Baltimore Orioles make history by wearing Braille jerseys

The Baltimore Orioles wore jerseys with Braille lettering on Tuesday night, becoming the first professional sports team to do so. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
The Baltimore Orioles wore jerseys with Braille lettering on Tuesday night, becoming the first professional sports team to do so. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

There was a new addition to the Baltimore Orioles’ orange and black uniform Tuesday night – Braille letters on the front and back of their jerseys.

The jerseys, which will be autographed, authenticated, and auctioned off for charity after the game, were worn in recognition of the 40th anniversary of the National Federation of the Blind moving their national headquarters to Baltimore.

The Orioles are the first professional U.S. sports team to wear Braille-lettered uniforms during a game and after the game, one of the historic jerseys will also be sent to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The jerseys weren’t the only Braille tribute of the night. The Orioles’ starting lineup graphic was also in Braille and attendees were also handed a Braille alphabet card before the game.

Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind, threw out the first pitch before Tuesday night’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays and Carlos Ibay, a blind concert pianist, sang the national anthem

Fans embraced the Braille themed night with a sign that said “Let’s Go O’s” in Braille.

“They’re acknowledging that you’re there,” Erik Rodriguez, a visually impaired baseball player, told ABC News’ “Start Here” podcast. “Sometimes that’s the biggest step.”

Rodriguez, 18, plays beep baseball, a modified version of the which uses sound and beeping bases to guide visually impaired players.

“The fact that such a big organization like Baltimore is wanting to do something like that for the blind community … it makes you feel good,” Rodriguez said. “It makes you feel like they care and they want to help make a difference for the young people and the older people that are suffering from this disability.”

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