More than 500 Orioles fans from the business community welcomed back the defending American League East Champion Baltimore Orioles on April 9, the eve of the team’s home opener, at the Greater Baltimore Committee’s Cocktail Reception with the Orioles.
Fans mingled with Orioles players and enjoyed autograph sessions and photo stations with players at the Hilton Baltimore. The program portion of the event featured interviews with Orioles Manager Buck Showalter and Dan Duquette, Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations, a game show format with players and a raffle of Orioles memorabilia.
The Greater Baltimore Committee, the most prominent organization of Baltimore-region business and civic leaders, has been hosting annual season-launching events since 1979, when the GBC hosted the first “Lunch with the Orioles.”
The history of GBC’s role in keeping major league baseball in Baltimore, supporting the Orioles and in building Oriole Park at Camden Yards is well documented. In 1979 the GBC, Mayor William Donald Schaefer and the Orioles coordinated the creation of a volunteer sales force, known as the “Designated Hitters,” to promote season ticket sales.
In 1987, the GBC led business efforts to win legislative approval for construction of Oriole Park at Camden Yards and played a critical role in lease negotiations between the Orioles and the Maryland Stadium Authority that kept the team in Baltimore.
View photos from the event here.
Event sponsors are: Corporate Sponsor Horseshoe Casino; Ambassador Sponsor Baltimore Development Corporation; Signature Sponsors Legg Mason and LifeBridge Health; Double Sponsors Baltimore Business Journal, The Daily Record, KCI Technologies, Inc., McCormick & Company, Inc., T. Rowe Price Group, Inc., and VPC, Inc.; and Single Sponsors Baltimore City Community College and Baltimore Life Companies.