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Baltimore Orioles begin weekend community service tour at York County Food Bank

ROB ROSE
717-505-5418/@robrosesports
  • The Baltimore Orioles community service tour began in York on Friday.
  • Brandon Hyde and Richie Martin volunteered at the York County Food Bank.
  • The tour runs from Friday to Sunday and features 11 different stops.

Before the team flies south for the sunny climes of spring training in Florida, the Baltimore Orioles are making a few stops to warm the hearts of fans outside of their hometown.

The team's Birdland Caravan tour began in York on Friday, when manager Brandon Hyde and shortstop Richie Martin volunteered at the York County Food Bank, along with several other members of the organization.

Baltimore Orioles shortstop Richie Martin, left, sorts frozen apricots while volunteering at the York County Food Bank. The stop in York marked the start of the Orioles' Birdland Caravan community service tour.

"I just think it's to show our belief in the fans. We want our fans to feel great about what's going on in Baltimore," Hyde said. "It's just spreading outside of the immediate area of Baltimore and getting to know our fans that are more outside (of Baltimore)."

The tour features 11 stops and was set to run from Friday through Sunday. The stop in York is the lone part of the tour that includes a Pennsylvania stop.

While at the York County Food Bank, Hyde and Martin volunteered their time to sort sweet potatoes and frozen apricots donated by local farmers into bags for the bank's shoppers to bring home. They also interacted with staff and community members.

During the hour they were there, the Orioles' group sorted an estimated 2,000 pounds of goods for the community.

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Martin, the Orioles' No. 1 pick in the 2018 Rule 5 draft, said his parents taught him at a young age about the importance of giving back.

He viewed the community service tour as a way to show appreciation to the team's supporters that spend their time and money to see the team on the field.

"I think it's important to kind of get out of the city and incorporate (fan gatherings) around the area," Martin said. "These fans are coming from all over to come watch us play, so it's a cool thing to be able to get out and go see the fans that are coming out to see us."

Baltimore Orioles manager Brandon Hyde, left, and Orioles baseball communications manager Jim Misudek help bag sweet potatoes at the York County Food Bank as part of the team's Birdland Caravan community service tour.

As the team heads to Florida to prepare for the season, Hyde and Martin are excited for a new campaign to begin. The stop in York, and the entire weekend-long tour, is being done in the hopes of earning continued support from the fans and showing that they are important to the organization.

"I think that the more that we can reach out to fans from as many places as we can, I think it's important for not only our club, but our organization to show that we care about what's going on," Hyde said. "It's great to kind of venture out and meet Orioles fans from everywhere."

Reach Rob Rose @rrose@yorkdispatch.com.