By: Jonathan Goad
Originally, I was going to write this article wondering why a team would have Braille on their uniforms. But after researching this whole event, I completely applaud the Baltimore Orioles organization.
The Orioles organization brought some much needed attention to the National Federation of the Blind.
If you haven’t seen the uniforms, here they are.
— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) September 19, 2018
The Baltimore Orioles were celebrating the 40th anniversary of the NFB moving to Baltimore, which is an awesome thing to do. The NFB is an organization that aids people who are living with blindness. They are actually ran by people with blindness and their families. They believe that blind people can live out their dreams just like people with perfect vision. If you don’t know much about the NFB (admittedly, I didn’t know about them), then I encourage you to check out their website and learn a little bit about them.
The plan is to auction the jerseys off to raise money for the National Federation of the Blind which is a very admirable thing to do.
Tonight, the @Orioles became the first pro team to wear uniforms with Braille lettering.
— MLB (@MLB) September 19, 2018
The American Foundation for the Blind says this about Braille, “When you first look at something written in Braille, all you see (or feel) is a jumble of dots! However, like any other code, Braille is based on a logical system. Once you understand it, you’ll be able to read and write Braille easily. That’s because Braille is not a language, it’s just another way to read and write English (or any other language, such as Japanese).”
The Orioles deserve a lot of credit for this. They’re honoring a great organization. I imagine having Braille on the uniforms was a very nice gesture to honor the NFB. It absolutely doesn’t hurt anything to do this. The Orioles are not hurting for money to where they only have one uniform to play in, so making a uniform with Braille lettering and then auctioning off the jerseys is a great way to raise money and awareness. It also probably helped bring people to the ballpark for a reason other than watching a poor baseball team close out a rough season.
The Orioles had NFB President, Mark Riccobono throw out the first pitch. Carlos Ibay, who is a blind pianist, performed the National Anthem, and the first 15,000 fans received a Braille alphabet. They also hosted Merle Caples, a 95-year-old blind WWII veteran on the field. All of this is worth noting. The Orioles did a great job representing this group of people.
Classy move, Orioles. I’m sure you don’t want the credit, but pat yourselves on the back for shining some light on this great organization and their mission.