A few weeks ago I did a post about Angels Stadium and the Anaheim Angels. In that post I stated I was going to do a post about some of the other ballparks I have been to and talk about the home team. This weekend the Angels played the Baltimore Orioles, thus I decided to share my visit to their home park called Oriole Park of Camden Yards. On a side note, the Angels took the series!!! (sorry Orioles fans)
I will start by telling you that it is the first of the “retro” major league ballparks. The construction of the park was completed in essentially 33 months from the time razing previous structures on the 85-acre parcel began June 28, 1989 in the area known as Camden Yards. It remains one of the most highly praised parks today. The great success of Camden Yards sparked a trend in the construction of more traditional, fan-friendly ballparks in downtown locations across the U.S. By the 2012 season, all but two teams played in baseball-only parks.On September 6, 1995, Camden Yards witnessed Cal Ripken, Jr.‘s record-setting 2,131st consecutive game. Exactly one year later, Eddie Murray blasted his 500th home run there. Two orange seats stand out from the park’s dark green plastic chairs. One is located in Section 96 and commemorates the spot where Eddie Murray’s 500th home run landed. The other, in Section 86, is the landing spot for Ripken’s 278th home run.
A few notes of interest:
- The park is only 2 blocks from the birthplace of baseball’s most legendary hero, George Herman “Babe” Ruth.
- The ballpark originally seated 48,041 (and now seats 45,971), and the project cost was approximately $110 million.
- On April 6, 1979, The Oriole Bird hatched out of a giant egg at Memorial Stadium and became the official mascot of the Baltimore Orioles.
- On October 8, 1995, Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass at Camden Yards as part of his visit to Baltimore, one of the most prominent non-baseball events at Camden Yards.
On September 28, 1953, baseball’s owners unanimously agreed upon the move of the St. Louis Browns to Baltimore. Last season, 2014, marked 60 years that the Orioles have been in Baltimore. Although it didn’t start as well as they would have hoped for, as they went 54-100 and 57 games back in the division. However, in 1960 the team made a charge for the pennant and finished with 85 wins.
Then in 1966 the Orioles, AKA the Birds, acquired Frank Robinson which turned out to be the missing piece needed to make a successful run for the Championship. They ended up defeating the favored LA Dodgers in a 4-game sweep. Just to prove that it wasn’t a fluke that they won the World Series in 1966, the Orioles again went to the series in 1970 and beat the Big Red Machine (Cincinnati Reds) 4-1. They would go to the World Series, and few more times, and win it all in the 1983 season.
In 1982 Rookie Cal Ripken Jr started his opening day game going 3 for 5 with a homerun. He would go on to be known as the “Iron Man” playing in 2,632 consecutive games breaking Lou Gehrig‘s record set 56 years prior. He would often hit more than 20 home runs per season and had a career total of 431.
Sadly, for Orioles fans anyway, there hadn’t been a lot to root for since their last winning season and unsuccessful World Series run in 1997. That was until 2012 when Buck Showalter (who became their manager in 2010) came on the scene and would lead them to post their first winning season and post season appearance in 14 years. Happily, for Orioles fans, they have had winning record every season since 2012.
- 20 – Frank Robinson
- 5 – Brooks Robinson
- 4 – Earl Weaver
- 22 – Jim Palmer
- 33 – Eddie Murray
- 8 – Cal Ripken, Jr.
- 42 – Jackie Robinson – All of MLB
Hope you have enjoyed reading about the Orioles and their home park at Camden Yards. If you haven’t been there, I highly suggest taking in a game there someday. it is a great park and I really enjoyed my visit and watching a couple of games while in the area. Their mascot, the Oriole Bird, got everyone excited and kept us entertained pregame and in between innings. It was a great park and I was really happy to be able to go and see it in person. Go O’s, unless you are playing the Angles, lol
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