Hard to believe that Orioles Park at Camden Yards celebrates it’s 20th summer this year! Until last weekend, I hadn’t been to a game there since Cal Ripken ran the bases for the Os. When it opened its gates, Camden Yards was the envy of sports arenas nationwide as the first of its kind of brand new, old-style sports facilities. Nowadays, most baseball cities have created their own take on the retro sports theme, most notably Citizens Bank Park here in nearby Philly, and the Pirates home at PNC Park. These state of the art edifices evoke the atmosphere of their elder legendary counterparts named Wrigley, Fenway and “Chavez Ravine”, while supplying fans with modern amenitities and multi-media sensory experiences. NOTE: Photos may load slow depending upon your connection speed.
I found the area surrounding the ballpark to be more fun and picturesque than ever, due in part to the ideal location of our room at the Baltimore Hilton and a 16th floor room overlooking the stadium (pictured above). On Friday we decided to watch some of the game from our room while listening to the radio broadcast play-by-play of an Orioles victory. Later on during the game we descended towards one of the many sports bars near the ball park and enjoyed sandwiches and craft brews not too far from the iconic warehouse outfield wall (below).
Baltimore honors its sports heroes of the past, Johnny Unitas, Eddie Murray, Jim Palmer, etc. with two worthwhile museums, Legends and the birthplace of Babe Ruth. In spite of impending threat of rain delay there would be plenty to see and do.
Entrance to the stadium (below left) during Eddie Murray Day with heavy rains looming… Although the Os lost the second game of the weekend after a rally fell short, it was worth the wait through the rain delay for fans to get these cool replica statues honoring a great player whom I mostly remember as the Phillies killer of the ’83 Series (below right). We also found time for a nice cigar while watching the ceremony on the video scoreboard from this vantage point.
The rain delay (similar to our Phillies vs. Nats trip tp DC last year) afforded the opportunity to grab lower level seats once things settled down, resulting in a pleasant summer evening for baseball, plus a Hall of Fame quality souvenir.
The game ending a little past midnight, we headed back to the Hilton for a few last looks from the 16th floor.
Finally, the Bromo Seltzer Tower (now an apartment complex for local artists) reads 10:15 am Sunday morning, signalling that it’s time to grab some coffee and a breakfast sandwich for the ride home to South Jersey.