So I made the drive with my 9 year old nephew down to Sarasota today to welcome the Baltimore Orioles to there new Spring Training home, Ed Smith Stadium! We had a great time!
My nephew is a baseball fanatic. He likes talking baseball. He really likes watching his favorite team the Rays on TV. He loves playing baseball! He has already been playing for 5 years! He started t-ball when he was four and has been going non stop ever since. Two years in a row his team from Pinellas Park has won the Dizzy Dean Florida State Championship... I really love watching him play.
So when I found out the Orioles were having a Fanfest right down the road I decided I would invite him to go. He was up to the task and then some.
We arrived promptly at 1:25 PM to find this waiting for us!
The last thing the uncle of a 9 year old wants to see is a line like this. We waited, and waited, then right at 1:30 the gates opened and this thing started moving... What could have been a real downer quickly and easily passed as we walked through the gates. We were later told that the attendence figure was 3,500 people. Not a bad turnout. I think most of the people were there for this:
You read that correctly! A FREE SODA and DOG! Who could ask for anything more! They also were giving away new Orioles hats, one for the adults and a different one for kids. We also scored this cool pennant!
Next we went and played various games put on by various radio stations and cell phone companies. My nephew loved it! He threw balls and swung at virtual pitches on a nintendo Wii. This was followed by the National Anthem, and a question and answer period.
Who is that guy in the black you ask? None other then Hall of Fame pitcher, Jim Palmer. Here is the only downer for the entire day. Palmer did not stay and sign autos. He announced that he was going to a wedding in Stuart and would be leaving right after the Q and A. He did stick around a few minutes and sign a few items, but we were not lucky enough to score one.
We did score these though:
First off was JIM JOHNSON!
Next was 2009 All-Star and gold glove winner ADAM JONES!
Then we had to switch lines and wait for BRAD BERGENSEN!
Last but not least, NOLAN REIMOLD!
The weather was perfect, the free hot dog tasted great, and the autos came out very nice. This was a first class event and very well organized. We finished our day at the park with my nephew running for home!
I hope the Orioles were excited by the support of the community in Sarasota. We Grapefruit League fans do not want to lose any more teams to that wicked Cactus League out west. Thank you Orioles and Ed Smith Stadium. We had a blast!
The Card Addict