Orioles-Yankees fans receive surprise collectible at Aug. 23 game in Baltimore
BALTIMORE (ACNI) – Fans passing through the entry gates at Oriole Park on Saturday, Aug. 23, received an unexpected and very collectible surprise: a handsome enameled pin commemorating the Baltimore Orioles’ 100 millionth home game fan. Based on pre-season sales, the legendary baseball team’s management knew exactly which ticket from which game marked the milestone, and based on that knowledge, arranged for special shield-form pins to be created for each fan in attendance on Saturday evening.
The orange, black and silvery white pins say “Memorial Stadium – Oriole Park” and “100 Millionth Fan.” Each pin was affixed to a glossy, light cardboard backing that says, in part, “This pin commemorates the game in 2008 that the 100 millionth fan attended…” It also states: “From 1954 through 1991, Memorial Stadium hosted nearly 50 million fans, and earlier this season, Oriole Park at Camden Yards passed the 50 million mark in just its 17th season.”
Who was the lucky 100 millionth fan? Velma Greene, a middle school teacher from Fairfax County, Va., who wore team colors to the on-field ceremony in which she was presented with a gift – a $100,000 check, courtesy of the Orioles and the Maryland Lottery. An ecstatic Greene also received season tickets to Orioles home games for five years plus an immediate VIP upgrade for that night’s game.
While Orioles supporters may have gone home disappointed over their team’s 5-3 loss to the Yankees, at least each of them had a nifty pinback to serve as a consolation prize. Limited-edition mementos are something fans would expect in Baltimore, since the Orioles’ minority owner, Stephen A. Geppi, is a collectibles-minded guy. Geppi heads an empire that includes auction companies, licensed merchandise production, and comic book and price guide publishing.
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