Chad Myers was just getting ready to send out a Tweet on Friday afternoon when he was asked about the perfect baseball weather in the Baltimore area.
"Game-time temperature of 76 degrees," he said.
Myers, a Havre de Grace resident, has organized Operation Orange—a grassroots effort to get fans out to the ballpark.
Coming off a six-game road trip, rookie phenom Zach Britton is on the mound for the Orioles on Friday when they host Toronto to open a nine-game homestand at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
For the first round of what Myers hopes to be a monthly excursion, the timing and circumstances couldn’t be better.
“I didn’t even think about it when I was planning the date out. But I didn’t realize [the Orioles would] be gone for seven days straight and this would be the first game we come back to,” Myers said. “I’m hoping that people who miss the park are thinking they’d like to get back out there.”
Myers, 30, has no ties to the ball club, other than being a lifelong fan.
“Now that I’m a father of three and I go down to the ballpark and I take my kids there, I look around, there’s a lot of empty seats,” Myers said. “When I was a kid in elementary school parents would get their kids out of school for a day game.”
Myers will be sitting in Section 66 behind third base. He bought six tickets. There will be at least 100 “Operation Orange” T-shirts circulating about the ballpark, though Myers has no clue how many people his project has inspired to attend.
Myers hopes to run the event monthly this summer. He has managed to promote his campaign on the airwaves a bit but mainly, he has utilized social media to spread the word through Facebook and Twitter. In fact, on Saturday he will post on Facebook three dates in July for fans to choose from. The winning date will serve as the next Operation Orange game.
There’s a promo code on the Operation Orange web site that will get fans a discount to tonight’s game. Myers said it is his understanding that the promo code works until 3 p.m., Friday. It’s also student night at the ballpark, with college and high school students getting a $6 ticket with an official school ID.
Myers worked hand-in-hand with the Orioles to set up a three-tiered price option for those partaking in the event—one he said he dreamed up as an effort to sell out the ballpark and bring him back to his youth.
“That’s our fan base," Myers said. "You have to get them at a young age. I said on the radio yesterday, you have fans that will be there every single game, but then you have families with kids who say I can make it two or three games a year.
All Myers hopes is that, if a family chooses to go to two or three games this season, they do it in harmony with Operation Orange: “It’s going to be packed and you’re going to have a great time.”