The Baltimore Orioles caught some grief for opposing a Washington Nationals exhibition game at the U.S. Naval Academy this year, but a new spring-training relationship announced between the O’s and the Navy should get the MLB back in everyone’s good graces.
The deal has four facets, with three focused on the spring exhibition season:
- The Orioles and Oriole Park at Camden Yards will serve as the host site for an Army vs. Navy baseball doubleheader for charity on Sunday, March 25, raising funds for two nonprofit organizations.
- The Orioles will host “Navy Day” at Oriole Park in August, when more than 1,000 Naval Academy Midshipmen will be invited to an evening at the ballpark, which will serve as their first off-campus experience since becoming Plebes.
- The Orioles will play an exhibition game at Max Bishop Stadium in Annapolis against another Major League Baseball team in March 2019.
- The Orioles will host the U.S. Naval Academy baseball team at the Orioles’ year-round Sarasota complex during Spring Training in future years.
“The entire Orioles organization is honored to join with the United States Naval Academy now and for many years to come in this unique year-round partnership in sports and charitable programming that brings Orioles players and fans together with the Midshipmen and leadership of such a venerated national institution,” said John Angelos, Orioles Executive Vice President, in a press statement. “It has been my personal honor to work hand-in-hand with those who set the course at the Naval Academy to develop this one-of-a-kind collaborative effort of a professional sports team with the great military service academy that calls our State of Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic region that the Orioles serve its home. We show our appreciation for the Academy’s presence here in our community and our respect for the example that its members set every day by calling attention to and working in support of the Academy’s enduring service to our nation.”
The first element of the partnership will take place when the Orioles host an Army vs. Navy baseball doubleheader on March 25 at 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. ET at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Tickets are now on sale at orioles.com/navy and are $10 for general admission lower level seating, with all proceeds split evenly by the Naval Academy Athletic Association and the Fisher House Foundation, which provides a “home away from home” for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers. The homes provide temporary free lodging, so families can be close to their loved ones during a medical crisis.
Members of the military in uniform will receive free admission at the gates. Concessions will be available with all proceeds also benefiting the two nonprofit organizations. Parking in Lots A, B, and C will available for $5. Game One will be televised on CBS Sports Network.