Hardy, Jones, Wieters receive Gold Gloves
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles opened their home slate against the Twins on Friday with a long pregame ceremony that honored their three Gold Glove winners from last year and others, such as the late Earl Weaver.
The Hall of Fame manager, who died during the winter, was honored with no first pitch being thrown before the game. Instead, the ball was left on the mound while the crowd observed a moment of silence. There also was a video tribute to Weaver shown on the video board in center field, one that drew a large ovation from the crowd.
As usual, the Orioles players and coaches were introduced to the crowd. Manager Buck Showalter received a loud ovation when he ran out of the dugout and several players got plenty of cheers, most notably first baseman Chris Davis.
Davis, like the others in the starting lineup, ran from the gate in center and down the orange carpet to the infield behind second base. He had three homers and 11 RBIs as the Orioles took two of three from the Rays in St. Petersburg during the season-opening series.
That orange carpet was lined by 80 children from KidsPeace, which is a private charity dedicated to serving the behavioral and mental health needs of children, preadolescents and teens. They stood there holding Orioles flags on both sides as the players ran through.
J.J. Hardy (shortstop), Adam Jones (center field) and Matt Wieters (catcher) were then presented with American League Gold Glove Awards for fielding excellence in 2012. This was the first one for Hardy and the second for Jones and Wieters.
Nationally-known operatic tenor Rolando Sanz sang the national anthem and God Bless America. The colors were presented by the United States Armed Forces Color Guard provided by the Military District of Washington and the combined Honor Guard Team from the Baltimore City Police and Baltimore City Fire Departments.