By Ray Schulte, Schulte Sports Marketing & Public Relations
It is that time of year again. The Baltimore Orioles will be kicking off their annual 2013 FanFest, presented by Visit Sarasota County, Saturday, Jan. 19, at the Baltimore Convention Center. It is the time of year when fans and collectors reflect on the past season and celebrate the return of baseball after a long offseason.
Each year, FanFest features player autograph stations with appearances by current and former Orioles players; coaches; and Buck Showalter, the 2012 Sporting News American League Manager of the Year.
The Orioles have an autograph policy designated to shorten wait times and support youth charities. Children ages 4-14 will have a designated kids-only player autograph station, presented by ESSKAY, which is free of charge and open throughout the day. Other autograph stations will require advance purchases of autograph vouchers, available exclusively at orioles.com. Since instituting the autograph policy in 2011, FanFest has raised more than $185,000 for the Orioles Charitable Foundation.
SchulteAuctions.com and other local memorabilia exhibitors will be set up in the FanFest collectibles area, to display and sell great signed and unsigned sports collectibles. FanFest attendees can expect to view unique pieces of signed memorabilia from Babe Ruth, Johnny Unitas, Brooks Robinson and many other greats of the game. In addition, people with questions concerning a specific item and/or needing advice about signature authentication, product appraisals, collectible insurance, etc., are encouraged to stop by the SchulteAuctions.com exhibitor booth.
FanFest also features a great opportunity to hear from the front-office executives, coaches, players, media and Showalter during public question-and-answer sessions throughout the day. You can also check out Orioles spring training and regular-season ticket plans directly from the Orioles' sales staff.
Tickets for FanFest are on sale now, available online at Orioles.com/FanFest, by phone at 1-888-848-BIRD and on site the day of the event at the Baltimore Convention Center. FanFest will run from 11 a.m.-6 p.m., and there is complimentary parking for FanFest attendees available in Lot B/C. Season plan holders will be permitted access to FanFest beginning at 10 a.m. The first 250 people in attendance will receive a voucher to participate in a complimentary autograph session beginning at 10 a.m.
SchulteAuctions.com Conducts Monthly Silent Auction At Second Thursday Lunch Series
Every second Thursday of each month, PressBox hosts the Second Thursday Lunch Series at Padonia Station. Each event features a full buffet, cash bar and a featured guest speaker. Past guests include sportscaster Scott Garceau, Loyola University men's basketball coach Jimmy Patsos and Orioles general manager Dan Duquette. SchulteAuctions.com will be on site each month to conduct a silent auction benefiting a PressBox-designated non-profit charity. We will also make ourselves available to answer any questions and/or accept consignments on site. In addition, Fred Winer, from Parting with Possessions Inc., one of the area's most noted personal property appraisers, will also be attending and sponsoring the lunch series each month.
The lunches are open to the public and the next one is scheduled for Feb. 14. Doors open at 11 a.m. and the luncheon starts at noon. Event tickets, which are $14.99 each, can be purchased online at stores.pressboxstore.com or at the door on the day of the luncheon.
Enjoy a great lunch, meet fellow Baltimore fans and listen to the area's high-profile coaches, media talent and front-office sports executives.
A Comment About Ray Lewis
In my opinion, Dick Butkus defined the linebacker's position, Lawrence Taylor revolutionized the position and Ray Lewis perfected it.
Lewis announced his retirement Jan. 2, and Ravens fans will miss watching the future first-ballot pro football Hall of Famer next season. Collectors have started the five-year countdown until Ray joins that exclusive club.
Follow Ray at twitter.com/SchulteSports and/or e-mail him at Ray@SchulteSports.com.
Issue 181: January 2013