The Major League Baseball team in Baltimore is called the Orioles. But when it comes to making a big play for the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS), it’s okay to refer to them as angels.
With the Orioles in the thick of the American League postseason chase, the team is hitting a home run in the cause of helping shelter animals reach home — a forever home. Last Saturday, the team unveiled its seventh annual Orioles Pet Calendar, sponsored by Pet+E.R. The 16-month calendar for 2016 features photos of Orioles players with their pets and various BARCS animals at locations around Oriole Park at Camden Yards, where the Orioles play their home games.
Last Saturday, several players, including catcher Matt Wieters, pitcher Chris Tillman, and shortstop J.J. Hardy took part in an autograph session at BARCS. Fans who purchased the calendar received autographs. Last Sunday, the first 20,000 fans 15 and over who attended that day’s game against the Minnesota Twins received an Orioles pet leash.
The Orioles have helped to raise $190,000 for BARCS, including $46,000 through calendar sales in 2015. The largest companion animal shelter in Maryland, BARCS takes in more than 12,000 dogs and cats and 1,000 wildlife and other small mammals annually. On any given day, BARCS cares for 110 dogs and 110 cats in the shelter, plus more than 800 animals in foster care.
Thanks to Orioles photographer Todd Olszewski, here is a look at some of the players and their pups.
The calendar is available for $15 at Oriole Park, the Orioles Team Store in the York Galleria in York, PA, and at orioles.com/petcalendar.
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About the author: Jeff Goldberg is a freelance writer in Quincy, Mass. A former editor for MLB.com and sportswriter for the Hartford Courant who covered the University of Connecticut’s women’s basketball team (Huskies!) and the Boston Red Sox, Jeff has authored two books on the UConn women: Bird at the Buzzer (2011) and Unrivaled (2015). He lives with his wife, Susan, and their rescue pup, Rocky, an Italian Greyhuahua/Jack Russell mix from a foster home in Tennessee, hence the name Rocky (as in Rocky Top).