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Monday, May 14, 2018

Taking Back the Ballparks - Baltimore Orioles

Oriole Park at Camden Yards remains the template for the modern park, in all the right ways. Place it in a convenient, central city location? Check. Incorporate the surrounding area into the design? Check. Offer the customer new ways to enjoy the game beyond what was previously available? Got that.

Only two problems. They almost got the name perfect, but the Oriole Park part was simply unnecessary. Without its useless appendage, Camden Yards would be on the Mount Rushmore of baseball park names. It still might be (feel free to use the comment section below to discuss the four best ballpark names in history).

The other problem: The oldest of the Unacceptable children has spent three of the past four years at school in Charm City, and every damn time I’ve been out there during baseball season the O’s have been on the road. I’ve got one more year, and if I have to drag him out of class early or let him miss the first couple of days just so I can take in an O’s game, that’s gonna happen.

Next: This Miller’s from Bud

Ballpark History

Built: 1992

Capacity: 45,971

Name: Oriole Park at Camden Yards, 1992-present.

Other ballparks used by club in its current city: Memorial Stadium 1954-1991. Original Baltimore franchise played in Oriole Park IV, 1901-02.

Distinctive Features: the B&O Warehouse beyond right field; the barbecue pit operated by Oriole and Nickname Great Boog Powell; the park once had great views of the downtown skyline, though subsequent construction has limited that; baseball-shaped plates marking where long-distance home runs came down (hat tip: Benji Gil Gamesh VII); pretty much all the other features were distinctive when Camden Yards opened, but have subsequently been appropriated by other parks.


Ballpark Highlights:

On April 6, 1992, Former Ballplayer and Sitting President (titles in order of importance) George H.W. Bush threw out the first pitch before the O’s contest with Cleveland, officially opening Oriole Park at Camden Yards and launching a new wave in ballpark construction.

On Sept, 6, 1995, California’s Shawn Boskie coaxed a pop-up from Cal Ripken to escape a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the fifth inning, officially qualifying the contest as a major league game. In the process, Ripken set baseball’s least-dramatic record.

Serving as a harbinger of baseball’s future, five Indians pitchers combined to blank the host Orioles over 11 innings in the sixth and deciding game of the 1997 American League Championship Series.

In Game 1 of a doubleheader, the Texas Rangers scored the most runs in a game in 110 years in a 30-3 pasting of the O’s. I beg you not to mock Wes Littleton’s save in that contest.

On Opening Day 2008, a disabled 13-year-old boy was devastated when he couldn’t secure a ticket to see his beloved O’s, a tale brought to life by enterprising Baltimore Sun reporter Scott Templeton.

Due to the ongoing Baltimore riots in 2015, the Orioles game with the White Sox game was played before zero fans.

SoSH U at work Posted: May 14, 2018 at 09:02 AM | 30 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: orioles, stadium names

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 14, 2018 at 09:34 AM (#5671713)
First requirement: No compound names. Personally I'd be fine with either Oriole Park OR Camden Yards, but not with the current pair of non-identical Siamese twins.
   2. Rusty Priske Posted: May 14, 2018 at 09:52 AM (#5671720)
Camden Yards, straight up.
   3. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 14, 2018 at 09:53 AM (#5671721)
At least it’s not Oriole Park at Camden Yards of Anaheim.
   4. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 14, 2018 at 09:55 AM (#5671722)
Yes, like every ####### person on the planet except Peter Angelos, I thought in 1992 and still think it should be plain Camden Yards.
   5. PreservedFish Posted: May 14, 2018 at 09:57 AM (#5671723)
Camden Yards, and this is such a gimme that I think it deserves the accelerated Fenway process.
   6. BDC Posted: May 14, 2018 at 10:13 AM (#5671732)
What Fish said.
   7. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: May 14, 2018 at 10:17 AM (#5671737)
Camden Park at Oriole Yards
   8. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: May 14, 2018 at 10:41 AM (#5671754)
Camden Yards at Oriole Park
   9. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: May 14, 2018 at 10:42 AM (#5671756)
Park Yards at Camden Oriole
   10. SoSH U at work Posted: May 14, 2018 at 10:52 AM (#5671762)
I5. That’s why it’s running this week. All five entries, which were supposed to come out one day at a tume, are teams where I suspect no vote will be necessary.
   11. villageidiom Posted: May 14, 2018 at 11:21 AM (#5671784)
I'm good with Oriole Park At Camden Yards, and I'm good with people referring to it as Camden Yards.
   12. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 14, 2018 at 12:11 PM (#5671839)

Letting my vitriol against Angelos get the best of me; it would've been Eli Jacobs, not Angelos, who foisted the "Oriole Park" half of the name on us.
   13. Bote Man Posted: May 14, 2018 at 12:39 PM (#5671880)
Is this a combined comment and voting thread? The main Newsstand page seems to have vomited forth a whole bunch at once so I'm cornfused.

Anyway, I'll crawl out of my hole to say that Oriole Park is the perfect moniker for the ballpark in which the Orioles play. I never understood the need for the compound name.

I'm a railfan so I appreciate the history of the B&O being the first commercial rail carrier, linking 13 great states with the nation and yet I'm OK with omitting Camden Yards from the name. Besides, it's one ball yard, not a collection of yards so the plural doesn't even work in the baseball sense.

But I agree that this is one of the easiest ones to choose since there are no serious alternate contenders, not even jokingly. The place is like a baseball orgasm, so go if you haven't yet.

---

Anecdotally: I was privileged to attend the very first real game at Oriole Park with my ticket buddy, Paul. It was a 5-hit CG shutout from Rick Sutcliffe(!!) in just 2 hours and 2 civilized minutes. The first ever hit was off the bat of Paul Sorrento, a bloop into RF (although B-Ref says he advanced to 2B on an E-7 so I'll just assume that they are wrong and my memory is perfect).

The very first run was scored at Oriole Park by none other than...SAM HORN!

The U.S. Postal Service had a table set up in the concourse where they would cancel anything with a stamp on it, so I got two of those 8x11 posters with a photo of the ballpark they were handing out, bought and applied 2 stamps, and had them cancel them with the commemorative custom stamp. I almost sold them on eBay back when the Nats came to D.C. and I was extra irritated at Angelos, but they're still around here somewhere.

Here's a neat YouTube video with a local yocal describing some features of Oriole Park. In fact, there is a wealth of older MLB videos recently posted to YouTube since MLB Advanced Media can't be advanced enough to host themselves.
   14. SoSH U at work Posted: May 14, 2018 at 12:52 PM (#5671899)
Bote: these were scheduled to come out one day at a time. I don’t know why they came out all at once.

You can make nominations here, but my suspicion was none would be necessary. On the other hand, I can’t fathom how anyone could prefer Oriole Park or OPACY to the perfect Camden Yards, so we might have to vote anyway.
   15. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: May 14, 2018 at 02:48 PM (#5672037)
I agree with vi in #11, the name works and the colloquialism of Camden Yards works.
   16. Greg Pope Posted: May 14, 2018 at 02:53 PM (#5672042)
Yeah, Camden Yards is the way to go on this one.
   17. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili (TeddyF.Ballgame) Posted: May 14, 2018 at 04:45 PM (#5672162)
Camden Yards. Motion carries.

Next agenda item?
   18. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: May 14, 2018 at 05:44 PM (#5672210)
Camden Yards.

I don't even have a good idea for an alternate choice.
   19. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: May 14, 2018 at 06:06 PM (#5672234)
I agree with Bote Man, as the word "Yards" in no way applies to a stadium, field or arena so it's a bit weird. But I've gotten used to the British soccer stadiums that are just named "Highbury" or "Bloomfield Road", so Camden Yards is fine.
   20. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: May 14, 2018 at 06:34 PM (#5672252)
How 'bout some Wire-inspired field names?

Stringer Bell Ballpark
The House That Omar Robbed
Forty Degree Day Field
   21. Ziggy's screen name Posted: May 14, 2018 at 08:52 PM (#5672312)
The Ballpark that Reads
The Greatest Ballpark in America
Charm Ballpark
   22. escabeche Posted: May 14, 2018 at 11:13 PM (#5672430)
Caldome
   23. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 15, 2018 at 08:03 AM (#5672509)
I agree with Bote Man, as the word "Yards" in no way applies to a stadium, field or arena so it's a bit weird.
No, it refers to the rail yards that the stadium replaced.
   24. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: May 15, 2018 at 10:19 AM (#5672553)
On distinctive features, I think the baseball-shaped plates embedded in the ground beyond right field marking long home runs is a GREAT feature and worthy of mention. I loved it from the first time I went there in probably '98 or so, and it just gets better with the passage of time as so many of the players are retired now.
   25. SoSH U at work Posted: May 15, 2018 at 10:24 AM (#5672564)
On distinctive features, I think the baseball-shaped plates embedded in the ground beyond right field marking long home runs is a GREAT feature and worthy of mention.


Thy will is done.

   26. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 15, 2018 at 11:37 AM (#5672617)
Anecdotally: I was privileged to attend the very first real game at Oriole Park with my ticket buddy, Paul. It was a 5-hit CG shutout from Rick Sutcliffe(!!) in just 2 hours and 2 civilized minutes. The first ever hit was off the bat of Paul Sorrento, a bloop into RF (although B-Ref says he advanced to 2B on an E-7 so I'll just assume that they are wrong and my memory is perfect).

Good thing you added the "real" to that, since the O's first game there was actually an exhibition game against the Mets three days earlier, where we froze our butts off and watched the Birdies cop a 5-3 win. I still have the scorecard, and Eddie Murray drove in the first run.

I wish I'd gone to the real opener, and not just because of Sutcliffe's masterpiece. The even better reason was that the weather went from 44 degrees and blustery to 63 degrees and sunny perfection.
   27. ajnrules Posted: May 15, 2018 at 08:29 PM (#5673076)
Cal Ripken Field at Camden Yards
   28. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 15, 2018 at 08:44 PM (#5673091)
Cal Ripken Field at Camden Yards
But then it might get confused with Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, where Lassus's favorite Ironbirds play their home games.


EDIT: Just to be clear, it's not called "Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen." It's "Ripken Stadium," and it happens to be in Aberdeen.
   29. Bote Man Posted: May 15, 2018 at 10:56 PM (#5673218)
I used to have a big laminated wall map when I was growing up in the D.C. area that labeled the intersection of MD7 and Stepney Road as "Ripkin's Corner" spelled with 2 of the letter "i". This was long before Cal Ripken was a household name. That is all.
   30. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 16, 2018 at 10:26 AM (#5673340)
Jeffrey Maier Field.

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