Fort Meade service members take in a Baltimore Orioles game from the picnic area at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in 2010. Service members can attend games with special offers through the Orioles Military Program and a newly formed partnership between the installation and team.

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. (April 12, 2012) -- The 2012 Major League Baseball season opened last week, with 30 teams beginning the 162-game quest to the playoffs.

Baltimore Orioles fans can catch 81 of those games just a short drive away, with the help of the Orioles Military Program.

The Birds are offering special deals for all service members throughout their 2012 march to the pennant by partnering with Fort Meade to create opportunities for military members and their families to experience Major League Baseball at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

"Orioles fans are fortunate to be surrounded by dedicated military personnel throughout our region, and we appreciate all of those who risk their lives each day for our country," said Monica Barlow, director of public relations for the Orioles. "We are proud to partner with military bases around the area, including Fort Meade, to provide the opportunity for our hard-working military members to relax and enjoy a day at the ballpark with their friends or families."

Service members can receive numerous special offers at the park for any home game during the season. Active-duty military members also can receive a free military-themed Orioles hat by showing their active-duty ID badge at the Warehouse Fan Assistance Center, located at the stadium.

Fans with a military ID can also buy tickets with a $3 discount for any seat by purchasing tickets at the stadium's main box office. Large groups of more than 12 service members can purchase tickets discounted by $5 or more for any seat. Group orders need to be placed in advance.

Sunday home games feature two opportunities for service members. For nonprime Sunday games, military members can purchase "Buy One, Get One Free" tickets for select areas of the stadium. These tickets must be purchased through Leisure Travel Service on post.

In addition, Fort Meade has formed a partnership with the Os that will allow installation Soldiers and families to experience professional baseball in a new way.

The partnership is an extension of Garrison Commander Col. Edward C. Rothstein's efforts to reach out to the city of Baltimore.

"To be tied to Baltimore, you have to be tied with the Orioles," said Chad T. Jones, Fort Meade's public affairs officer. "When you think of Maryland you think of Baltimore. When you think of Baltimore, you think of the Orioles."

After meeting with Rothstein and Jones, Orioles owner Peter Angelos began working on the partnership, which includes special events but also the opportunity to provide tickets for the Fort Meade community. For example, the Orioles donated 1,000 tickets for games on April 24 to 26 against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Throughout the season, the Orioles plan to give select groups of service members and their families the opportunity to meet Oriole players and watch the game in a catered suite.

Service members participating in this program may attend a player "meet and greet" before the game and receive Orioles T-shirts and hats, and will be recognized after the playing of "God Bless America."

The partnership's featured event will be held May 27 for Military Appreciation Day when the Orioles face the Kansas City Royals. Fort Meade will participate in the pregame events, including the National Anthem, a color guard and throwing out the first pitch.

Uniformed Soldiers from the installation will also stand with players during the National Anthem.

In honor of Military Appreciation Day, players also will wear special jerseys with camouflage Orioles script. After the game, players will autograph the jerseys, which will be auctioned off. Proceeds will benefit a nonprofit organization on post that has not yet been determined.

Fort Meade will continue to work with the Orioles to provide more services for military members and employees on post.

"Fort Meade is so close to the ballpark, just down the [Baltimore-Washington] Parkway, that we feel a special connection with the thousands of people who work there each day," Barlow said.

Page last updated Thu April 12th, 2012 at 11:20