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.
Tonight, the @Orioles became the first pro team to wear uniforms with Braille lettering.
— MLB (@MLB) September 19, 2018
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.
Purpose..? Blind can’t see or allowed on field to touch players backs..?
— john&neen (@john_bingman) September 19, 2018
…Does MLB know how Braille works? https://t.co/mhDh4JPq6k
— Julia Kite (@juliakite) September 20, 2018
Wow the replies to this are awful. I’m visually impaired and also a @BlueJays fan but I appreciate Baltimore showing support for the blind. There’s some funny comments but a serious lack of support on this.
— Nathan Rorke (@RorkeNathan) September 19, 2018
I appreciate the sentiment, but does anyone else think this is a little ridiculous, honoring the visually impaired by developing uniforms that are unreadable by both the sighted and the blind?
— ¯_(ツ)_/¯ (@swishymcjackass) September 18, 2018
Wonderful idea! Another reason I love my O’s, kudos to them!
— StephandMike (@stephand_mike) September 18, 2018
Amazed at how many people don’t realize that sighted people can read Braille. The jerseys are too raise awareness.
— Trevor Taylor (@dubbletee66) September 18, 2018
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.