Orioles’ FanFest 2018

Jack Bayne and Nick Testoni

It was a black and orange party as fans filed into the Baltimore Convention Center for the annual The Baltimore Orioles Fan Fest this past weekend, an event where the majority of the players and coaches come together for the fans.  

Players and coaches answer questions, compete in games, and participate in meet and greets to entertain the fans. For the low price of twenty bucks, fans could buy an autograph voucher to get three autographs from pre-selected players. Fans also have the choice to walk over to Camden Yards and get a free tour of the Orioles’ clubhouse and dugout. The team also gave away leftover promotions from the 2017 season to everyone who attended. 

Big roster moves were also made at FanFest. Manager Buck Showalter announced that star third baseman Manny Machado will be making the transition to shortstop, moving Tim Beckham – who’s birthday fell on Fan Fest – to third base. Even though Machado was not in attendance at FanFest, he still made a splash at the event.  

Some more hullabaloo came from the other side of the Orioles’ infield. Johnathan Schoop also announced that he would have to miss Fanfest.  Schoop’s agent made it clear that it probably wasn’t a good idea for him attend, as Schoop and the Orioles are in the midst of an arbitration fiasco about his salary.  

At a Q + A segment of the event that we attended, Showalter said he was disappointed in Schoop’s decision”He [Schoop’s agent] made me aware of the advice he gave Jon, so we’ll live with it and move on.” Many think that this could be a fallout between the team and Schoop and that there could be a possible trade on the horizon.  

Fan Fest was still a hit, as the spirits of the O’s fans could not be dampened even with the absence of their beloved star players. They could still visit the booths filled with Orioles’ memorabilia, general baseball memorabilia, and even a bit of football memorabilia. Businesses could also push their brands at FanFest. Groups like UTZ, MASN, Snapple, and Coca Cola were all in attendance, providing free items to the attendees.   

Six o’clock rolled around and the lights turned out in the convention center, signaling that it was time for the fans to exit. Some would say that this has been one of the best FanFests yet, but some would say that the absence of the Orioles’ superstars killed the vibe.  

We believe that FanFest wasn’t half bad.