Rare Daily Staff

Players and coaches of the Baltimore Orioles will become the first team in American professional sports history to wear jerseys that incorporate Braille lettering to honor the National Federation of the Blind.

The jerseys will be part of a celebration of the NFB in recognitions of its 40th anniversary of relocating its headquarters to Baltimore during its September 18 game against the Toronto Blue Jays. NFB is the nation’s oldest and largest organization of blind Americans with affiliates in all 50 states; Washington, D.C.; and Puerto Rico.

The jerseys worn during the game will be autographed, authenticated, and auctioned off on the team’s website to benefit the NFB.

As part of the celebration, concert pianist and singer Carlos Alberto Ibay, who has been blind since birth, will perform the national anthem prior to the game. NFB President Mark Riccobono will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

The first 15,000 fans in attendance will receive a co-branded NFB/Orioles Braille alphabet card, which will be distributed by volunteers from the NFB. Additionally, members of the NFB will be at the Orioles game to provide information to fans.

“We appreciate this opportunity to partner with our hometown baseball team to share our mission, particularly our commitment to literacy through Braille education, with our fellow Orioles fans,” said NFB’s Riccobono.

The Orioles said the night is part of the club’s larger commitment to making the fan experience at Oriole Park accessible and enjoyable for all fans. Earlier this year the team hosted Celebrate ADA Day as the second disability awareness night at Oriole Park this year.

The Orioles offer a variety of gameday services and amenities for fans with physical and intellectual disabilities. At each game, assistive listening devices are available. Orioles home games are also broadcast without any delay so that blind fans attending the game can learn what is happening on the field in real time.

Additionally, ballpark announcements are captioned on Oriole Park scoreboards; nearly 400 equal access seats are available throughout the ballpark, as well as on-site, accessible parking; and service animals are welcome at Oriole Park.

September 18, 2018