Orioles blaze trail with Braille jerseys

In a season filled with losses, here’s a win for the Baltimore Orioles. The team will wear jerseys that feature Braille writing to honor the National Federation for the Blind—a national organization with 50,000 members, marking its 40th year headquartered in Baltimore. The jerseys, the first of their kind in major league professional sports, will include Braille versions of both the Orioles script on the front of the jersey and the players’ name plates on the back.

This promotion is a highlight in a season filled with lowlights for the O’s—they were the first team mathematically eliminated from playoff contention and they’ll have to go 9-13 the rest of the way to reach 50 wins for the season.

“We’ve made a conscious effort to create an environment where everyone feels welcome at the ballpark,” said Orioles vice president of communications and marketing Greg Bader, quoted in the Baltimore Sun. “We take our role as entertainer very seriously, but we also want to serve as an escape for some people, and as a platform to highlight the causes and morals that we feel strongly about. A ‘blindness awareness night’ puts it into perspective that there’s more going on out there than just wins and losses.”

Baltimore will wear the specialty uniforms September 18 in a game against the Toronto Blue Jays. The first 15,000 fans will receive Braille alphabet cards, and the National Anthem will be performed by blind musician Carlos Ibay. Game-worn, autographed jerseys will be auctioned off after the game to benefit the National Federation for the Blind.