Pro Sports Stadium Review: Camden Yards

Camden Yards in downtown Baltimore, Maryland may be one of the best-looking baseball stadiums in America. State owned and operated, it is home to the American League Eastern Division Baltimore Orioles.

Graphic via nuckolball

Opened in 1992, after Memorial Stadium (the previous home of the Orioles) was demolished, this handsome and inviting park is considered to be the first of the current crop of “retro” stadiums, venues that capture the “look and feel” of ballparks that existed fifty or more years ago.

The Orioles call their home Oriole Park at Camden Yards and it sits atop the old Camden Yards train station of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. Importantly, it is just a few short blocks from Baltimore’s famous Inner Harbor, an area known for restaurants, shopping and entertainment.

Although it is now twenty-three years old, this delightful destination still looks new. And because the home team is competitive, sizable crowds show up for every game.

They get to see lots of offense because the park’s dimensions are hitter-friendly and the home team packs its lineup with lots of sluggers.

In truth, the left field line is only from home plate while the distance down the right field line is even shorter. It is just from home plate. Centerfield, at four hundred feet, is easily reachable by the team’s big hitters.

As for attendance, it is 45,971 when every seat is taken. When really big crowds show up, the Orioles sell standing room tickets pushing the capacity to a whopping 48, 187. The largest crowd ever to watch a game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards is 48,828. That game was played July 10, 2005.

As might be expected, there have been many notable games and memorable events connected to this outstanding baseball stadium. Consider the following …

On September 6, 1995 Baltimore’s legendary shortstop Cal Ripken, Jr. broke Lou Gehrig’s consecutive games played record which had been 2,130. Ripken hit a home run to the delight of the huge crowd. His father and Joe DiMaggio were there to congratulate him.

On April 4, 2001 Japanese import Hideo Nomo pitched the first no-hitter in the normally hitter-friendly stadium. And on October 4, 2001 Tim Raines Jr. and Tim Raines Sr. appeared in the same game. It was only the second time in baseball history that a father and son performed in the same game. It happened once before when Ken Griffey Jr. and Ken Griffey Sr. participated in a game.

There have been other memorable events. In a game played August 22, 2007 the Texas Rangers clubbed the home team 30-3. The combined total of runs scored was the highest in one hundred ten years.

And if all that was not enough, the most remarkable event in the history of the ballpark took place earlier this season on April 29th. On that day the Orioles hosted the Chicago White Sox in front of no fans. The game was closed to the public because of Riots that were taking place on the streets surrounding the stadium.

It was the only time in Major League baseball history that a game was closed to the public.

Graphic via cbssports

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