Baltimore Orioles’ spring training in Sarasota is basically a season all on it’s own. And that’s true of most teams. The Orioles sell “season ticket” packages for spring training, and they have different categories of games – much like they do at Camden Yards for the regular season. For information, fans can visit http://www.orioles.com/spring, or call the Ed Smith Stadium Box Office (hours: 10 AM – 4 PM) at 941-893-6300.
Most of these spring games are in the afternoon, which makes it very convenient for local seniors and for fans traveling down from Baltimore to get a look at their team this season. However the Orioles do have four (out of sixteen) home games that are 6:05 PM first pitches. And I think that’s a good thing given that the majority of the games in the regular season are under the lights.
That aside, like any “season,” there are some games down in Sarasota which come with promotional giveaways. On “opening day” against Tampa on February 23rd, all fans in attendance will receive Orioles Spring Training magnet schedules. (Incidentally, all fans who attended this past weekend’s FanFest already have one.) The first 1K female fans through the turnstiles will also be given a Birds of Paradise Flower.
The next night vs. Minnesota, the first 7 K fans will receive an Orioles Greyscale Cap. March 10th vs. Pittsburgh is Manny Machado Starting Lineup Figure day for the first 5 K fans, and March 11th vs. Philadelphia is Youth Baseball Night. The final home game of the “season” (March 24th vs. Minnesota) is Fireworks Night – following the 6 PM game that night.
Similarly to the regular season, all three Sunday home games will feature kids run the bases after the game, for fans ages four to fourteen. Additionally in a special “Florida twist” to that, February 26th, 28th, and March 8th will be Seniors run the bases games, for fans over sixty. Ultimately the idea is to get people excited for Orioles baseball, and all of this is just evidence of how the Orioles and the Sarasota community have embraced one another since the Birds have trained there. It really is one of the best partnerships in the major leagues, which is to the benefit of all involved.