Mirroring Brian Roberts' injury-plagued season, the preparation for the fifth annual Brian's Baseball Bash was a little more difficult this year. For one, Roberts missed nearly 3 ½ months of the season, spending significant time at the team's spring training complex in Florida during that stretch.
The event also lost its home for the first four years as ESPN Zone in the Inner Harbor closed down.
But Roberts made sure that 'The Bash' will go on as planned and the Orioles second baseman will host the event on Sunday at Dave and Buster's in Arundel Mills Mall from 6 to 9 p.m. Proceeds from Brian's Baseball Bash will support the University of Maryland Hospital for Children's Pediatric Cardiopulmonary and Child Life Programs.
"It's been probably a little harder," Roberts said. "I think it's out of sight, out of mind sometimes. A lot of people were probably wondering if we were having it. I have a little bit of apprehension again for the first time in a couple of years. I'm hoping people are still going to show up and we're going to have the same kind of turnout that we always have. I think once we get people in the door, everybody is going to have a great time."
Roberts' Oriole teammates along with other local sport stars are scheduled to be on hand for the event, which will include silent and live auctions. Roberts has secured autographed jerseys from Oriole Hall of Famers Cal Ripken Jr., Eddie Murray, Brooks Robinson and Jim Palmer; an autographed jersey from Washington Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg, an autographed item from golfer Phil Mickelson, along with other memorabilia. A trip to Fenway Park to watch an Orioles-Red Sox series and Maryland football tickets will be among the other items auctioned off.
Tickets to the event must be purchased in advance. They are $200 for adults and $150 for children 12 and under. To order tickets, fans should call the UMHC at 410-328-3637.
It's certainly a worthy cause as Roberts remains one of the most giving athletes in the city. Roberts, who had open heart surgery when he was a kid, makes unannounced and unpublicized trips to children's hospitals when the Orioles are on the road. But he spends the most time at UMHC, and 'The Bash' has raised some much-needed funds for the hospital.