Here’s an Orioles’ press release worth passing on to those of you who are hoping to get autographs at FanFest later this month:
"Vouchers for autograph sessions at the Orioles’ 2012 FanFest will go on sale this Saturday at 10:00 a.m. The list of autograph session times and participants will be posted online for preview at www.orioles.com/fanfest by 9:00 p.m. this Friday. Orioles FanFest will be held on Saturday, January 21 at the Baltimore Convention Center from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., with early entry for Orioles Season Plan Holders to begin at 10:00 a.m.
At this year’s FanFest, the Orioles will continue an autograph policy designed to support youth charitable endeavors through OriolesREACH and reduce fan disappointment by shortening wait times. Children ages 4-14 will have a specially designated Kids Only player autograph station presented by ESSKAY that is free of charge and will operate continuously throughout the day. All other ESSKAY autograph stations at FanFest will require the advance purchase of autograph vouchers exclusively at www.orioles.com/fanfest for $15 each, with all of the proceeds to benefit children’s charities through OriolesREACH. Last year’s FanFest raised over $94,000 for the Orioles Charitable Foundation.
There will be 250 vouchers available for each autograph session, guaranteeing that each fan purchasing a voucher for a particular session will receive an autograph from each of the players at the station. Fans will be able to print their vouchers at home and must present them to the attendant at the appropriate autograph session, shortening the amount of wait time in autograph lines. Fans must be in line for their autograph session no later than 30 minutes after the session begins.
If vouchers are still available on the day of the event, they will be available for purchase at the Oriole Park Box Office or at the Ticket Sales location at FanFest. Autograph seekers are encouraged to purchase vouchers in advance, as all available vouchers in 2011 sold out before the day of the event. There is a limit of two autograph vouchers per person, per session time, and fans redeeming autograph vouchers must be three years of age or older.
The complimentary Kids Only area at FanFest will operate throughout the day in a free-flowing system. Players signing in this area will not be announced in advance. Youth ages 4-14 may go through this line as many times as they would like as players rotate through the station.
Season Plan Holders can access FanFest beginning at 10:00 a.m., and the first 250 in attendance will receive a voucher to participate in a complimentary autograph session beginning at 10:00 a.m.
The Orioles will make every effort to keep to this autograph schedule, but reserve the right to change or substitute individuals as necessary. To purchase autograph vouchers or to obtain updated information about the event, fans should visit www.orioles.com/fanfest.
One other Orioles’ PR note: This season the club continues its “come to an Orioles game free on your birthday” promotion. Fans who register at our website, www.orioles.com, will receive a voucher for a free ticket to a non-prime Orioles game in his/her birthday month. Those with birthdays in January through March will receive a voucher for an April game, and those with birthdays in October through December will receive a voucher for a September game. Over 50,000 fans have participated in the program since it began."
FanFest autograph vouchers on sale Saturday
FanFest to be held Jan. 21 at Convention Center
ABOUT THE BLOGGERS
Eduardo A. Encina left the Florida sun in 2012 to return home and cover the Orioles. A Jessup native and University of Maryland graduate, Encina previously covered another AL East team, the Tampa Bay Rays, for the St. Petersburg Times and the Tampa Tribune.
Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 16 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 12 seasons, including the past eight with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.
Dean Jones Jr. is the sports content editor overseeing Orioles coverage. A Towson University graduate, he started working at The Baltimore Sun in 2007. He previously managed high school sports coverage and also covered the Orioles minor league teams.
Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for decades. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer.