In what the team says is a first in American professional sports, the Baltimore Orioles will wear jerseys with Braille lettering during their Sept. 18 game against the Toronto Blue Jays, honoring the 40th anniversary of the National Federation of the Blind moving its national headquarters to the city.
Braille will be used for both the “Orioles” script on the front of the jersey and the player’s last name on the back.
Pianist and singer Carlos Alberto Ibay, who has been blind since birth, will perform the national anthem before the start of the game, and Mark Riccobono, president of the National Federation of the Blind, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Founded in 1940, the National Federation of the Blind says it helps empower blind people to live full, productive lives. The group has offices in all 50 states and the District of Columbia offering programs for the blind.
In a statement, Riccobono touted the organization’s impact on the city since the 1978 move.
“For forty of those years, we have coordinated that work from our headquarters here in Baltimore, where we have invested tens of millions of dollars to create a top-notch facility that benefits our organization and the surrounding community,” he said. “We appreciate this opportunity to partner with our hometown baseball team to share our mission, particularly our commitment to literacy through Braille education, with our fellow Orioles fans.”
The first 15,000 fans in attendance will receive a Braille alphabet card.