Readers, sorry for the lack of updates. With Christmas time and other outside events, we had to take some time away from the blog.
However, we recently did a Q&A with the Communications Director of the Baltimore Orioles, Greg Bader and we touched upon on myriad of topics - the 20th Anniversary of Camden Yards, the uniform and cap changes, general Camden Yards questions and concerns, plus what has been going on with Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Florida.
The Q&A was quite lengthy, so we have split it up into two parts. The first part is being posted this evening; meanwhile, we will post the second part on Thursday or Friday.
With the 20th anniversary of Camden Yards approaching, what does the organization have in store to celebrate the occasion?
We recently announced a series of sculptures that will be erected during the season to honor the 6 greatest Orioles of all time.
While not specific to the 20th anniversary of the ballpark, we believe this honor is appropriate in the ballpark's 20th anniversary season, and we look forward to holding six dates to honor these legends.
We will be announcing a promotions schedule in the coming weeks which should include several items with a 20th anniversary element. There will be other surprises to come as well, but I certainly don't want to tip our hand at this time.
As we all know, the cartoon bird has returned as part of the branding of the Baltimore Orioles. What prompted the change? Was it for nostalgia purposes, like the team's winning tradition from years gone by?
Also, what has the general response been - I assume positive?
The organization is always looking for ways in which to connect with fans and enhance our brand. The cartoon bird has a strong appeal to a variety of age groups.
Our veteran fans remember the cartoon bird as being indicative of the decades of on-field success, which included all 6 of the organization's World Series appearances. Our younger fans look at the logo more aesthetically as being trendy and a bit retro.
Our fans who are in college or younger have never seen an Orioles squad take the field in cartoon bird style caps (except for throwback days), so we look forward to unveiling them in Spring Training and of course on Opening Day in Baltimore.
It was Mr. Angelos' direction to bring back the cartoon bird to give the fans something they were making known was their preference, through not only emails and calls, but also in the style of caps they elected to wear to the ballpark.
We believe the 2012 version of the cartoon bird is the best yet, and feedback from fans has been overwhelmingly positive.
I know there will be a few more additions to Camden Yards, specifically with the addition of statues for members of the Orioles - Earl Weaver, Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, Cal Ripken, Jim Palmer and Eddie Murray - that are enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Can you explain how that came about, and also anything else we as fans should be in store for?
It has been an organizational goal and one of Mr. Angelos in particular, to honor these six great Orioles in a way which treated them respectfully and equally. The project has been underway for a couple of years and instead of rushing to get it complete in 2011, the club elected to unveil them in the 20th anniversary of Camden Yards.
We all wanted to give each of these legends a day of his own to be honored with a sculpture that will last for generations to come, as well as to give the fans an opportunity to share just how much these six men meant to them.
In January, we will be announcing the six dates as well as some of the exciting elements our fans can expect on those six celebration dates.
On that same topic, Camden Yards went through sort of a makeover last year. What has the feedback been? Did fans like the new additions to the park, like the various stands across the concourses?
Fan feedback has been extremely positive about the changes. The new flooring on the lower level for example has improved the aesthetics of the park and the safety of our fans, as it is not nearly as slippery when wet.
We are excited to be extending that new flooring throughout the entire lower concourse in time for the 2012 season. Feedback on the addition of the "Orioles Magic Memories" lower-level concourse billboards has also been overwhelmingly positive.