The Orioles announced their lineup of pre-game activities for Friday’s Opening Day today, with a nod to the 20th anniversary of Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Fans are encouraged to be in their seats by 2:30 p.m., when ceremonies will begin. Gates open at noon.
The first pitch
The same pitcher and catcher who opened the stadium in 1992 will be on the mound and behind the plate for the anniversary pitch. Rick Sutcliffe, the tall right-hander who threw a five-hit shutout in the O’s 2-0 win over the Cleveland Indians on April 6, 1992, will deliver the ceremonial first pitch to catcher Chris Hoiles. Hoiles was 1-for-3 with an RBI double in the game.
Tenor Rolando Sanz, of The Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric, will perform the national anthem and God Bless America. He recently made his Carnegie Hall debut in the premiere of Prokofiev’s lost opera Dalëkie Morja (Distant Seas).
During Sanz’s performance of the anthem, a 30-foot by 42-foot American flag from Fort McHenry will be unfurled over the batter’s eye wall in center field. It is a replica of the one that flew over Fort McHenry when Francis Scott Key wrote the national anthem.
The Fort McHenry Guard will present the colors in celebration of the bicentennial of the War of 1812. The group includes National Park Service personnel and volunteers who represent the defenders of Baltimore and Fort McHenry: the Field Music in scarlet and white; the Corps of Artillery, the Baltimore Fencibles, the Sea Fencibles and the citizens of Baltimore who supported them.
Right fielder Nick Markakis and catcher Matt Wieters will be presented with their 2011 Gold Glove Awards.
In recognition of the 20th anniversary of Camden Yards, the Orioles will use baseballs stamped with the 20th anniversary logo for all home games during 2012. The baseballs will then be available for purchase in the Orioles Official Team Store at the ballpark and at www.orioles.com.