Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Oriole Park at Camden Yards Tour

We decided to kill some time on Friday before the game by paying $9.00 and doing the ballpark tour of Oriole Park at Camden Yards. I had done the tour once before, back in 2005, so I figured it was about time to do it again.

As you walk into the park, along Eutaw Street, you may notice some plaques dotting the street.

These plaques represent the 54 baseballs (as of July 23, 2010) that had been hit onto Eutaw Street. When the ballpark was constructed, it was thought that the warehouse would be an easy target. Each of the windows of the warehouse was fitted with shatterproof glass. As it turns out, the dimensions of the warehouse itself creates a wind tunnel effect that blows balls toward the ground once they reach that area. This is why only 54 baseballs have reached Eutaw Street.

One would think, that with all of the 'performance enhancing drugs' that were allegedly consumed by baseball players in the 1990s, SOMEONE had to hit the warehouse more than once. Since Camden Yards opened in 1992, the warehouse has been tagged by a ball only one time, and it was NOT during an official major league game.

Some guy no one has ever heard of, Ken Griffey, Jr. hit a ball during the 1993 Home Run Derby that came into contact with the warehouse. It is really awesome to walk along Eutaw Street and try to find the plaque for the ball that Griffey crushed. He had to tattoo that ball for it to make it that far... I wish I could find that on video.
Of the 54 baseballs hit onto Eutaw Street as of July 23, 2010, Rafael Palmeiro holds the record of balls hit onto the street with 5. Luke Scott has 4 and BRADY Anderson has 3.

Inside the park, in the club level, the Orioles have many of their achievements on display. Below, are replicas of the Cy Young Awards that Oriole pitchers have received in the past. 3 for Jim Palmer, one for Mike Cuellar, one for Mike Flanagan, one for Steve Stone. Here are the replicas of the MVP awards won by Orioles. Brooks in 1964, Frank Robinson in 1966, Boog Powell in 1970, Cal in 1983 and Cal again in 1991.
The Orioles have jerseys showing all of their retired numbers on display: 4 - Earl Weaver, 5 - Brooks, 8 - Cal Ripken, 20 - Frank Robinson, 22 - Jim Palmer and 33 - Eddie Murray. The Orioles, of course, have 42 - Jackie Robinson retired, but since he was never an Oriole, they don't have a jersey retired. I wonder if the Orioles have the most players named Robinson with retired numbers. Maybe they should lobby to have the last name Robinson retired, or at least demand that they get first dibbs on any player named Robinson.

I love that the flash in my camera emphasised the gold of this replica Gold Glove award which was on display to represent the 16 gold gloves that Brooks had won. It looks amazing.
I liked these 'autographed baseballs' they had displayed. What's even cooler is that I own 3 of the four. If anyone is looking for gift ideas for my birthday (which is coming up), the Frank Robinson would look awesome in my collection.They have 2 of their 3 World Series trophies on display. The trophies on display are from 1970 and 1983. The 1966 championship is missing because a trophy was not given out until... 1967.
I really liked this quote that was on the ceiling. I've seen the quote before, but seeing it again is always good. I don't think a truer statement has ever been spoken...Also, nothing is complete without a quote from Earl Weaver. Good thing they didn't ask him about team speed when they were obtaining this quote...Finally, I close with the warehouse... The warehouse is the former B&O (Baltimore and Ohio) Railroad warehouse and was used by B&O until the 70s. It is the longest building east of the Mississippi river and is longer than the Empire State Building is tall. The warehouse sat vacant from the late 70s until the late 1980s. It was in very bad shape and wa sin danger of being torn down, until the Maryland Stadium Authority bought the property formerly owned by B&O Railroad and began restoring the building to incorporate it into the newly planned ballpark that was slated to replace Memorial Stadium.
Since the warehouse had been used in the railyards, the building was covered with soot and grime. Attempts to power wash the bricks failed because the bricks and mortar couldn;t handle the water pressure. The bricks were, then, cleaned by hand using muriatic acid. Workers stopped counting the bricks at 3,000,000. The floors inside the warehouse were rotten and falling in, so the entire inside of the warehouse was gutted and completely restored. The warehouse now serves as a retail/office complex, housing the offices of the Orioles, the Maryland Stadium Authority, Aramark, etc.


Ryan H said...

I've never taken the ballpark tour. Maybe the next time I go to see a game I will. BTW, I noticed the link to my blog in your blogroll is out of date for some reason. You might want to update it....

Drew said...

Sounds like a cool tour! Just, except for the Orioles stuff ;), jk, very nice actually, gotta like Ripken and the Robinsons

William Regenthal said...

Ryan, I'll take a look. I don't know why it does that, but I only have the links to the blogs in the widget, so maybe its not refreshing like it should...

Field of Cards said...

Great stuff! I haven't seen these things before.