Baltimore Orioles Honors the National Federation of the Blind With Braille Jerseys


On Tuesday, the Baltimore Orioles sported new uniforms in their game against the Toronto Blue Jays. Instead of “Orioles” prominently splashed across the jersey like in most baseball uniforms, the team name was spelled out in braille.

The team wore the braille jerseys to commemorate the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) moving its headquarters to Baltimore 40 years ago, according to the team’s Twitter. The Orioles are the first Major League Baseball team to incorporate braille on its jerseys.

In addition to the jerseys, concert pianist and singer Carlos Alberto Ibay, who is blind, performed the national anthem, and NFB president Mark Riccobono threw the first pitch. The first 15,000 game attendees also received a card with the braille alphabet.

In July, the Orioles recognized the 28th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act. According to the Orioles site, assistive listening devices are available at each game. Home games are broadcast in real time without delays so fans with visual impairments can find out what is happening on the field in real time. Announcements on the scoreboard are also captioned.

Some people on Twitter praised the team for raising awareness while others pointed out a couple major flaws with the jerseys. The braille isn’t raised, which is how people with visual impairments read braille. And blind fans wouldn’t be able to go on the field and touch a player to read it.

The jerseys are currently being auctioned off with proceeds benefitted the NFB. Bids range from $250 to $1,025. Each jersey has been authenticated and signed by the player who wore it.


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