From early spring until early fall (and with some luck, into late fall for post-season games), it’s time to go to the ballpark and cheer on them O’s!
Whether you’re in the bleachers or box seats, you’ll be among the most loyal fans in the league. They’re proud of their team and they’re proud of the stadium. The retro design, introduced to fans and the world in 1992 (yes, it’s been 25 years already), set new standards for ballpark design. When game after game after game sold out in the early years (with tickets going for 10 times the face value or more), management introduced a “scalp-free” zone, guaranteeing you wouldn’t pay more than face value. The zone is gone, but management is still innovating.
Whatever your taste buds want, you’re likely to find it here. The Boog Powell BBQ has an irresistible aroma that seems to waft out to every seat in the stadium. New for 2018, were Attman’s Deli (yum corned beef and pastrami), Boardwalk Fries, Pinch Dumplings, Pizza John’s, Pollock Johnny’s sausage, Stuggy’s gourmet hot dogs, and Lobster Hut (behind home plate on the lower concourse). Something that’s particularly appreciated by those who have little ones coming for the excitement is reduced pricing for kid-size hot dogs and soda, each costing $1.50.
Taking a 90-minute walking tour of the stadium is a special treat with visits to the press level, scoreboard control room, party suites, the dugout (with some restrictions, depending on what time the game starts), and so much more. The little medallions in the ground behind center field and the flag court are where players have hit one out of the park. Oh, if the tour guide asks you how much you think the Oriole bird weather vanes (they show the wind direction) weigh, you can say, “Oh, I guess about 600 pounds each. Tours are scheduled daily unless there’s a day game (starting before 4 p.m.).
The large numbers outside the Eutaw Street entrance are the numbers of the retired Orioles players and personnel. Note the statue of Babe Ruth (you’re three blocks from where he lived) that has a right-handed mitt (he was a lefty). The H and the E in the sign for The Sun (the Baltimore Sun newspaper) will light up to indicate a hit or an error.
On September 6, 1995, Cal Ripken, Jr. set a new record of 2131 consecutive games played, beating Lou Gehrig’s long-standing record of 2130. Cal continued the streak with a total of 2632 straight games. Yeah, unlikely anyone will beat that. It’s a revered number and you may see it here and there around the stadium.
For baseball movie fans, Oriole Park at Camden Yards was the hometown stadium in the movie Major League II released in 1994. The old Memorial Stadium on 33rd street is now a senior housing facility, YMCA, and other community facilities.
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