By Mary Bubala

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Orioles magic was in play Tuesday for dozens of city school children.  The team hosted its annual holiday party.

Mary Bubala reports it was a festive mix of games, food and fun.

‘Tis the season—the Orioles’ off-season—to spread holiday cheer.  Dozens of students from Samuel F. B. Morse School in Baltimore City spent the day at Dave and Buster’s in the Arundel Mills Mall.

“We get to spend time with the Orioles and have fun,” said Courtney.

Brian Roberts tried his hand at Skee-Ball with a student; pitcher Koji Uheara signed autographs for all 80 students as newly acquired third baseman Mark Reynolds took aim.

The games were free, the food served up by players and the gifts delivered straight from Santa, AKA former O’s pitcher Scott McGregor.

“It’s their day—for one day of the year, they get everything.  They are pampered, they get to play games, they get gifts.  It’s just the magic of Christmas,” McGregor said.

Each student also went home with a new baseball and mitt for outdoor play when the weather warms up.

Students were selected to attend based on school attendance, good behavior and grades.

“It’s a way to honor them for being a cut above from the normal and this time of year, it’s pretty easy to get their attention with a party, probably as much fun for us as for them, and get a reward for what they’ve done because so many times it gets overlooked,” said O’s manager Buck Showalter.

This year’s event marks the 32nd year for the Orioles holiday party for children from economically disadvantaged areas in Baltimore.  A different school is selected every year.


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