Truly a highlight for Baltimore Orioles fans in the midst of winter is the annual FanFest event at the Baltimore Convention Center, 1 West Pratt Street. The event this year will occur on Saturday, February 1st.
In the past, I have scrapped snow and ice off my car in Western Maryland on an early Saturday morning to drive into Baltimore. Somehow, the thought of going to a baseball event makes that odious task just a bit more tolerable.
Fanfest is a great opportunity for a very up-close experience with the players and management of the Orioles. Simply being near them as they move from venue to venue during the day gives one a sense of just how big some of these guys are. I know that every year I have been struck again with what a large guy is Matt Wieters, and the same was my experience with Jim Johnson. On the other hand, I also remember how diminutive was Brian Roberts … along with how relatively short was Mark Reynolds (and Jason Berken compared to the other pitchers around him).
There are autograph sessions at various places and times around the center, along with ticket purchasing opportunities, spring training information, and a host of other displays.
For serious fans, the highlight is a stage area with a rotating question and answer session of players and management. Infielders might be one session, followed by starters, and then relievers, beat writers, outfielders, management, etc. These are hosted by radio and TV broadcast personalities, supported by multi-media visuals and audio. You walk away feeling like you really know the players better – not just as athletes, but also as individuals with lives outside the game just like the rest of us.
- TIME: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- ADMISSION: Adults $12, Children 14 & Under and fans 55 & over $6
- PARKING: Free parking available in Lot B/C
Click HERE for online information. And stop and say hello to me. I’ll be the guy with the orange Baltimore Wire sweatshirt – sitting with a laptop at a table on the side of the question/answer area.