Hats off to Orioles right-hander and Thomas Johnson High graduate Branden Kline who last week announced his retirement from professional baseball.

The journey for the hometown kid selected by the O’s in the second round of the 2012 draft was rocky. He suffered numerous injuries while playing in the minor leagues, causing him to miss the better parts of three seasons.

But his dream certainly came true. He got to play in front of the hometown crowd for the Frederick Keys and made his big-league debut for the Orioles on April 20, 2019.

Though his time in the major leagues was not as long as he would have hoped, Kline certainly made Frederick County proud.

Frederick County is known for its rich history, so that’s why it is such a shame that many of the museums that share that history have been forced to close during the pandemic.

Folks at Schifferstadt and the Catoctin Furnace Historical Society said they’ve struggled to stay open because they are worried that their tight quarters won’t be safe while COVID-19 remains rampant.

Luckily, some museums have transitioned to share their history in a virtual setting. But that’s still not the same.

We are optimistic, just as they are, that once everything gets better they can open again. For now, that doesn’t take away the sadness that the teaching of our history has been temporarily silenced at some of these places.

Everybody needs a buddy. That may be true now more than ever. Frederick Balloon Company CEO Caity Byrne wants to give a “balloon buddy” to every senior citizen living in one of Frederick County’s nursing homes or assisted living facilities as a way to brighten their days.

The idea is part of the global #AdoptAGrandparent campaign.

“Overwhelmingly, I would say, probably 85 percent of the orders that have come in have been from complete strangers that I don’t know... who haven’t been previous clients of ours, who are just compelled to do something for the community,” Byrne told reporter Erika Riley.

Byrne is providing the balloons and smiley faces, but is asking for the community to step forward and donate to sponsor/adopt a senior. For more information, go to frederickballoons.com.

These whimsical balloon sculptures are a creative way to bring smiles to the faces of our seniors during the pandemic. Every little bit will help us all get through this.

As the pandemic continues, so does its negative impact on local businesses. We’ve seen countless storefronts close, restaurants shut down and millions across the country out of work.

So we have taken great joy throughout these past 10 months in pointing out those businesses that have revamped, retooled and rethought their business model.

This past week, we found that innovation coming in a place we might not have thought to look — local wineries.

Wineries have adapted their strategies by doing such things as providing home deliveries, or opening during the week. Some are hosting those who bring their laptops to work outside while enjoying a glass or just the outdoor setting.

“People are bringing their own super cold weather gear almost like you’re at a ski resort, and you’re around your own fire pit,” Melissa Schulte, general manager of Black Ankle in Mount Airy, told our reporter Erika Riley.

To these business owners, and to all who continue to find a way to keep their places open and workers employed, we raise a glass and say thank you.

Yeas and nays is a weekly feature of quick-hit opinions from The Frederick News-Post’s editorial board. Send your suggestions to letters@newspost.com.

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