Roberts gears up for Baseball Bash
O's second baseman hosts precursor to Sept. 14 charity event
BALTIMORE -- Brian Roberts' Baseball Bash is still over two weeks away, but on Tuesday night inside Camden Yards, Roberts and the Orioles did their part to heighten the anticipation of the second baseman's charitable event at ESPNZone on Sept. 14.
On Tuesday night, Roberts met with patients, their families and doctors from the University of Maryland Hospital for Children -- the foundation Brian's Bash supports -- signed autographs and thanked all of the sponsors and contributors to his cause.
"It's great for the kids," Roberts said. "It's great for them to get some time with me or to get an autograph, but it's also important for me to thank the sponsors that have supported this event. The night of the event is really, really, really busy, so I don't always know that I'll get to see everybody that I need to."
Roberts worked the room in the auxiliary clubhouse, meeting with kids and parents alike and bringing a smile to their faces much like he does during his time at the hospital visiting with patients.
"When I began my relationship with the hospital, it was on a very personal basis, and this event has enabled me to be involved on a much greater level," Roberts said. "This is something that is close to my heart, and I enjoy being around kids, and to combine the two is amazing. To be a part of it is both humbling and inspiring."
For his part, Roberts was received warmly by his guests, who also enjoyed free T-shirts with Roberts' number on the back and a complimentary Roberts bobblehead doll and were able to enjoy the Orioles' game against the White Sox on Tuesday night.
"He seems like a really nice person," said Anna Patnaik, whose sister was a patient in the hospital. "I heard that he had heart surgery when he was younger, so he can really relate to some of the patients who go to the hospital. He's really friendly around kids.
"Obviously, some of the [kids I've visited] are in there now and some of the ones that I have visited in the past will never make it here and may not make it to the Bash," Roberts said. "But that's what the event is for, to help the ones that are in there and to raise money to support the hospital so they can give better care to those kids and those kids' experience will be better."
Roberts, who underwent open-heart surgery at the age of five, is a regular visitor at UMHC. This is the third year of Brian's Bash, and last year's event raised more than $200,000.
Tickets to Brian's Baseball Bash cost $200 for adults and $150 for children ages 12 and under. To purchase tickets or for sponsorship opportunities call 410-328-6064.
Amanda Comak is an associate reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.