Some FanFest information and new front office hire

I'll start with the front office. According to multiple reports. the Orioles have hired former Phillies general manager Lee Thomas as an assistant to executive vice president Dan Duquette.

I'll get confirmation at 5 p.m., when Duquette and new catcher Taylor Teagarden will be made available to reporters on a conference call.

As for FanFest, the Orioles have scheduled the annual event for Jan. 21 at the Baltimore Convention Center. It will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., with early entry for Orioles season plan holders to begin at 10 a.m. as part of the Orange Carpet Program.

Forgive the cut-and-paste job from the press release, but I'm pretty busy here. Enjoy:

In addition to FanFest activities, individual game tickets for the 2012 season will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Jan. 21. Fans may purchase tickets at the Convention Center or the Orioles' Box Office at the north end of the warehouse throughout the day. Tickets will also be available via phone at 1-888-848-BIRD, online at www.orioles.com and at the Official Team Store at the York Galleria in York, Pa.

The Orioles' autograph policy for FanFest 2012 will duplicate last year's policy and is designed to support youth charitable endeavors through OriolesREACH, as well as reduce fan disappointment by shortening wait times. Children ages 4-14 will have a specially designated Kids Only player autograph station presented by ESSKAY that is free of charge and will operate continuously throughout the day. All other ESSKAY autograph stations at FanFest will require the advance purchase of autograph vouchers exclusively at www.orioles.com, with all of the proceeds to benefit children's charities through OriolesREACH. A date, time and additional details pertaining to the sale of autograph station vouchers for autograph stations will be announced at a later date.

In addition to autographs, other FanFest activities include question and answer forums with players, front office staff and media; clinics for children on a youth-sized baseball field; memorabilia dealers; a spring training in Sarasota exhibit; and the opportunity to apply for seasonal employment with the organization.

Tickets for FanFest are on sale now and are available online at www.orioles.com/fanfest, via phone at 1-888-848-BIRD and at the Official Team Store at the York Galleria in York, Pa. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 14 and under and those over 55. On the day of the event, FanFest tickets will be sold at the Convention Center and the Orioles Box Office. 2012 Season Plan Holders will receive complimentary tickets as part of their Orange Carpet Benefits program.

Complimentary parking for FanFest is available in Lot B/C. For updated information about the event, fans should visit www.orioles.com/fanfest.

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