The Baltimore Orioles postponed their Monday night game against the visiting Chicago White Sox on April 27 due to the ongoing Freddie Gray protests in the city.
The Baltimore Orioles have postponed their game against the Chicago White Sox on Monday due to the Freddie Gray protests in the city.
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Baltimore Orioles writer Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com confirmed the postponement in her April 27 update. After consulting with local authorities, the Orioles made the announcement on their JumboTron.
As the rioting in Baltimore intensified, "all but two gates at Camden Yards were shut down," says Ghiroli.
The Orioles will announce a makeup date as soon as they can, per MLB.com.
After consultation with Baltimore City Police Department, tonight’s game between the Orioles & White Sox at Oriole Park has been postponed.— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) April 27, 2015
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred was making his rounds to visit all 30 MLB teams when he coincidentally chanced upon the rioting in Baltimore, per The Baltimore Sun's Eduardo A. Encina.
Manfred also told Encina on Monday that Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. could be used as a neutral venue of for the Orioles vs. White Sox games.
The commissioner told The Baltimore Sun the postponement was for the safety of "everybody invovled":
"We've decided that we're going to cancel tonight's game. The decision was reached after consultation with local officials. We feel like we made the decision that will provide us the greatest security in terms of protecting the fans, the players, the umpires, everybody involved in the game."
Encina stresses the Orioles had been keeping their eye on the rioting which began on the afternoon of April 27 and is just five miles from Camden Yards. The game was officialy postponed roughly 45 minutes before the previously scheduled 7:05 p.m. ET start.
Encina goes on to describe the ongoing tension in Baltimore:
"As the expected 7:05 p.m. start came and went, the Camden Yards seating bowl was empty. The gates were locked and the only sound came from nearby police sirens. As violence enveloped the city, it is believed that this was the first time an Orioles game was postponed for non-weather reasons in 14 years, when baseball called off nearly a week of games following the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
"Less than an hour before the scheduled first pitch of the Orioles' game against the White Sox, a dozen Baltimore police officers wearing riot gear were stationed behind metal barricades at Babe Ruth Plaza. All but two gates to the ballpark were closed, but fans were allowed into the ballpark."
According to CBS Baltimore's Christie Ileto, 15 police officers were injured, several vehicles were vandalized and set ablaze and businesses were looted at the height of the wild prostets along North Avenue on Monday.
Ileto stresses the riots could have been triggered by fliers asking high school students to rally at Mondawmin Mall which went viral on social media over the weekend. It was initially intended to be a peaceful rally, but things quickly escalated.
Most of the injured officers were hurt by flying debris from the rioters, per CBS Baltimore. A total of 27 suspects were taken into custody on Monday afternoon.
Maryland governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency in Baltmore on Monday and then asked the National Guard to intervene, per Ileto.
The CBS Baltimore report also mentions Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake imposing a city-wide curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. in order to curb the unrest and violence. She describes the riots as "very disturbing":
"What we see going on tonight that is going on in our city is very disturbing. It is very clear there is a difference between what we saw over the past week with the peaceful protests, those who wish to seek justice, those who wish to be heard and want answers, and the difference between those protests and the thugs who only want to incite violence and destroy our city."
Gray, a 25-year-old native of Baltimore, died in police custody due to a severe spinal cord injury on April 12, per CNN. Authorites arrested him on a weapons charge.
The CNN update says mobile phone video reveals Gray screaming and being dragged when he was arrested. Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts was disappointed when he found out Gray did not receive proper medical attention.
Five of the six officers involved in Gray's arrest have issued statements to investigators as of April 27. The sixth one "has invoked his right to refuse to answer questions," per CNN.
This is not the first time the Orioles were involved in a game postponement due to civil unrest.
The Detroit Tigers postponed their game against the Orioles on July 25, 1967 due to riots in the city, per Ghiroli. Tension in Detroit forced the league to move the final two games of that particular series to Baltimore.
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