I had the opportunity to speak with Sam and Andrew, who are behind the Orioles Re-Opening Day event this Monday!
Q: Where are you guys from?
Sam: I’m from Baltimore. Went o Cardinal Gibbons and University of Maryland. I live in Philadelphia currently.
Andrew: I currently live in Annapolis. I also went to University of Maryland
Q: Favorite Orioles memory?
Sam: Hmm..it would have to be attending 2130, and 2131. Last years ALDS as well. Those games were ridiculous!
Andrew: Game 4 of the 2012 playoffs against the Yankees. I was living in NYC at the time, and went to 4 out of the 5 games. That game showed the resiliency of the Buck Showalter Orioles.
Q: Any predictions for this season?
Sam: We’re coming in as the defending AL East champions. We lost Miller, Markakis, and Cruz, but I think a healthy Wieters and Machado can offset that. No one in the East are particularly scary right now. I think the O’s can do it again.
Andrew: I’ve felt the strength of the Duquette/Showalter Orioles the past few seasons. They make moves, and shuffle to AAA so well when needed. Never count out these O’s.
Q: How did Re-Opening Day come about?
Sam: The idea came to me last week. I heard about the schedule changes, and I was annoyed at first. But it instantly hit me that real life was going on back home. It’s really not important where they play. I decided that I was going to go to the next home game. It happened to be on a Monday, which is normally Opening Day. Perfect opportunity for a “Take 2” opening day against the Blue Jays. The idea quickly became to get 25,000 people into the stadium, and support the surrounding businesses and community.
Andrew = I lived in NYC during 9/11. I saw how a city can rally around a baseball team. The game is healthy for a community to rally around. A lot of the imagery of the last week has been negative. We were even made fun of on “SNL.” We want to bring a positive image to the city, of people supporting Baltimore.
Q: How did the Maryland Food Bank get involved?
Sam: Someone in the Facebook event suggested it. We wanted to do something charitable. We wanted to support local businesses. So I looked into getting the food bank involved. They were happy to get on board. This will bring the whole community together to feed members of our city. We want this to be a starting point. We want people to know they can ALWAYS donate to the food bank and related organizations.
Andrew: It’s good to be inclusive. We want people going to the game, if they can, spend extra money to buy food for those in need. This could also plant a seed to always help Baltimore.
Q: What has been the response?
Sam: It’s been overwhelming actually. The Facebook event went up on Thursday. No we’re up to 2,500 people “going.” We’ve sent some messages and emails to local media members. Even some local media, including yourself, have reached out to us. You guys have really help spread the word.
Andrew: We haven’t done much work, actually. People REALLY want to help their city in some way. Whether it be patronizing a business that was damaged, or by donating time or bringing food. We’re giving them an avenue. One opportunity to help.
The bars/restaurants participating:
Frank and Nic’s West End Grille
Pratt Street Ale House
Sliders Bar & Grille
Ryleigh’s Oysters Federal Hill
Mad River Baltimore
For more info: ReOpening Day Facebook Event Page