Orioles' Adam Jones to receive honor at 'Babe's Birthday Bash'

Center fielder will receive Babe Ruth Museum's Community Service Award on Thursday night

February 05, 2014|By Eduardo A. Encina, The Baltimore Sun

Orioles center fielder Adam Jones will receive this year's Babe Ruth Museum Community Service Award on Thursday during the annual Babe's Birthday Bash.

Each year, the Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation gives the award to recognize "an active or former professional athlete or individual with ties to the Maryland sports community who has shown a strong devotion to giving back to the local community."

The Orioles' three-time All-Star and Gold Glove outfielder has a lengthy history of philanthropy in Baltimore, especially with local youth organizations. Last year, he was the Orioles' nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, which annually goes to a player who has demonstrated a high level of character and meritorious community service.

"Adam goes above and beyond," said Mike Gibbons, the executive director of the Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation. "We see Adam Jones. Adam is out in the community and he's the face of the Orioles franchise. He's had a steady, continued impact on the local community, especially with an emphasis on underprivileged kids around here. For a guy of his posture, as the face of the Orioles, I think that makes him very, very special."

Last year's award went to former Ravens linebacker O.J. Brigance, and his wife, Chanda. Other past recipients include former Orioles players Brian Roberts and Melvin Mora, as well as current Orioles outfielder Nick Markakis, and his wife, Christina, and the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation.

Former Ravens kicker Matt Stover also previously earned the honor, and former Ravens offensive lineman Edwin Mulitalo received the first award in 2007. The award winner is selected by a committee consisting of board members and staff of the Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation.

The event, which is hosted by the Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation and held at the Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., annually celebrates the birthday of Baltimore native Babe Ruth. This year is the 119th anniversary of the Baseball Hall of Famer's birth.

Gibbons said that Jones' continuous involvement in the community made him stand out this year.

"He has been a constant at it," Gibbons said of Jones. "It was not just a flash-in-the-pan, one-time gesture. He's been doing stuff like this in multiple ways. There are multiple components to his charitable efforts and his community work.

"We thought he was a really good fit for this. There's something about Adam that reminds me of Babe Ruth, and that's their affinity for kids. Ruth was a champion of kids. … Certainly, [Jones] is so comfortable around children, which is emblematic of what Babe Ruth was all about."

Jones remains active with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore. Along with the Orioles Charitable Foundation, he donated $75,000 last year to the Brooklyn O'Malley Boys and Girls Club to build a new technology and learning center at the facility.

In the fall, he also hosted a fundraiser tailgate party before the Ravens' home game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Nov. 10 that raised another $10,273 for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore.

Jones also donated equipment to the Orioles' Revitalizing Baseball in the Inner Cities (RBI) program, and he is personally supporting a Jackie Robinson Foundation scholar, Alanah Grisham of San Diego, with a four-year college grant.

In 2012, he was given the key to the city by Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake for his work with city youth as well as children from the YMCA of Central Maryland.

eencina@baltsun.com

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If you go

When: Thursday, 5:30 p.m.

Where: Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards

Admission: $45 members; $55 non-members; $60 at the door

More information: baberuthmuseum.org

Previous winners

2013: O.J. Brigance and Chanda Brigance

2012: Matt Stover

2011: Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation

2010: Nick Markakis and Christina Markakis

2009: Melvin Mora

2008: Brian Roberts

2007: Edwin Mulitalo

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