Built on the site of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad’s Camden Station, the stadium’s most unique feature is the presence of the brick B&O Warehouse immediately beyond the right field wall, complete with a bank of lights on its roof. Although Camdens Yards, which is also referred to sometimes as Orioles Park at Camden Yards, has served as host to some fine teams and players since it first opened, it has gained much of its notoriety from its singular location, design, and construction.
Bringing a sense of nostalgia to the home ballpark of the Orioles are the trusses constructed of steel (rather than concrete), an arched brick facade, and the original Memorial Stadium foul poles. Furthermore, the stadium is located a mere two blocks from the childhood home of Babe Ruth, which has since been converted into a museum. Situated just across the street from the ballpark is the Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards, which features a Babe Ruth exhibit. A statue of the game’s most famous player, which is entitled Babe’s Dream, also stands just outside Camden Yards.
Other vintage touches to this charming ballpark include a brick exterior and an 1890s Orioles logo on every aisle seat in the stadium. Fans fortunate enough to purchase a select group of tickets are allowed access to a Knothole Gang-like standing-room-only section on Eutaw Street. No traffic is permitted on this street that leads from the ballpark to the warehouse located behind the rightfield wall. Although the pathway is considered off limits to non-ticket holders on game days, it is laden with stores and restaurants that beckon visitors to the area all other times. The street also boasts a number of baseball plaques that have been constructed along the sidewalk to mark the landing spots of various home runs that left the ballpark.
With its relatively shallow outfield fences and excellent hitting background, Camden Yards has proven to be a hitter’s paradise since it first opened almost two decades ago. Slugger Rafael Palmeiro had some of his greatest seasons with the Orioles, while Camden’s inviting outfield fences enabled centerfielder Brady Anderson to post a 50-homer campaign. Other players such as Miguel Tejada and Melvin Mora compiled impressive numbers at Camden Yards, while Cal Ripken Jr. called the ballpark home throughout the second half of his Hall of Fame career.
Camden’s dimensions are 333 feet down the left field line, 364 feet to left-center, 410 feet to deepest left-center, 400 feet to straightaway center field, 373 feet to right-center, and 318 feet down the right field line. Aside from comments made by dissatisfied pitchers, the only complaints ever registered about the ballpark came from fans who argued that the nearby construction of tall buildings in 2007 and 2008 blocked their view of Baltimore’s skyline from the grandstands. One particularly interesting feature of the park is The Baltimore Sun sign on top of the scoreboard. The Sun has lights in the ‘h’ and ‘e’ that flash when the official scorer rules a hit or an error. In addition, the bullpens are two-tiered – a design that was submitted by the fans.
Although Camden Yards has been in existence for a relatively brief period of time, it has hosted a number of historical moments. A red seat in left field marks the spot where
Cal Ripken Jr’s 278th home run landed. The blow enabled him to pass Ernie Banks as baseball’s all-time home run leader among shortstops. Meanwhile, an orange seat in the bleachers marks the spot where Eddie Murray’s 500th homer landed.
Camden Yards served as host to the 1993 All-Star Game, and also to divisional playoff and ALCS games in both 1996 and 1997. Hall-of-Famers Cal Ripken Jr. and Eddie Murray provided the hometown fans with two of the greatest moments in Orioles history exactly one year apart. Ripken played in his 2,131st consecutive game on September 6, 1995, thereby breaking Lou Gehrig’s long-standing record. One year later, Murray cracked his 500th career home run. Boston’s Hideo Nomo tossed the only no-hitter in the ballpark’s history in 2001. Other memorable moments include: Tim Raines Sr. and Tim Raines Jr. playing in the same outfield for the Orioles on October 4, 2001; the 30-3 thrashing the Texas Rangers administered to the Orioles in the first game of a doubleheader on August 22, 2007, thereby establishing an all-time record for most runs scored in one contest; and the Orioles rallying from a 10-1 seventh-inning deficit against Boston on June 30, 2009, for the greatest comeback in team history. It also represented the largest comeback ever for a last-place team against a first-place team.
The Orioles have fallen on hard times the last few years, but they have a young nucleus that the front office hopes will eventually give the Baltimore fans a team worthy of the ballpark in which it plays its home games.
No trip to Baltimore is complete without going to the inner harbor. Leaving Camden follow Pratt Street about 3 city Blocks and you will come to it. The Inner Harbor has great sites, such as Navy Ships, Tall Ships, Shopping, Aquarium, many chain and unique restaurants.
Post game the Fells Point area is a great place to head to, it has night clubs, bars and is located in Federal Hill.
Parking and Hotels are in a abundance, during my several trips to the area neither have been hard to obtain. The Inner Harbor has several hotels.
If your going to Camden the Ball Park Tour is amongst the best I have experienced. The tour guides are well informed and you never get the feeling it is a speech they are giving you. They answer questions and give you allot of information about the park, its history and the history of the franchise.
Babe Ruth’s Birthplace is also in Baltimore and it is within walking distance of Camden Yards as is the famous St. Mary’s home for boys where Babe Ruth spent several years. You can see both from the Private Box section on the tour.
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