Brian's Baseball Bash

The Baltimore Sun

At the ESPN Zone, there were a gazillion games to be played, autographs and photos to be gotten with Baltimore Orioles players like Melvin Mora and Aubrey Huff, loads of food to dig into, and a silent auction chock-full of sports memorabilia.

Guest Pat Benhoff and son Connor Benhoff squeezed a lot into a few short hours of Brian's Baseball Bash.

"We've shot baskets. We got Brian Roberts' picture and his autograph. And we've seen Melvin Mora," Benhoff recounted.

Meanwhile, mom Kelly Horner, with daughter Kelsey and son C.J., had just finished eating and it was time for the next thing on their agenda.

"We can't wait to meet the players," said Horner.

"Especially Brian," added her daughter.

Who knew Brian's Baseball Bash would such a ... well ... bash? Certainly not the host, Baltimore Oriole Brian Roberts.

"This is amazing. It's humbling," he said as he looked over an ESPN Zone packed with some 700 guests.

Also amazed: folks with the University of Maryland Hospital for Children, the beneficiary of this fundraiser.

"Brian Roberts is just an incredible person. He's contributed so much for our kids," said the hospital's pediatrician-in-chief, Dr. Steven J. Czinn.

One person not surprised by the great party and turnout was the host's dad, Mike Roberts.

"With Brian having had open-heart surgery when he was a youngster, he really does have a passion for this, and that's how it's come about," he said. A Drink With Jodi Fader

You could call Jodi Fader, 43, a real up-and-comer. She's the charter coordinator for Baltimore Helicopter Services, the only company that offers charter helicopter services out of the city, at the new Baltimore Heliport in Canton. A native of New Orleans, Fader and husband Brian Fader live in Canton. After doing this for a while, does going up in a helicopter still thrill you?

Every time I go up. Just to have that perspective. It's so much different than being up in an airplane. But, it's not scary.

So, do you consider yourself a thrill-seeker?

No, I don't. I would say adventuresome, but not thrill-seeking.

What are your favorite things to do on your own time?

To boat. To cook. To eat. I live to eat. I don't eat to live. That's the New Orleans girl in me. ... [My guilty pleasures are] wine, cheese, chocolate and bread. Add coffee in there, too.

How would you describe yourself?

Free spirited. Nonjudgmental. I just enjoy the journey. That really sounds corny. ... I call myself a redneck debutante. Because I can hunt and fish and dance the waltz. ... All my girlfriends made their debuts. It's a big thing in the South. Being Jewish, I couldn't. But, I went to all the balls and dances. I think that made me feel comfortable in every place with all kinds of people. That's what I love about Baltimore and New Orleans. It's the decadence. The color. The history. The culture.

Do you have a pet peeve?

Bad behavior. Mean people.

Copyright © 2021, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad