In The Community

By Andrew Marso

Brian Roberts is the Baltimore Orioles’ second baseman, a strong, agile, 31-year-old two-time All-Star. However, 26 years ago he was a frail little kid laying in a hospital bed and about to face open-heart surgery.

As many as 400,000 children in the United States have congenital cardiac abnormalities and undergo similar experiences to Roberts’. Unfortunately, the rising costs of health care and the global recession are straining some of the nation’s children’s hospitals.The Shriners Hospitals for Children, which have traditionally provided free care, announced in early July that they would begin accepting insurance and were considering downgrading some of their facilities into less expensive outpatient surgical centers. Roberts knows what it’s like to be a child facing a serious illness or injury. So he’s doing his part to make life a little brighter for patients at the University of Maryland Hospital for Children

On August 16, 2009 OriolesREACH and Brian Roberts hosted the Fourth Annual Brian’s Baseball Bash, a fundraising event for the University of Maryland Hospital for Children.

The special evening for fans at the ESPN Zone in Baltimore included silent and live auctions of sports memorabilia to help the children at UMHC. Through the hard work of Brian and the OriolesREACH team, and the generosity of Orioles fans, more than $450,000 has been raised since the first Bash in 2006. In addition, the Orioles have donated more than $20,000 to provide tickets for patients and their families.