The Orioles have announced plans for the first game of their 2014 spring training season and their fifth season in Sarasota. The team will face the Toronto Blue Jays at Ed Smith Stadium this Saturday, March 1, at 1:05 p.m. and host Military Appreciation Day. Pre-game ceremonies will air live on television in the Sarasota area on SNN6 beginning at 12:30 p.m.
All fans in attendance will receive a 2014 spring training schedule magnet, courtesy of Visit Sarasota County. The first 1,000 female fans in attendance will also receive a bird of paradise flower, courtesy of Beneva Flowers.
Tomorrow and throughout the season, ballpark gates will open two hours prior to the scheduled first pitch. Season plan holders will be able to access the ballpark 15 minutes early through a dedicated entrance at the Home Plate Gate for all 15 home games, including Opening Day.
LEGACY OF VALOR TRIBUTE TO OUR VETERANS
Military Appreciation Day, featuring the Legacy of Valor Tribute to our Veterans ceremony, will take place on Saturday to recognize the contributions and sacrifices of our military with a special pre-game ceremony.
The Patterson Foundation is fully funding the design and construction of Patriot Plaza, a 2,800-seat amphitheater at Sarasota National Cemetery, which will be dedicated on June 28. The Orioles are one of more than 100 community partners in the Patterson Foundation's Legacy of Valor campaign which is dedicated to using time, talent and treasure to recognize the service and sacrifice of all our active military and veterans.
The Sarasota Military Academy Drum Line will be on the field for pre-game ceremonies, along with representatives from each of the US Military services and a representative of Canada's military. Each will be accompanied by two girl scouts from Girl Scouts of Gulf Coast Florida, who are also a partner of the Legacy of Valor campaign to honor veterans, inspire patriotism and pass freedom on to others.
Here is the list of representatives being honored from each military branch:
SERGEANT RANDALL MOORE (US Army); active duty with over nine years of service, including deployments to Iraq and the Philippines, currently serving as a U.S. Army recruiter.
MASTER SERGEANT EDWARD VALDEZ (US Marine Corps); served 20 years with distinguished service as a career recruiter and deployments to Somalia and Kenya.
CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER DENNIS TURNER (US Navy); served 30 years with distinguished service as a Maintenance Material Control Officer with multiple deployments, including Afghanistan where he supported both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
STAFF SERGEANT C.J. BANNISTER (US Air Force); served eight years with distinguished service as a crew chief on A-10 Aircraft and also as a paralegal for the Judge Advocate General.
BOATSWAIN'S MATE TWO KYLE GAUB (US Coast Guard); active duty with seven years of service and currently working search and rescue serving at Coast Guard Station Cortez in Bradenton, Florida.
COLONEL PAUL KEDDY (Canadian military); Commander of Canadian Coalition Forces with Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida.
The National Anthem will be performed by VERONICA BRANDON MILLER, Vice President of Goodwill Manasota, whose American Veterans and Their Families initiative helps veterans and their families find jobs in the Sarasota community every day.
SPECIALIST FIFTH CLASS ANDY HOOKER will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the game. Specialist Hooker is President of the Sarasota County Veterans Commission, a Vietnam Combat Veteran and proud member of Alpha Company Vietnam brotherhood.
OPENING DAY TIMING (GATES OPEN AT 11:05 a.m.; 10:50 a.m. for season plan holders)
10:20-11:20 Orioles Batting Practice
11:20-12:20 Blue Jays Batting Practice
1:05 Play Ball!
2014 SPRING TRAINING COMMUNITY EVENTS
MARCH 1, 3, 9, 17 and 23 - MILITARY APPRECIATION DAYS: Members of the military are eligible to receive $3 off any regularly priced ticket by showing their ID at the Ed Smith Stadium box office for the five games listed above. Offer is valid for purchases in advance and on day of game.
MARCH 3 - SENIORS RUN THE BASES: O's fans 60 and over can walk or run the bases at their own pace after the game. Seniors will receive a $2 discount on Reserved Grandstand tickets. Discount valid at the box office ONLY.
MARCH 6 - 4TH ANNUAL ORIOLES REACH FOOD DRIVE (to benefit All Faiths Food Bank): Bring your non-perishable food items and monetary donations to the game to help the All Faiths Food Bank. The first three food drives have collected over 2,400 pounds of food and $3,600 in cash donations.
MARCH 9 - KIDS RUN THE BASES (sponsored by Schofield Hand and Bright): All kids 14 and under can run the bases after the game.
MARCH 17 - GO GREEN NIGHT (sponsored by Waste Pro.): Celebrate St. Patrick's Day as the O's battle the Twins in the environmentally-friendly Ed Smith Stadium.
MARCH 21 - BEACH CHAIR CELL PHONE HOLDER (sponsored by Sarasota Bradenton International Airport): The first 3,000 fans 15 and over will receive a beach chair cell phone holder.
MARCH 23 - YOUTH BASEBALL DAY (sponsored by Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT)): Youth baseball players, in uniform, take part in a pre-game parade on the field. To reserve a spot, teams can call 941-893-6300.
The Orioles have one of the most liberal food policies in professional sports. Outside food and beverages may be brought into Ed Smith Stadium, subject to the following guidelines:
•Soft-sided and paper bags are permitted at Ed Smith Stadium, as long as they fit into a 16" x 16" x 8" container. Hard-sided coolers, thermoses, glass bottles, cans or alcoholic beverages are not permitted into the ballpark.
•Non-alcoholic beverages in plastic bottles are permitted into the park. All items will be checked at the gates and any beverage which has been opened or partially consumed prior to entry is subject to confiscation if it is thought to contain alcohol. In addition, no plastic or paper cups of beverages are permitted into the park at the entry gates.
•All items permitted into the ballpark will be inspected. No bags or items exceeding the maximum size of 16" x 16" x 8" are allowed into the ballpark.
•No containers or unauthorized items can be left at any park entrance.
No re-entry will be permitted once a fan has entered the ballpark gates. Vehicles dropping off or picking up guests with special needs or disabilities are permitted to utilize the East Lot for this purpose. No vehicles are permitted to park curbside, nor are people able to stand and wait with vehicles.