on the club level at Camden Yards in April. Students had the opportunity to talk with representatives from 84 colleges, universities, and employers about education and employment opportunities.
The Orioles Family program and Prom Series gave teenage girls living in foster care an opportunity to try on and pick out a prom dress, as well as get their hair and makeup done during an Orioles game in April. Each girl was also provided with a ticket to watch the game from a suite, complimentary food, and a goodie bag filled with Orioles and Prom Series items.
USA Baseball Coaching Clinic
Coaches from Baltimore’s RBI program attended a coaching clinic led by Orioles hitting coaches Matt Borgschulte and Ryan Fuller at Camden Yards. During the clinic, RBI coaches learned drills and instructions to help enhance and develop their players’ skills on the field.
Operation Safe Kids
U.S. Secret Service officers and staff from the Baltimore Field Office set up a table on Eutaw Street to hand out information to help parents and children avoid abductions and exploitation, and to improve the chances of finding a missing child. Parents also had the opportunity to create Livescan ID cards for their kids that can be shown to law enforcement if their child ever went missing.
Hearing Loss Awareness Day
In recognition of Hearing Loss Awareness Day, The Hearing Wellness Center set up a van outside the ballpark and provided free hearing tests for fans prior to the May 5 game, while HealthCare Access Maryland handed out information about health insurance to fans. Representatives from Jacob’s Ride for Hearing and staff from the independent film Rally Caps were also in attendance at the game. The Orioles played the movie trailer on the videoboard prior to the game.
Nurses Appreciation Week
The Orioles provided 1,500 tickets to MedStar nurses during Nurses Appreciation Week in May.
Youth Baseball and Softball Day
More than 7,500 youth baseball and softball players took part in a pregame parade around the warning track.
13th Annual Weather Day
The Orioles hosted their 13th annual Weather Day with WJZ’s Weather Team. More than 4,500 students from local schools visited the ballpark and learned about weather from the WJZ weather team and Orioles Director of Field Operations, Nicole Sherry. Following the presentation, the students were able to watch the Orioles take on the New York Yankees.
Brooks Robinson High School All-Star Game
High school baseball players from across the state of Maryland played in the 40th annual Brooks Robinson High School All-Star Game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Sunday, June 5.
The Orioles shared local Juneteenth community events and facts about Juneteenth on their social media platforms, game broadcast, and on the video board during the games the weekend of the holiday.
As part of the Orioles’ on-going acknowledgment of Juneteenth, the team offered employees free tickets to the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture in Baltimore.
The Orioles hosted their annual LGBTQ night in June. Fans had the opportunity to purchase a special ticket package that included an Orioles wearable Pride flag. Local LGBTQ organizations set up tables on the concourse and passed out information to fans about their respective organizations. Dale Scott, the first openly gay MLB umpire, was also in attendance promoting and selling his book, The Umpire is Out. He was also featured on the MASN website. Howard County Public Schools Rainbow Representatives helped hand out Orioles pride flags to fans as they entered the ballpark.
The Orioles generated more than $3,600 in sales from Pride merchandise and proceeds benefited Moveable Feast, Proud to Be in Baseball, Stonewall Sports – Baltimore, Unmatched Athlete, and the Pride Center of Maryland. Bryan Ruby, who is the founder of Proud to Be in Baseball, threw out a ceremonial first pitch and joined the game broadcast for an inning.
UMPS Care and Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy
The Orioles partnered with UMPS Care to host a group of students and veterans who are training to become umpires before two games this season. UMPS Care is the official philanthropic partner of MLB umpires.
Maryland Teacher of the Year
The 24 Maryland Teacher of the Year nominees were recognized on the field prior to the July 10 game. As part of their recognition, the Orioles provided each teacher and their family with complimentary tickets and catering in a suite.
Maryland Teacher of the Year, Brianna Ross, who teaches sixth grade at Deer Park Middle Magnet School in Baltimore County, threw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the game.
35th Annual Food & Funds Drive
The Orioles hosted the 35th annual food & funds drive to support the Maryland Food Bank prior to the games from July 22 to 24. Volunteers from the Orioles Advocates, Orioles Family Program, and Maryland Food Bank were stationed at various locations around the ballpark to collect nonperishable goods, along with monetary donations. Fans donated 2,279 pounds of food and $10,671.81 in cash donations.
Mo Gaba Day
The Orioles hosted the inaugural “Mo Gaba Day” to celebrate Mo’s life and legacy on the second anniversary of his passing. His mom, Sonsy, as well as family, friends, and caretakers from Johns Hopkins Children’s Center attended the game. Sonsy threw out the first pitch. Staff from Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, where Mo was treated, were honored as the Heroes Corner group during the game.
P.L.A.Y. Campaign Clinic
Players from the Orioles RBI program were invited to the ballpark for the annual P.L.A.Y. (Promoting a Lifetime of Activity for Youth) Clinic. The P.L.A.Y. campaign is focused on promoting healthy lifestyles in young people in the United States. Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman took part in a Q & A session with participants after they spent the day completing numerous activities with the Orioles athletic training staff. Clinic participants also listened to speeches from members of the Taylor Hooton Foundation and Henry Schein Cares representatives.
Mystery Grab Bag Sales at Birdland Member Day
The Orioles sold autographed baseballs by former O’s players during the first-ever Birdland Members Day. Sales at the member exclusive event generated $9,840 to benefit Adopt-a-Block, an organization dedicated to restoring and rebuilding the lives of people in need in both Maryland and throughout the United States. They are currently helping those who have been affected by Hurricane Ian in Florida.
Winter Clothing Drive
Orioles employees and fans donated 195 pieces of winter clothing for the Giving Tuesday clothing drive at Oriole Park. The donated clothing went to The Food Project for them to distribute to families in need in the Southwest Baltimore community.
Birdland Mural Project
Since 2019, the Orioles and PNC Bank have partnered to bring unique murals created by local artists to Oriole Park. This summer, the Birdland Murals program extends into the community. This multi-year collaboration intends to highlight Baltimore’s vibrant arts community and allows Orioles fans to experience the incredible talents of several individuals.
The 2022 mural artists are Logan Hicks, Thomas Evans (aka Detour) and Nether. Hicks’ mural is located at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, near Legends Park and the Bullpen Picnic Area. Detour and Nether’s mural is located on the 400 block of East 33rd Street, in the Waverly neighborhood near the location of the old Memorial Stadium. This mural is the first of the Birdland Murals to be unveiled in the community.
Baltimore Community Events and Appearances
Beep Baseball Clinic
Former Orioles shortstop Mike Bordick led a baseball clinic for visually impaired children at the Maryland School for the Blind. Participants learned baseball drills using equipment specifically designed for their needs. Following the clinic, they played a game, also using the equipment which included bigger bases and baseballs that give on noise to help locate them. Orange and Black Gives Back employee volunteers helped and the Oriole Bird attended. Participants were also provided with Orioles giveaways.
Orioles Advocates Challenger Baseball Fantasy Camp
Former Orioles players Al Bumbry, Larry Bigbie, and Rick Krivda conducted a clinic for players with intellectual and physical challenges at Lake Waterford Park in Pasadena, Maryland. The Oriole Bird also made an appearance at the event.
Sarasota Programs and Events
All American Woman’s Baseball Classic and Clinic
The inaugural All-American Woman’s Baseball Classic was held at Ed Smith Stadium in November. During the multi-day event, 60 of the nation’s elite woman athletes, many of whom are members of the prestigious Women’s Baseball World Cup, showcased this generation’s major-league level talent while recognizing the women who paved the way before them. During the weekend, former MLB players and a championship female coaching team led a baseball clinic for girls ages 5-18.
U-18 Baseball World Cup
The Orioles and USA Baseball hosted the U-18 Baseball World Cup Tournament at Ed Smith Stadium in September. The week-long tournament was played in the United States for the first time since 1955 and featured some of the best amateur players from across the globe. Event festivities also included a Special Olympics baseball game and a Play Ball youth clinic.
The Sarasota Orchestra played iconic songs of the 1970s during two concerts at Ed Smith Stadium in May. The Nashville-based duo Swearingen & Kelli performed alongside the orchestra in front of 3,000 fans in the ballpark.
All Faiths Food Bank Turkey Distribution
Orioles staff and minor league players took part in the All Faiths Food Bank and Orioles annual “ThankFull” Thanksgiving turkey distribution event at Ed Smith Stadium in November. Turkeys and other food donations were distributed to area families for the holiday season, which came two months after parts of Southwest Florida were devastated by Hurricane Ian. Since this event started in 2020, more than 2,000 turkeys have been distributed to families in need.
Community members rolled up their sleeves to donate blood at several blood drives throughout the year at Ed Smith Stadium. The Orioles partnered with two Sarasota area organizations, OneBlood Blood Center and Suncoast Blood Centers, to host these events.
Health & Fitness Challenge
The Orioles Health and Fitness Challenge empowers Sarasota youth to lead a healthy lifestyle. This program encourages kids to incorporate three main objectives into their everyday lives: physical fitness, healthy eating, and tobacco-free living.
Since the program launched in 2016, more than 27,000 Sarasota County Schools middle school students have participated in a variety of health and fitness activities led by Sarasota County Physical Education teachers.
Orioles Gameday Experience
The Orioles Gameday Experience gives local children, who otherwise would not be able to attend a game, the opportunity to experience an Orioles game at Ed Smith Stadium. As part of this experience, the Orioles provide a complimentary game ticket, a unique Orioles cap, and a concession voucher. Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Suncoast and Sarasota County Therapeutic Recreation attended a game through this program in 2022.
Big League Reader Program
The Orioles and Sarasota County Libraries partnered to encourage kids to read throughout the year. There were 53 participants in the program during the year and each child who signed up at a county library and read three or more books during the program received a free ticket to an Orioles spring training game.
Mayors’ Feed the Hungry Program
The Orioles hosted a food drive in March to benefit the Mayors Feed the Hungry Program. The O’s also hosted the organization’s Thanksgiving Sorting Day at Ed Smith Stadium in November, where volunteers helped sort food donated by the community. The food was distributed through charitable groups, religious institutions, and service agencies to local families in need for the holidays.
All Faiths Food Bank Food Drive and Distribution
The Orioles partnered with All Faiths Food Bank to host a food drive during spring training. In 2022, the annual event collected more than 250 pounds of food. The Orioles also hosted food distribution events with All Faiths Food Bank throughout the year.
Mothers Helping Mothers Clothing Drive
The Orioles hosted a clothing drive at Ed Smith Stadium to benefit Mothers Helping Mothers. More than 250 items were collected and distributed to families in need in Sarasota, Manatee, and surrounding counties.
All Faiths Food Bank Bowls of Hope
The Orioles hosted the All Faiths Food Bank Bowls of Hope at Ed Smith Stadium. Bowls of Hope brought together 40 local restaurants and caterers to serve soup, bread, desserts, and more. Guests were then invited to take home handcrafted bowls, all donated by local potters, artists, and students, as a reminder of the empty bowls they helped to fill.
The Orioles hosted eight local organizations at Spring Training games in 2022. As part of the community booth program, local organizations set up booths along the Ed Smtih Stadium concourse, allowing them to talk to fans and raise awareness for their respective causes.
Community Events at Ed Smith Stadium
The Orioles partnered with various area nonprofit and community groups to host fundraising and awareness events at Ed Smith Stadium.
Athletes and Artists
The annual “Athletes & Artists Play for Kids” weekend fundraiser began in 2015 with the first “Nashville Comes to the Ballpark” charity event and has steadily grown to include more programming, including in 2019 when the ballpark hosted an on-field concert by country music rising superstar and 11-time No. 1 singer-songwriter Cole Swindell, to support selected charitable efforts. The Orioles also welcomed Billboard chart-topping and Platinum-certified country artist Raelynn in 2020. In 2019, proceeds from the mid-summer “Athletes & Artists Play for Kids” fundraiser, held the evening before the historic Billy Joel concert at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, were used to fund community grants from the Orioles Charitable Foundation to Jubilee Arts and Baltimore School for the Arts. Past beneficiaries include the Music Health Alliance, Sarasota YMCA, Library Foundation for Sarasota County, and Girls, Inc. The “Athletes & Artists” series has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for various charities through the Orioles Charitable Foundation’s Music & Arts Education Scholarship, which was created in 2019 to support deserving students and programs in Baltimore, Sarasota, and Nashville.
Blossoms of Hope
The Trey Mancini Foundation presented Blossoms of Hope a $5,000 check prior to the game on May 21. Representatives from the organization also had a meet-and-greet with Mancini prior to the game. Blossoms of Hope enhances the quality of life of Howard County community members through beautification projects and contributing to cancer-related causes.
Dillon Tate’s foundation, Baseball Academia, hosted graduates from Visions Baseball at the ballpark. They participated in a meet and greet with Tate during batting practice, went on a ballpark tour, and watched the game from a suite.
Horizon Day Camp
The Hyde family along with the Oriole Bird visited with kids attending Horizon Day Camp, which provides free summer camps and year-round programs for children with cancer, as well as their siblings.
University of Maryland Children’s Hospital
Terrin Vavra visited University of Maryland Children’s Hospital to meet with and play Nintendo Switch with patients being treated there.
Austin Hays Scholarship Ceremony
Orioles outfielder Austin Hays partnered with the Orioles and Bold.org to create a scholarship for Maryland students in need of financial support to pursue higher education. Hays personally funded $10,000, with the Orioles Charitable Foundation matching his donation. The Orioles honored Austin Hays Scholarship recipient Fatima Korona prior to the game on September 21. Korona is a native of Glenn Dale, Maryland, and is currently a doctoral student at George Washington University. Hays presented a $20,000 check to Korona prior to the game.
Area youth baseball players had a pregame meet-and-greet with Orioles pitcher Dillon Tate, watched batting practice and took pictures on the field prior to an Orioles game through Tate’s foundation, Baseball Academia.
Highlandtown Elementary/Middle School
Orioles Interpreter Brandon Quinones, Orioles players Anthony Santander and Jorge Mateo, and the Oriole Bird visited Highlandtown Elementary and Middle School and participated in a Q & A session with students.
Blessings in a Backpack
Orioles players and field staff packed 750 bags of food to feed children from the The Boys and Girls Club of Metropolitan Baltimore. Blessings in a Backpack mobilizes communities, individuals, and resources to provide food on the weekends for school-aged children across America who might otherwise go hungry.
“It was awesome,” said Orioles pitcher DL Hall. “Being able to do stuff throughout the community to help Baltimore and the kids around here, it’s awesome to be a part of it.”
Jorge Mateo gives back in DR
Orioles infielder Jorge Mateo held an event at a local baseball field in his native Dominican Republic where he met local families and distributed Orioles t-shirts and jump ropes to children in the community.
Play Ball Events
Play Ball Day, presented by Nike, is an Orioles-themed field day designed to grow the game and inspire recreational play among underserved communities. The Orioles hosted events at four elementary and middle schools in Baltimore City and surrounding counties.
Orange and Black Gives Back employee volunteers along with O’s alumni and current players conducted clinics at Walter P. Carter Elementary/Middle School (Baltimore), Magnolia Elementary School (Harford County), Gaywood Elementary School (Prince George’s County), and Glen Avenue Elementary School (Wicomico County) for Play Ball Day, presented by Nike.
Youth baseball and softball players from ages 5-12 took part in a clinic at Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium, the home of the Frederick Keys, to learn about the fundamentals of the game. The Oriole Bird along with Orioles alumni helped teach kids field, base running, and hitting.
Play Ball at Coppin State
The Orioles joined Coppin State University baseball and MLB to support the Play Ball initiative for an introductory baseball and softball event. Following the event, participants had the opportunity to watch the Coppin State vs Norfolk State game. The event was open to all kids ages 5-12, and all participants went home with Orioles giveaways along with a free Play Ball t-shirt, wristband, and bat and ball set.
Birdland Community Heroes
The Birdland Community Heroes program, which launched in 2016, honors and recognizes community heroes who inspire through their spirited commitment to extend a hand in charity, service, hope, and harmony. This recognition honors the heroism of members of our extended Orioles community from all walks of life, occupations, and diverse backgrounds living in our region, our country, and abroad, who have distinguished themselves by selflessly working or volunteering in fields that care for, serve, teach, protect, and improve the lives of others, around the corner or around the globe, who are most in need.
In honor of their recognition, the Orioles Charitable Foundation made a $5,000 donation to each honoree’s non-profit organization of choice.
In 1987, Stephanie moved to Harford County, Maryland from Ohio. While she was living in Ohio, she was involved in a Meals on Wheels type program through her church. As Stephanie became more involved in her children’s school, she met another parent whose mom, Lee Cronin, was greatly involved in Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland’s Harford County routes. Stephanie was immediately interested and started delivering with her neighbor in 1988. Though the neighbor eventually had to stop, Stephanie kept going and is still delivering in Harford County 34 years later.
Kathi Howard and Pam Cline
More than 30 years ago, Pam was living in Reisterstown and attending a local church. She had always enjoyed serving the community, and a Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland volunteer ad in her church’s weekly bulletin caught her attention. She decided to sign up and called her sister, Kathi. Sisters Pam and Kathi continue volunteering together 32 years later, bringing their children, and now grandchildren into the work as well.
Richard began volunteering as a delivery driver for Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland (MOWCM) in the Woodlawn area on November 30, 1983, while he was working for social security. After retiring on December 31, 1999, Richard wanted to continue delivering meals with MOWCM and requested to be moved to a site closer to his home in Perry Hall. He has now been a volunteer with Meals on Wheels for more than 38 years. Richard fondly remembers delivering to a diversity of clients over the years and recalls getting to know World War II Veterans, one of which was near Bastogne in 1944, and another who was on Normandy on D-Day. Richard was honored to hear their stories and felt a special connection as he is also a veteran. Richard has enjoyed volunteering every Wednesday, and it has become an ingrained part of his week.
Esther Wagner, a 98-year-old Chambersburg, Pennsylvania resident, has served her community extensively for the past 80 years as a foster mother, poll worker, hospital volunteer, and Sunday school teacher. Known as Chambersburg’s biggest O’s fan, Wagner has organized numerous bus trips from Pennsylvania to Oriole Park for local nursing homes. In honor of her recognition, the Orioles Charitable Foundation made a $5,000 donation to the Pittsburgh chapter of the American Cancer Society.
Brian Holcomb-McMahon (he/him) is a Rainbow Representative at Talbott Springs Elementary School in Columbia, Maryland. Holcomb-McMahon has provided more LGBTQIA+ events and communication for families, installed a Rainbow Library, and has been a visible ally for students. Holcomb-McMahon is currently working to help Talbott Springs Elementary become a Rainbow Ribbon School, a school that is an outstanding supporter of LGBTQIA+ students. A member of the Howard County Public Schools System LGBTQIA+ Advisory Committee, Holcomb-McMahon is also collaborating on an Affinity Group Toolkit that will be distributed to all Rainbow Representatives during the 2022-23 school year. In honor of his recognition, the Orioles Charitable Foundation made a $5,000 donation to The Trevor Project, an organization that focuses on suicide prevention in LGBTQ+ youth.
Steff DiMartine, a volunteer with Special Olympics Delaware, makes a difference wherever she goes. She is a bowling, bocce, and basketball Special Olympics coach. She has also helped fundraise more than $100,000 over 10 years for Special Olympics. Her loud and fabulous voice speaks for her and the population of adults and children with disabilities whose voices are often overlooked. She was the 2018 Volunteer of the Year for Special Olympics, the recipient of the Game Changer Award from the Delaware Women in sport association in 2019 and received the Governors Volunteer Service Award in 2021. In honor of her recognition, the Orioles Charitable Foundation made a $5,000 donation to Special Olympics Delaware.
A member of the Baltimore City Police Department, Raul Rivera is an active member of the southeast community, primarily focusing on youth outreach and promoting violence prevention. Each year, Rivera mentors dozens of local youth as part of the Baltimore Police Explorer program. He has used his platform to start an initiative to bring young people of different ethnic backgrounds together to train at the Southeast Baltimore Police Department, giving them the opportunity to interact and create unique bonds with one another. Rivera is also an active volunteer within Patterson High School. He has used his bilingual ability to help the Hispanic Community in southeast Baltimore learn to see the Baltimore Police Department as a resource, in turn helping to prevent violence. In honor of his recognition, the Orioles Charitable Foundation made a donation to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation and Buddies, Inc. of Baltimore.
Children who are battling long-term illnesses and conditions in the Baltimore area
The Orioles honored children who are currently fighting life-long illnesses and conditions, including cancer, as Birdland Community Heroes in recognition of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September.
Children being treated at University of Maryland Children’s Hospital and The Herman & Walter Samuelson Children’s Hospital at Sinai, along with their families attended the Orioles game on September 25. The Orioles also welcomed children and their families from The Brett Boyer Foundation who were being treated at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. The Orioles Charitable Foundation made a donation to these organizations in honor of their work to support children who are fighting life-long illnesses and conditions.
Ben Kinsley, Retired U.S. Army Colonel
A long time Florida resident, Ben joined the Army following his graduation from the University of South Florida in Tampa. He was a medevac helicopter pilot and a former MIA from the Vietnam War. He retired from the U.S. Army at the rank of Colonel, and in his last tour of duty served during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. As a member of the Sarasota community, Colonel Knisley is supporting veterans through various organizations. He serves on the Board of Directors for Operation Second Chance and the Sarasota Military Academy. He is also the military and veteran’s liaison officer for the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office.
Michelle Perala, Sarasota Memorial Health Care System’s 2021 Leader of the Year
As the Manager of Employee Health, Michelle leads the way in keeping the Health Care System’s 8,000 member staff safe. Her invaluable knowledge was key to navigating the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Michelle joined Team SMH in 1982, but her dedication to Sarasota Memorial goes back even further to her experience as a hospital volunteer as a teenager. Her compassion for others has shined since those early days and the Sarasota Health Care System would not be the same without her care, leadership, and empathy.
Laura Feder, All-Faiths Food Bank Volunteer
Laura has been a dedicated All-Faiths Food Bank volunteer for nearly two years. Her crucial work involves visiting the families who benefit from the food bank’s services and talking with them about their experiences. Laura’s unique ability to make people feel seen and valued has allowed for their stories to be shared with donors, supporters, and community partners of All-Faiths Food Bank. These stories encourage others to see how a small donation or act of kindness can change people’s lives. Laura’s work in the Sarasota community inspires us all to do the same.
Established in 2021, “Heroes Corner” gives back and shows appreciation to local frontline workers and volunteers. As part of the initiative, the Orioles donated more than 1,300 total tickets to 16 different community groups, from healthcare workers to teachers, community volunteers and more. Heroes were also thanked during an in-game welcome and featured in-game on the Orioles video board.
Sunday Military Suites Program
The Baltimore Orioles recognized members of the military community during games throughout the summer. Organizations received game tickets, a catered suite, Orioles military-themed merchandise, an in-game scoreboard welcome, and a pregame meet-and-greet opportunity with an Orioles player. Luke’s Wings, Blue Star Families, USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore, Fort George G. Meade, The Baltimore Station, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, and Catch A Lift were recognized through the program. The Orioles also recognized Colonel Annette R. Grand Pre and her family at a game in September.
Orange and Black Gives Back
Throughout the year, 121 Orioles employees and player family members participated in 17 volunteer projects in the Birdland community. Coaches and all players on the 40-man roster also participated in community projects. These efforts were focused on organizations that support holistic development for youth, as well as nonprofits that strengthen the community by addressing food insecurity and other economic and environmental obstacles.
“It’s always a huge priority for us as players to make sure the city that we are playing for is taken care of,” said Orioles outfielder Ryan McKenna. “This community has done a lot for us who are playing for the city, and it feels really good. It feels really good to know that we are making an impact for the people that we are playing for.”
Habitat For Humanity
Throughout the year, 55 Orioles employees, Orioles players, coaches and family members contributed 255 hours of work to a Habitat for Humanity build project in the Pigtown area of Baltimore. During five days on the construction site, Orioles staff and families helped paint and prime interior walls, put up siding, cut and put up drywall, and lay down grass sod.
“This is a great project and we are so proud to be a part of it,” said Brandon Hyde, Orioles Manager. “You see the turnout with some of our players here and our coaching staff and [Executive Vice President and General Manager] Mike Elias. It’s a special group. I’ve seen a lot of smiles on a lot of faces today, and we are having a lot of fun.”
MLK Day of Service
During this virtual volunteer event, Orioles employees designed cards for seniors who are supported by the Civic Works programs in Baltimore.
Baltimore Community ToolBank
Volunteers went to the Baltimore Community Tool Bank to refurbish tools and organize their warehouse. The Baltimore Community ToolBank serves community-based organizations by providing tools, equipment & expertise to empower their most ambitious goals.
Maryland Book Bank
Orange and Black Gives Back volunteers sorted and shelved books for students, teachers, and parents to come and pick out age-appropriate books. The Maryland Book Bank is a nonprofit organization committed to cultivating literacy in children from under-resourced neighborhoods.
Canoe & Scoop
Orioles’ employees sat in canoes and scooped 315 pounds of trash (19 bags total) out of the Middle Branch Patapsco River at Middle Branch Park in Baltimore.
The Baltimore Station
Orange and Black Gives Back volunteers cooked and served lunch and visited with veterans in their residential program. The Baltimore Station’s mission is to support veterans that are overcoming obstacles to be self-sufficient again.
Baltimore Pride Parade
Orioles employees handed out Orioles pride flags and other giveaways during the Baltimore Pride Parade.
The Food Project
Orioles and Carefirst employees teamed up at The Food Project and volunteered their time to help prepare food for 460 meals that were served to community members, paint the hallway in the building, and garden on the property. The Food Project addresses two key challenges in our community: food insecurity and youth unemployment to help stop the cycle of poverty.
“We are thrilled to join forces with CareFirst to support a wonderful local organization in The Food Project,” said Jennifer Grondahl, Orioles Senior Vice President, Community Development & Communications. “We were first introduced to The Food Project in 2019 and have been working with them ever since. Their Seedy Nutty Granola is a popular food item purchased in our ballpark, and we were fortunate to employ at-risk youth from their program in our ballpark last season. This new initiative is just an extension of what has already been a years-long positive relationship, and we are looking forward to getting more people involved to continue to give back to our Baltimore community.”
Maryland Food Bank Pack to Give Back
Orange and Black Gives Back volunteers along with United Concordia volunteers helped pack dry goods in boxes that the Maryland Food Bank distributed to food insecure Marylanders across the state for the holidays.
Orioles employees and player families partnered with The Arc of Baltimore and adopted 10 local families to purchase holiday presents for them. After the Orioles held a wrapping event at Camden Yards, the Oriole Bird delivered the wrapped gifts to The Arc for them to distribute to the families.
Sarasota Volunteer Projects
Throughout the year, 18 Orioles employees participated in monthly service projects in the Sarasota area. Volunteers served meals at the Salvation Army, helped with a clinic for the Miracle League of Manasota County, and completed service projects with Mothers Helping Mothers and All Faiths Food Bank.
The Orioles hosted 14 local organizations allowing them to raise awareness for their respective causes and talk to fans through setting up a community booth on the concourse at the ballpark.
High-5 Ticket Fundraising Program
Local nonprofits, schools, sports teams, and other organizations raised over $10,000 throughout the season by utilizing the Orioles ticket fundraising program, where they purchased a block of tickets for an Orioles regular season game and a portion of the money from their ticket purchase went back to each respective organization.
The Orioles donated more than 14,000 tickets to local nonprofit organizations, first responders, medical professionals, and volunteers during the 2022 season.
The Orioles supported more than 800 nonprofit organizations by donating autographed items to help raise money through silent auctions and other fundraising initiatives.
Fans were able to request their own “Scoreboard Surprise” for a donation to the Orioles Charitable Foundation during the 2022 season. Through in-game welcomes and birthday wishes, $42,085 was raised for the Orioles Charitable Foundation.
The Oriole Bird visited fans in their seats during games all season long for a donation to the Orioles Charitable Foundation. Through these seat visits, $7,455 was raised to support the Orioles Charitable Foundation.
Jackie Robinson Day
Orioles players and field staff wore jerseys with Dodger Blue No. 42 and specialty caps during the game to recognize the 75th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking baseball’s color barrier. These jerseys were then autographed and auctioned off to benefit the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
Lou Gehrig Day
The Orioles honored Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig and spread awareness about Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) disease. The Orioles provided tickets to I AM ALS, The ALS Association, and Brigance Brigade, who all work to help find a cure for ALS and support patients and their families. These organizations set up tables on the concourse to pass out information about their organizations. Hayden Poole, the son of former Oriole Jim Poole, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Jim Poole was diagnosed with ALS in 2021. The Orioles held an online auction of signed baseballs and other game-used memorabilia with proceeds benefiting I AM ALS, the ALS Association, and Brigance Brigade.
The Orioles dedicated Mother’s Day to helping the fight against breast cancer. The Orioles provided tickets to local organizations that help with breast cancer research and supporting patients with breast cancer and their families. Organizations that received tickets were The Red Devils, Susan G. Komen Foundation, and The Brem Foundation. Orioles players and field staff wore special pink caps during the game. Signed caps were then auctioned off to benefit Susan G. Komen Foundation.
The Orioles dedicated Father’s Day to helping the fight against prostate cancer. The Johns Hopkins Brady Urological Institute set up a table on the concourse and provided information to fans about urology and prostate cancer. Dr. Mohamad Allaf from Johns Hopkins joined the MASN broadcast to talk about prostate cancer research that is being done at Johns Hopkins. The Orioles wore a special edition hat and those were auctioned off to raise money for the Johns Hopkins Brady Urological Institute.
Roberto Clemente Day
The Orioles honored the life and legacy of Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente by wearing special patches on their jerseys during their road game against the Toronto Blue Jays. The Orioles announced pitcher Dillon Tate as their 2022 Roberto Clemente Award nominee and honored him prior to the home game on September 19 against the Detroit Tigers. MLB and the Orioles Charitable Foundation made a $15,000 donation towards Tate’s foundation, Baseball Academia. Through his foundation, Tate aims to teach children and young athletes lessons on personal development and how to improve skills on and off the field.
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
The Orioles honored children who are currently fighting life-long illnesses and conditions, including cancer, as September’s Birdland Community Heroes in recognition of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
Orioles player Terrin Vavra visited patients being treated at University of Maryland Children’s Hospital. In honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, the Orioles. MLB and the Starlight Children’s Foundation donated two Nintendo Switch gaming systems to the child life program at the hospital.
Independence Day Auction
Players and field staff wore specialty caps during the game on July 4. Autographed, gamed-worn caps were auctioned off to benefit The Orioles Charitable Foundation.
YES (Youth Emotional Support) Auction
Orioles families auctioned off autographed and game-worn memorabilia during the July 10 game. Proceeds from this auction went to the YES organization. Youth Emotional Support (YES) is committed to providing support and resources to individuals and families facing the challenges and stigma of mental illness and specialized training to mental health professionals.
Former Player Jersey Auction
During the Oriole Park at Camden Yards 30th anniversary celebration weekend, the Orioles auctioned off former player jerseys. All proceeds benefited The Orioles Charitable Foundation.
Eight-year-old Jackson Graham attended an Orioles game where he watched batting practice, took a tour of the press box and the control room, got to shadow the official scorer and Orioles Public Relations staff, and watched an inning of the game in the MASN booth. Jackson has his own podcast where he gives updates on the Orioles and Coppin State’s baseball team.
Five-year-old Dayonnie came with his family to watch batting practice and attend a game in September. He is currently going through cancer treatment.
Anne Arundel County Public Schools AP Summer Program
A group of students and teachers, who are part of the Anne Arundel County Public Schools Advanced Placement summer program, visited the ballpark and participated in a Q & A session with Orioles Vice President and Assistant General Manager, Analytics Sig Mejdal and Director, Baseball Systems Di Zou to learn how statistics is used within the Orioles organization. The group also took a tour of the ballpark.
Carver Vocational -Technical High School
Players from the Carver-Technical High School baseball team were recognized on the field prior to the game on August 23 for winning the Baltimore City 2A Baseball Championship.
The Baltimore Station Meet & Greet
Ten veterans who reside at The Baltimore Station participated in a meet and greet and got to take pictures with Orioles pitcher Tyler Wells prior to the game on May 22.
Lou Gehrig Essay Challenge Winner
Thirteen-year-old Emily Short was the winner of the Orioles Lou Gehrig Essay challenge. She and her family watched batting practice prior to a game, where she also met Orioles Manager Brandon Hyde, Orioles Executive Vice President and General Manager Mike Elias, and infielder Ryan Mountcastle.