Ballpark Roadtrip: Oriole Park at Camden Yards

When Oriole Park at Camden Yards opened on April 6, 1992, a new era of Major League Baseball began. The park was brand new, but still old-fashioned. State-of-the-art, yet quaint. At less than a day old, it was already a classic.

Oriole Park at Camden Yards inspired a generation of ballpark construction. No longer would communities across America build multipurpose stadiums devoid of character, surrounded by vast parking lots. Ballparks would now be created to nestle neatly into existing and historic neighborhoods and play key roles in the revitalization of urban America.

Oriole Park at Camden Yards captured the nation’s attention from day one and in the 20 seasons that followed, has served as the standard by which all new ballparks are measured. Citizens of Baltimore and all of Maryland, as well as Orioles fans throughout Birdland, should take great pride in the fact that our team makes its home in the ballpark that forever changed baseball.

Ebbets Field (Brooklyn), Shibe Park (Philadelphia), Fenway Park (Boston), Crosley Field (Cincinnati), Forbes Field (Pittsburgh), Wrigley Field (Chicago), and The Polo Grounds (New York) were among the ballparks that served as powerful influences in the design of Oriole Park.

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Oriole Park at Camden Yards Oriole Park at Camden Yards Oriole Park at Camden Yards
A marquee above Oriole Park at Camden Yards, home of the Orioles in Baltimore Md. on Sept. 14, 2009. (Gordon Donovan) Orioles painted on the gates at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, home of the Orioles in Baltimore Md. on Sept. 14, 2009. (Gordon Donovan) Beautifully decorated gates at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, home of the Orioles in Baltimore Md. on Sept. 14, 2009. (Gordon Donovan)
Fans walk down Eutlaw Street before the baseball game between the Tampa Rays and Baltimore Orioles on Sept. 14, 2009 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore Md. (Gordon Donovan) Oriole Park at Camden Yards A vendor searches for a thirsty customer during the baseball game between the Tampa Rays and Baltimore Orioles on Sept. 14, 2009 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore Md. (Gordon Donovan)
An umpire rings up a pitch for a strike during the baseball game between the Tampa Rays and Baltimore Orioles on Sept. 14, 2009 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore Md. (Gordon Donovan) Oriole Park at Camden Yards Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Oriole Park at Camden Yards Oriole Park at Camden Yards Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Oriole Park at Camden Yards Oriole Park at Camden Yards Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Oriole Park at Camden Yards Oriole Park at Camden Yards Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Oriole Park at Camden Yards Oriole Park at Camden Yards Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Oriole Park at Camden Yards Oriole Park at Camden Yards Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Oriole Park at Camden Yards Oriole Park at Camden Yards Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Oriole Park at Camden Yards Oriole Park at Camden Yards Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Oriole Park at Camden Yards Oriole Park at Camden Yards Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Oriole Park at Camden Yards Oriole Park at Camden Yards Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Oriole Park at Camden Yards Oriole Park at Camden Yards Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Fans & Atmosphere: A – The model for all Major League Stadiums. Beautiful park and best tour of any ballpark. Just a shame this team is awful. Fans showed up for Adam Jones bobblehead night and left because of damp weather.

Food: A – Boog Powell in left field. May need a nap afterwords.

Mascot: B – The Oriole Bird hatched out of a giant egg at Memorial Stadium and became the official mascot of the Baltimore Orioles on On April 6, 1979. Does a great job entertaining fans and abusing opposition.

Staff: B – Tour guides were the best. Made it fun for kids an adults asking trivia. A few ushers had a thing for New Yorkers.

Team Tradition: B – Honors the team history from St. Louis and original Orioles. Babe Ruth is honored with a statue outside and a path that leads to the Babe Ruth Museum. Wall of Fame on Outlaw Street.

Location: B – One wrong turn and you will end up in an episode of The Wire. Inner Harbor is beautiful, nice job by city of Baltimore.

Photos taken June 17-18 and Sept. 14, 2009, using a Canon EOS 50D Digital SLR with a EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Standard Zoom Lens and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens.

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