The first thing we did was head up to the third floor, where the team gives away the previous season's excess promotional items in a couple of conference rooms. I've never bothered waiting in that absurdly long line, particularly since we make it a point to get to the majority of the games with the most desirable freebies. But this year, they added a separate room for kids 14 and under, and we have one of those. With the 'Fest just having started, we figured we'd split up and have a good shot at collecting our prizes from both rooms. So Janet and Finn went their way, and zoomed right through the kids' line. I got to the adults' room two doors down and...the line was already snaking out the door and across the width of the hallway. That's a nope for me. So we contented ourselves with a Manny Machado Starting Lineup figure, a Manny garden gnome, a Camden Yards 25th Anniversary poster, and an Orioles Magazine game program featuring Dylan Bundy on the cover. Not bad.
As long as we were on the third floor, we also decided to bargain hunt in the "team store" room. All told, we came out with a pair of seatbelt covers, two pairs of socks, a stainless steel water bottle, a glass train Christmas ornament (Finn loves choo-choos!), and a brick of 50 assorted Orioles cards, and the total came to $33. We also browsed the sponsors and merchandise booths in the main hall, and bought a pair of 2018 Orioles Pet Calendars from BARCS for our offices. I restrained myself and spent a mere $10 more on 18 packs of assorted junk wax cards, just to scratch the pack-ripping itch. Most of the sponsor booths were also giving away cellophane-wrapped five-card packs of 2017 Topps Series One that were provided by the team, and they were suitably generous with them. In all, Janet and I came away with 14 packs.
I didn't spend much time listening to the player and coach and executive and media Q and A sessions, as we were busy chasing down a tiny moving target while trying to pilot a stroller laden with merchandise and personal effects. Those sessions don't tend to be very revelatory, anyway. We did manage to keep Finn sedentary for lunch, during which time we were able to hear and see a game of Family Feud in which four of the younger O's players (pitchers Mike Wright and Donnie Hart and outfielders Austin Hays and Joey Rickard) bested a foursome of fans. Rickard was jeered for answering "Sweet Caroline" to the category of "songs you'd hear at Camden Yards". It ain't Fenway, Joey Jo-Jo.
I'm sure you've been waiting patiently for pictures of our photogenic kid, so here's a few.
Finn hammed it up for a MASN photographer.
We spotted Donnie Hart setting up at the Shannon's Fund photo booth and got in before there was a line. Finn was fussing for Mama as we made our way up to the O's lefty, but turned on the charm as soon as he was in front of a camera.
A beautiful day for baseball! Well, close enough.
A family selfie in the home dugout at the end of the Camden Yards clubhouse tour. Finn is telling Chris Davis to swing away.
We finished up our day with a press conference by the locker rooms. Finn was very quotable.
I had a few more pictures to share, but Blogger is being obnoxious tonight. Stay tuned in February, then!