Orioles FanFest to be held Saturday at Convention Center

With their roster still in flux and several weighty decisions looming, the Orioles will host their annual FanFest on Saturday at the Baltimore Convention Center in what often is both a celebration of Orioles baseball and a fairly accurate barometer of what fans expect from the club.

The event runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. — with season-ticket holders granted admission starting at 10 a.m. — and will feature question-and-answer sessions, autograph stations, clinics and exhibits.


Most current Orioles players and staff will be there, though as of Friday night a team spokesman could not confirm whether third baseman Manny Machado (personal commitment) and reliever Darren O'Day, whose re-signing had yet to be announced, would attend.

Orioles closer Zach Britton was scheduled to attend, but he was caught in a snowstorm in Nevada and was unable to make his flight. The club is hoping to do something interactive with Britton to allow him to communicate with fans at the event. It is expected that Vance Worley will take Britton's spot during the 11:20 a.m. autograph session and it will be Henry Urrutia at the 2 p.m. session.

Newly acquired Orioles Mark Trumbo and L.J. Hoes were excused because of previous engagements agreed to before they joined the team. Pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez will miss the event because he is getting married.

There should be some genuine excitement over the team's decision to lock up O'Day, one of its most popular players, to a four-year deal. But the biggest storyline with players and fans Saturday likely will be slugger Chris Davis, and whether the club is prepared to ratchet up negotiations beyond its seven-year, $150 million offer.

Executive vice president Dan Duquette and manager Buck Showalter address fans during question-and-answer periods throughout the day, and Davis' situation is sure to come up — as will the Orioles' need to improve a rotation that had the second-worst starters' ERA in the American League in 2015.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children 14 and under and for adults 60 and over, and will be available at the Convention Center and the Orioles' box office at Camden Yards.

Fans getting downtown via Interstate 395 should take note that northbound to Howard Street will be closed all day Saturday. Traffic on northbound I-395 will be directed to the exit ramp for Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, which includes the exit ramp to access Camden Yards' lots B and C.

Those traveling northbound on I-95 can also utilize Exit 52 (Russell Street) to enter downtown. Fans are advised to allow sufficient time because of the traffic constrictions.


FanFest details

Where: Baltimore Convention Center

When: Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (season-ticket holders can enter at 10 a.m.)

Parking: Complimentary parking available in Lot B/C at Camden Yards

Recommended on Baltimore Sun