Orioles closer Zach Britton is getting ready for his fifth FanFest this weekend, and he can't wait.

For Britton, 27, FanFest is all about the game and his teammates — and getting ready for another season wearing the orange and black. After a stellar 2014, where he led the AL East-champion O's with 37 saves, he's understandably eager to get back on the field.


FanFest is set for Saturday (11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Baltimore Convention Center). Pitchers and catchers report to the team's spring training complex in Sarasota, Fla., on Feb. 19. Hang in there, O's fans.

How anxious are you to get the season started?

Very. I think at this time of year, guys are starting to go down to Florida. The guys that I work out with — Chris Tillman's already there, Miguel Gonzalez and some other guys, we're all kind of getting ready to go for spring training.

Once you get to FanFest, the itch gets even worse, because you're around everybody again, telling stories about the off-season. You get really excited for the season.

So FanFest is kind of like the starting gun for the season in earnest?

Yeah, definitely. Most of the time, everybody from the team is there. You get to meet new players you've acquired during the off-season. You see all the coaches again — we've already met with [new pitching coach] Dave Wallace and [bullpen coach] Dom Chiti out in California.

What is the experience of FanFest like, especially with regard to interacting with the fans?

It's definitely a unique experience, because that's probably the most fan interaction we have throughout the season.

And it's nice to meet the people who are out there supporting you — the season-ticket holders and fans who might not get the opportunity to meet a player. Maybe they sit far away from the field of play during the games. It's nice to meet those people too, the people who aren't the season-ticket holders. It's important to meet those fans — they're working hard at their jobs to spend some money at the stadium to support us.

When you do the autograph signings, do you have a best story to come out of that? What's the oddest thing anyone's ever asked you to sign?

You know, they keep it pretty PG — you can't do anything crazy.

Is there any part of the whole FanFest experience that you could do without, any part of it that's maybe a little less fun than the others?

Not really. FanFest, it's one day. Some teams have three- or four-day-long ones. But ours, it's just one day.


You're always on the go, which I like. You're always going from one station to the other, interacting with different people. I want to say the worst thing about it is kind of what I said at the beginning — you get there, you're around everybody again, you're all excited for the season. And then, when you leave, you come home for probably a week or two before you go back to Florida and spring training.

So the end of it is probably the worst part. You get all excited for the season, and then you go back home and you're like, "Oh, I still have two weeks to go before the season even starts."