Although I consider myself a diehard Orioles fan, I've never had much interest in attending the annual FanFest, which takes place downtown prior to every season. But this year, I'm intrigued. The Birds open the 2010 regular season in Tampa, so rather than host FanFest at Camden Yards a day or two before Opening Day they're doing it at the Baltimore Convention Center next Saturday, January 23 from 11 AM to 6 PM. If you're not sure whether this is your idea of a good time, just check out the list of O's (past, present, and future) who are slated to attend:
In addition to practically everyone on the 40-man roster (including Brian Roberts, Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, and Matt Wieters), there are almost 30 ex-Orioles who will be there to shake hands and sign autographs. This list is a veritable who's who of great O's teams of yore, as well as a few names for the truly knowledgeable fan. That includes Mr. Paul Blair, as well as Mike Bordick, Don Buford, Al Bumbry, Mike Cuellar, Rick Dempsey, Ken Dixon, original team member Joe Durham, Todd Frohwirth, Dick Hall, Ron Hansen, Chris Hoiles, Billy Hunter, Dave Johnson, Rick Krivda, Calvin Maduro, Scott McGregor, John Miller, Tim Nordbrook, Joe Orsulak, Jim Palmer, Boog Powell, Gary Roenicke, Larry Sheets, Nate Snell, John Stefero, B. J. Surhoff, Bill Swaggerty, and Fred Valentine. Yes, I got too lazy to link each player.
In the past year or two, I've started amassing a modest collection of Oriole autographs. This would be a great opportunity to add to that collection, and maybe even to meet some of my all-time favorites like Hall, Hoiles, Palmer, and Surhoff. So hopefully I'll have a chance to make it down to the Convention Center, and maybe I'll see some of you there too!