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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Even without some of the team’s biggest stars in attendance, thousands of Orioles fans flocked to the Convention Center for this year’s Orioles Fanfest.

In just a few short weeks, the crack of the bat and the roar of the crowd will return to Camden Yards as another season of Orioles baseball gets underway. But the players aren’t the only ones getting ready for the new season.

“This is my first time, actually. I absolutely love it. This is awesome, it’s a great atmosphere…I’m having a ball,” O’s fan Jimmy Tice said.

For fans like Tice a pair of orange and black striped overalls he found from a Google search 2 years ago is exactly what Fanfest is all about.

“It popped right up, and I was like, ‘Yes, that is what I want,” he said.

For thousands, it was a chance to show off their own skills, have their pictures drawn and take pictures with many of their favorite players.

For many fans, their favorite player — Manny Machado — skipped the event, but it didn’t stop them from enjoying all the fun.

Many fans walked away with smiles, hugs and autographs — not just from the Oriole bird or from their favorite players — but also from their favorite news team.

Several members of the WJZ family also got a chance to meet fans.

PHOTO GALLERY: Orioles Fanfest 2018

Before the first pitch or hit of the new season, many are already looking forward to the news of October baseball.

“I’m looking forward to us having a great season. I want to make another playoff push. I love playoff baseball,” one energetic fan said.

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