Tag Archives: Sarasota

Gulf Coast League Orioles Open Season June 27 In Sarasota

(Sarasota, FL) The Baltimore Orioles Gulf Coast League (GCL) team will play its first home game of the 2017 season at the Ed Smith Stadium complex on Tuesday, June 27, at 12:00 p.m. against the GCL Twins. The GCL, which includes 17 teams, gives recently drafted or signed players their first experience in professional baseball.

The Orioles are scheduled to play 30 GCL home games between June 27 and September 1. The games are open to the public at no cost. Parking is free and located in the East Lot at the corner of 12th Street and Tuttle Avenue. Game times and location are subject to change without notice. A link to the season schedule is available online at www.orioles.com/sarasota.

Gulf Coast League games are just part of the Orioles’ year-round activities in Sarasota. In addition to Spring Training, Extended Spring Training, Gulf Coast League and Fall Instructional League, the Orioles host numerous amateur tournaments, games, and clinics in Sarasota County, as well as a variety of community activities and cultural events throughout the year.

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Baltimore Orioles Economic Impact In Sarasota Grows With Expanded Premier Championship Tournament

(Sarasota, FL) After impressing organizers of the prestigious Wilson Premier baseball tournament program in 2016, the Baltimore Orioles will host 15 days of competition in Sarasota County this summer from June 22 through July 12 during the Wilson Premier Championship East. The event is one of the largest Florida-based tournaments in amateur baseball and the largest tournament the Orioles have drawn to Sarasota County.

“Wilson Premier brought a weekend tournament to us last September to test the waters, and we demonstrated that Sarasota County and the Orioles’ facilities are ideal for elite competition and larger events,” said David Rovine, Vice President of Orioles-Sarasota. “The Wilson Premier Championship East is an opportunity for college and professional baseball scouts to see young players in action.”

The tournament will include 240 teams from across the country. Players ages 15 to 17 will compete during five-day tournaments that span three weeks. Games will be played on the five fields at the Buck O’Neil Baseball Complex at Twin Lakes Park, as well as the main field and three practice fields at Ed Smith Stadium.

“The drawing power for Sarasota is the combination of community assets, the quality and number of playing fields at the Orioles’ facilities and elsewhere in the region, and the can-do attitude of the Orioles’ staff,” said Matt Bliven, Wilson Tournament Director. “We are impressed by the professional facilities for the teams, which allow us to showcase talents of players for visiting scouts.”

The Orioles also have earned a reputation for repeat business. For the third year, Game Day USA will bring its four-day Thanksgiving tournament to the Orioles’ facilities. The event draws players, coaches, and families from throughout the Midwest.

Baseball tournaments, camps, and clinics hosted by the Orioles in Sarasota County attract more than 25,000 participants and spectators each year. Many of these players, families, and coaches travel from outside the local community for multi-day events.

A recent independent analysis commissioned by Sarasota County Government concluded that the Orioles generate approximately $89 million in annual economic impact back to taxpayers and residents. By marketing Sarasota to fans in the Mid-Atlantic region, operating a year-round athletic training facility, producing entertainment and sporting events, partnering with charitable causes, and hosting and often subsidizing youth sports tournaments and activities, the Orioles demonstrate an abiding commitment to their Florida home that goes far beyond baseball. For details, visit www.orioles.com/Sarasota.
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Baltimore Orioles Announce Plans for 2018 Dream Week in Sarasota, FL

(Sarasota, FL) Orioles fans will once again be able to enjoy a week filled with once-in-a-lifetime opportunities at the club’s 2018 Dream Week, from January 21-27, 2018 in Sarasota, FL. Open to adults, regardless of ability, Dream Week provides fans with an opportunity to play at the Orioles’ year-round baseball facilities in Sarasota at the Buck O’Neil Baseball Complex and Ed Smith Stadium.

Dream Week offers participants the full major league treatment playing daily doubleheader intra-squad games and receiving instruction from National Baseball Hall of Famer and Orioles Legend Jim Palmer and former Orioles Mike Boddicker, Al Bumbry, Rick Dempsey, Mike Devereaux, Chris Hoiles, Scott McGregor and many more. In addition to on-field play, participants will enjoy beachfront accommodations on Lido Key; a personalized home uniform, alternate jersey, and cap; a personalized clubhouse locker; access to Orioles athletic trainers and clubhouse staff; daily breakfast and lunch at the ballpark; evening social events throughout the week, including a Q&A and autograph session with the pros; and a reunion game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore during the 2018 regular season.

In addition to receiving daily instruction, participants will play doubleheader games each day at the Buck O’Neil Baseball Complex at Twin Lakes Park, and each team will get to play a game at Ed Smith Stadium. Special events throughout the week will include an Opening Night Reception, mid-week barbecue at Ed Smith Stadium, and a Closing Night Awards Banquet. Campers can look back on their unforgettable Dream Week moments with team and pro staff photos, a personalized baseball card, and a Dream Week video produced by the Orioles’ award-winning video productions staff. During the 2018 season, there will also be a Reunion Game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards for campers to reconnect with their Dream Week teammates
Men and women age 30 or older are eligible to participate in Dream Week. All skill and ability levels are welcome to the camp each year, and campers can play in as many or as few of the games as they wish. There is no prerequisite of experience or physical ability required to attend.

Dream Week costs $4,601 (including Florida Sales Tax) and is conveniently packaged with roundtrip airfare from Baltimore to Tampa, ground transfers to and from the airport to the hotel, transportation to and from the hotel to the ballpark each day, and six-night, seven-day hotel accommodations (double occupancy, private rooms are available) at the Lido Beach Resort Hotel. Breakfast and lunch each day at the ballpark is included in the cost as well. Discounts are available to Orioles Season Plan Members and former Dream Week participants. Separate week and weekend packages are available for Dream Week guests.

Fans interested in participating in Dream Week should visit www.orioles.com/dreamweek, call 410-547-6063, or e-mail dreamweek@orioles.com to register or to receive more information.
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Baltimore Orioles Announce Remaining Extended Spring Training Home Games in Sarasota

(Sarasota, FL) The Baltimore Orioles announced their remaining Extended Spring Training home games following Monday’s season opener. The public is invited to watch Orioles minor league players in action in Sarasota during Extended Spring Training during the months of April, May, and June. There is no charge to attend the games, which will be held on Field 4 at the Ed Smith Stadium complex. Gates open 30 minutes before game time. Free parking is available in the East Lot. Please note that game times and locations are subject to change without notice due to weather and field conditions.

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Sarasota Film Festival Review: Sarasota Half In Dream

(Sarasota, FL) When deciding which films I would like to review in this year’s Sarasota Film Festival, I was drawn immediately to the title in the festival’s catalog “Sarasota Half In Dream”. I’ve lived in Sarasota more than 20 years and seeing a film about my adopted hometown in our local festival appealed to my interest and curiosity. The blurb in the catalog described the film as an “experimental documentary”. That should have been a clue that what I thought the film was about was not exactly what I got to see.

The film begins with a montage of clips from old travel ads extolling the virtues of visiting Sarasota, many of which include Rick Defuria, a former circuit court judge who was also a part time actor and original anchor on Sarasota’s cable news channel SNN in the 1990’s. About two minutes in to that overly long montage segment, I knew this film was not going to be a love letter to Sarasota.

What follows is a series of segments on an abandoned golf course, factory, freight cars and highlighted (or lowlighted) by an exploration of the now defunct and decaying Colony Tennis Resort on Longboat Key. There is also an interview with someone named Elliot who spends about ten minutes criticizing Sarasota as a place filled with “the old, white and rich” that apparently don’t care about young people and that Sarasota will someday sink underwater. Elliott also complains there is nothing for young people to do in Sarasota and he and his school friends had to create their own “culture” in the woods near the school they attended.

Another long segment in the film explores a parking garage at night showing several high-schoolers using it for a skateboard park while the film’s dour narrator states Sarasota is becoming known for an abundance of garages.

In between all the decay, the film juxtaposes shots of insects, wasps, hornets and crabs on a Lido Key inlet bringing back memories of those science films shown in high school biology class.

The two filmmakers, who spoke to the audience after Sunday’s screening at the Hollywood 20 Theaters, grew up in Sarasota and said the film took more than 4 years to complete while both were going to school and working their regular jobs.

While the film is well crafted technically and uses music primarily written and performed by a local band called “Lung Cycles”, this documentary doesn’t shine Sarasota in a great light. True, all cities have sections of urban decay and run down buildings and Sarasota has its share of those, but if all you saw was this film and had never been here, you’d get the impression the whole town looked like the South Bronx in the 1970’s.

It is unclear if or how many of these films in the Sarasota Film Festival will get any kind of distribution nationally. Filmmakers hope a positive buzz from screenings will entice either distributors or television networks to buy their films. I would bet the Sarasota Convention and Visitors Bureau would not be pleased if “Sarasota Half In Dream” was ever seen by anyone outside of our fair city.

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Baltimore Orioles Sarasota Spring Training Attendance Ranks Second Highest in Club History

(Sarasota, FL) With Thursday’s crowd of 6,900 for this season’s Spring Training finale at Ed Smith Stadium, the Orioles have drawn a total of 119,742 fans for 17 home games in Sarasota, the second-highest spring attendance in club history behind only the 120,455 total set in 2013. Since moving Major League operations to Sarasota, 885,055 fans have enjoyed Orioles Spring Training baseball at Ed Smith Stadium.

The Orioles had six consecutive sellouts from March 16 to March 27, helping the club to finish among the best in attendance in the Grapefruit League this spring. The Orioles ranked third highest in ballpark capacity percentage at 94% (as of data available on March 26). On average, the club welcomed 7,044 people per game.

“The Orioles are proud to continue performing among the top ballclubs in Grapefruit League attendance,” said David Rovine, Vice President of Orioles-Sarasota. “Each spring we enjoy outstanding support from Sarasota area fans and from the tens of thousands of fans who travel to Spring Training. The support from our fans not only helps cheer on the team, but is also a vital factor driving tremendous economic impact in the Greater Sarasota area. We are proud that our facilities at Ed Smith Stadium and Twin Lakes Park continue to thrive as first-class destinations for baseball and entertainment – from Spring Training, Orioles Major and Minor League operations, and Gulf Coast League Baseball, to countless clinics, tournaments, and other baseball, arts, and community events each year.”

The Orioles begin the regular season on Monday, April 3rd at home against the Toronto Blue Jays at 3:05 PM EDT.
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Jazz Club of Sarasota presents Chuck Redd and La Lucha Trio in concert Saturday, April 8, at The Glenridge

(Sarasota, FL) The Jazz Club of Sarasota presents renowned drummer/vibraphonist Chuck Redd with the multi-award-winning La Lucha Trio in a special evening concert on Saturday, April 8, at 7:30 p.m., at The Glenridge Performing Arts Center, 7333 Scotland Way, Sarasota.

For this special concert Redd teams with the Tampa-based La Lucha Trio, which has performed in Spain and Italy and has been named the Creative Loafing top jazz ensemble in the Tampa Bay area for four consecutive years. The trio consists of three best friends from three parts of the world: Colombia, Mexico and the U.S., with Alejandro Arenas on bass, John O’Leary on piano, and Mark Feinman on drums.

Chuck Redd is a veteran of 25 European tours and six in Japan. He began touring at 21 as a member of the Charlie Byrd Trio, was a member of The Great Guitars (with Byrd, Barney Kessel and Herb Ellis) and played with the Barney Kessel Trio. He was artist-in-residence at the Smithsonian Jazz Café from 2004-2008 and was a member of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra for 15 years. Redd was also featured with the Milt Jackson Tribute Band and a who’s who of other acclaimed musicians including Ken Peplowski, the Benny Goodman Tribute Orchestra, Terry Gibbs and Conte Candoli among others. He has made more than 80 recordings including “Happy All the Time,” a tribute to Barney Kessel.

Tickets at $25 for Jazz Club members and $30 for guests are available from The Glenridge at 941.552.5325 and www.gpactix.com.
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Baltimore Orioles to Host 7th Annual All Faiths Food Drive Sunday, March 19th

(Sarasota, FL) On Sunday, March 19, the Baltimore Orioles will host the seventh annual All Faiths Food Drive. Fans attending the 1:05 p.m. game against the Detroit Tigers at Ed Smith Stadium are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items and/or monetary donations to benefit the All Faiths Food Bank. Volunteers will collect all donations at the gates of the ballpark.

Since 2011, more than 6,000 pounds of food and nearly $7,000 in cash donations have been collected at the yearly food drive to help people in need in the Sarasota community. In 2016, All Faiths Food Bank distributed 8.5 million pounds of food, which equates to 7.1 million meals. More than 3,500 volunteers and 184 partner agencies and programs in Sarasota and DeSoto counties support the Food Bank’s mission of providing healthy solutions to end hunger in our community.

The Orioles’ participation in the All Faiths Food Drive is part of Sarasota 365, a host of initiatives through which the Baltimore Orioles and OriolesREACH demonstrate the ballclub’s year-round engagement with the Greater Sarasota community. For more information or to sign up for the Orioles in Sarasota e-newsletter, visit www.orioles.com/sarasota.
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Baltimore Orioles to host Nashville’s Music Row Comes to the Ballpark charity event at Ed Smith Stadium March 17th

(Sarasota, FL) For the second consecutive year, the Baltimore Orioles will host “Nashville’s Music Row Comes to the Ballpark” at Ed Smith Stadium on Friday, March 17. Every dollar raised at the charity event will benefit the Library Foundation for Sarasota County’s early childhood literacy programs and the Music Health Alliance. This year’s event is presented by the Orioles in partnership with the Greater Sarasota Area Chamber of Commerce and the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County.

The performances will begin at 8:15 p.m. showcasing a cross-section of Nashville’s vast songwriting community. Performers will include Liz Rose, Grammy Award and American Country Music Award-winning songwriter, Laura Veltz, Grammy nominated co-writer and one of the top songwriters in Nashville, Jimmy Robbins, award-winning country radio hit songwriter, Ryan Beaver, one of the “10 New Country Artists You Need to Know” according to Rolling Stone and emerging Nashville writer Margaret Valentine. Country singer and songwriter, Jenae Cherry, whose husband is Orioles pitcher Brad Brach, will perform as a special guest.

Veteran MASN broadcaster Jim Hunter will serve as emcee for the charity event, which will feature a meet and greet with Nashville songwriters and Orioles players and a pre-show VIP cocktail reception at 7:00 p.m. Following the pre-show activities, Rose, Veltz, Robbins, Beaver, and Valentine will perform in a country-style songwriter round, a concept made famous in Nashville and seen on the hit television show Nashville.

The performance benefits the Library Foundation for Sarasota County’s Children’s Literacy Endowment and the Music Health Alliance.

For more details, visit www.orioles.com/Sarasota.
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