BALTIMORE -- About 45 minutes through an exercise demonstration that had Orioles pitcher Dylan Bundy instructing two lines of Commodore John Rodgers Elementary and Middle School kids in the way of pitching mechanics, special assistant Brady Anderson sprung up and changed plans.
"Let's play some hockey," said Anderson, who put himself in one net and Bundy in the other, as the pair deflected shots and made a game out of which group could score first.
The result was shrieks of glee and some good old-fashioned competition, as the Orioles' caravan made a special stop Friday afternoon to promote exercise and good nutrition at the Baltimore school.
"They need to realize how important it is to be healthy, and doing fitness exercises like this can keep you healthy for a long time," said Bundy, who is the club's top-ranked prospect and led one group while Anderson and strength and conditioning coach Joe Hogarty led another.
"There's so many different things you can do to make [exercise] fun, because if it's not fun, how are you going to do it?"
Friday's 90-minute Healthy Living Assembly saw the trio work with approximately 50 kids as well as sign autographs and pose for photos. Each child was given an Orioles T-shirt and led through a series of stretches, conditioning drills and other exercises, and they also went home with two tickets to Saturday's FanFest at the Baltimore Convention Center.
"Society is really deficient in promoting fitness and health overall," said Anderson, who oversees the Orioles' efforts in strength and conditioning and spent the offseason working with about 10 of the organization's current players.
"It starts from an early age, a love for sports, for athletics, for staying in shape and having a healthy lifestyle, and it's harder than ever to get kids off the couch ... but it's something you can't replace, getting out there and having fun. It's something that stays with you as long as you live."
Added Hogarty: "It's really important for kids to experience activities that they may not be used to or that are energetic and fun, to teach them how to move better, how to be active and be healthy."
The caravan stop was part of a five-city tour around Maryland leading up to Fanfest.
Tickets for FanFest are available online at www.orioles.com/fanfest, via phone at 1-888-848-BIRD or at the Oriole Park box office and at the official team store at the York Galleria in York, Pa. Tickets are $10 for adults, and $5 for children 14 and under and seniors over 55. On the day of the event, FanFest tickets will be sold at the Convention Center and the Oriole Park box office, while supplies last. Fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli.