Monday, June 4, 2012

Weather or Not . . . A Great Time!!

I usually walk to work, but on that Wednesday morning, ominous skies and increasing wind gusts made the light rail seem a better choice. 

I was surprised to see a family of five, decked out in bright orange and black, among the early morning commuters heading my direction.

And they were REALLY fretting about the weather.

The family outing to Oriole Park was part of a very special school field trip the O's and MASN have been doing with WJZ-TV and their popular First Warning weather team for the past four years.

About 6,000 students and room parents made the early trip to Oriole Park for a lesson in meteorology, followed by an afternoon game against the Red Sox.  Participating schools came from all over Maryland (and included a few ringers from Delaware and Pennsylvania.)

Not only did they get to watch their favorite personalities (that's Bob Turk taking the field) explain the science of weather in terms they could understand, but they had fun learning how weather conditions relate to their everyday lives. 

Head Groundskeeper Nicole Sherry, fearless in the face of sudden thunderstorms, root rot, and flooded dugouts, shows how one touch of a static generator will make her hair stand on end.

Other presenters included Chris Strong from the National Weather Service and Lee Billingsley from the nearby Maryland Science Center.

For meteorologist Bernadette Woods, coming to Oriole Park is a special treat.  She was married here a few years ago, on Flag Court, which you can see just behind her.

That's meteorologist Tim Williams helping to explain how weather balloons are a forecasting tool. 

(The Bird seems very interested in this. Maybe he's trying to figure out why the two weathervanes on the scoreboard often point in different directions.)

Did the kids have a great time?   Take a look.  Do you remember ever getting this psyched over science class?  Not me.  Nor do I ever remember the field trips I chaperoned being this much fun. 

Weather Day is only one of many ways our teammates the Orioles connect with the community.  It is a source of pride to us here at the Maryland Stadium Authority that our facilities and our teammates provide so many other memorable experiences for the residents of our state.

And wouldn't you know it?   It never did rain, despite the misgivings of the excited family on the train.  It was their first trip to Oriole Park, but somehow I know it won't be their last.

(Special thanks to Todd Olszewski of the Baltimore Orioles for the great pictures.) 

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