I made the trip down to Camden Yards for a couple Orioles games. Here’s my recollection of the experience.
Since I started writing for this wonderful page at the end of May, I made it a goal to visit Camden Yards in person this baseball season, and watch the Baltimore Orioles with my own eyes at the ballpark, as opposed to on my phone or computer in my Massachusetts home.
This past week, that goal was accomplished, as I was on site at the ballpark to watch Tuesday night’s comeback win against the Tampa Bay Rays, and Wednesday night’s near comeback win. Since some of you may have never been to Camden Yards, I thought I would write about the experience that I had, as someone who had only been to two major league parks prior, those being Fenway Park in Boston and Rogers Centre in Toronto.
The first thing I noticed when walking up to Gate H on Eutaw Street was the mix of retired Orioles numbers in front of the gate. This isn’t exactly uncommon, as Fenway Park has this kind of setup, but it’s still cool to see the numbers of some Orioles legends as you enter the park.
Once you get through the gate, you arrive on Eutaw Street. The eye goes to the back of the center field scoreboard to the massive “This land is Birdland” proclamation, with Trey Mancini and John Means on the sides. Eutaw Street also has a nice line of concession stands and different spots where you can pick up some Orioles memorabilia. They also have a sign that gives you the distance from Camden Yards to the ballparks of all the Orioles minor league teams, as well as their spring training home in Sarasota.
Getting to the other side of Eutaw Street is when you reach the concourse to get to seats that aren’t the outfield bleachers. The concourse was a nice surprise for me, as it is far different from the tightly packed Fenway Park concourse. It’s wide open, has plenty of room to it, is open aired, and has lots of concession stands and mini-markets with all sorts of different food and memorabilia options. Oh yeah, you also use it to get to your seats, not just marvel at how nice it is.
Now, on Tuesday night, I sat in section 12, which is the section closest to the field on the map. Sitting real close to the field for only $40 a ticket? That’s a great deal if I say so myself. Not that I think that there’s a bad seat in the ballpark, but I was able to see everything from the game and the scoreboard pretty clearly, so it was easy to pay attention to everything that was going on.
On Wednesday, I had a little more time before the game started, so I was able to walk the whole concourse and take a look at the view all over the park. Besides marveling at how nice the concourse is, I was able to see the view from the infamous pushed back left field wall, both base lines, and right behind the Orioles dugout.
During the game, the Orioles kept things going in between innings. They displayed on the scoreboard the farm system updates, with the scores of affiliate games that day, a hot dog race featuring ketchup, mustard, and relish, the good ole fashioned dance cam, and singing “Take me out to the Ballgame” and “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” during the middle of the 7th inning.
While my experience at the ballpark was aided by a sweet comeback win on Tuesday, the result of the games did not make or break the trip. Sure, I was disappointed they didn’t win both games I was there for, but the atmosphere at the ballpark was very fun and upbeat. Everyone was ready for an Orioles game, and there are tons of things to enjoy before the game begins.
If you have a chance to go to Camden Yards, you have to go, because maybe my words don’t do it justice. Maybe you just have to see one of the most beautiful ballparks in baseball for yourself. Plus, with the way this team has emerged and performing this season, there’s a decent chance you’ll see a win too.