Orioles host big holiday party for city kids

HANOVER, Md - From an eight year old thrashing as a guitar hero to Foghat's Slow Ride.

To the Orioles big right hander Steve Johnson, stomping around with two left feet on the Pump Fiesta machine.

 This is Orioles magic, just off the diamond.

It's not every day a fifth grader from Morrell Park gets to play air hockey with L. J. Hoes and JJ Hardy.

Or pose for a picture with an Orioles legend.

 But not every child has perfect attendance or makes the honor roll.

These 80 students earned the right to come here with their good grades and desire to learn.

Just like these ball play players earned the right to play in the big leagues, and they love to thrill the fans even in the off season.

 "Anyway we can help just by us being here to make their day be I'm all for that." Orioles Shortstop J.J. Hardy says.

"This is something that's good for the community and good for the fan base and I'm thrilled to be part of it." Orioles Outfielder Nick Markakis says.

And you can't spend time with a big leaguer without getting some ball park food.

Buck is at the plate of course; while Hardy, Markakis, Hoes and Johnson serve a mean hot dog, chicken nugget, fries and ketchup, respectively.

And guess who cams as Santa's helper? Scott McGregor.

It's a not just a Christmas they'll remember always, it's a day they'll never forget, maybe.

 "It was fun because I got to be with a lot of my friends and I got my shirt signed. JJ Hardy" Fifth Grader Chastity Johnson says.

 "JJ Hardy, Markakis and right and um...I got an autograph from the bird."  Fifth grader Mhi Nguyen says.

And the birds did come through with a lot of gifts.

A new book bag, a game and a baseball glove and ball

This season the Orioles helped bring the community together with their great play and playoff run.

Everyone expects big things next season, but by the looks of these smiles, they've already started.

"On reason I think we've always been successful is not only do we have better players but we have better people that you like being around."

Manager Buck Showalter says. 

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