Our Trips To Other Ballparks: Part 5 – Camden Yards
by Paul Semendinger
May 9, 2021
I have been to Camden Yards a few times, but only once to actually see a ballgame, and the fact that we even got to see the game on that occasion happened quite by chance.
Of all the ballparks I have attended, Camden Yards is, to me, the very best. When the Yankees remodeled Yankee Stadium, I had hoped that the Yankees would have brought more of the great nostalgic feel of Camden Yards to the Bronx. (They did not.)
I have been to Orioles Park at Camden Yards numerous times. Years ago, when I was a middle school principal, I ran our school’s annual eighth grade trip to Washington, DC. For a special treat, we used to stop in Baltimore on the ride home for a tour of Camden Yards. That was always a highlight.
In addition, the Baltimore Marathon ends with the runners pushing hard down Eutaw Street which is the area in right field where long home runs land in front of the huge warehouse. In 2004, I sprinted down Eutaw Street as I completed my first ever sub-4:00 marathon. (I ran Baltimore in 3:55:51.)
But, as I shared, I only attended a game there once, and that was by chance and it only happened because of Ted Williams…
The year was either 1992 or 1993. At the time, my sister and her husband were living in North Carolina. My wife and I were in New jersey. We all thought it would be fun to meet in Baltimore, a city at that time neither of us had ever been to.
We created a nice itinerary: Visit Fort McHenry, see the aquarium, take a look at the new Orioles stadium, check out the inner harbor, and maybe even take the water taxi to Fell’s Point (a place we heard was a lot of fun).
My brother-in-law and I wanted to attend a game at Camden Yards, but the girls thought otherwise. We also didn’t have enough time to do all that we wanted, so we reached a compromise – if we could (somehow) get tickets, we’d go to the game. If we couldn’t, we’d go to Fell’s Point. (When this ballpark opened, they were sold out every game.)
When we walked by the stadium, we inquired about tickets for that night’s game against the Cleveland Indians. We were told that the only tickets available were for Standing Room only. That wasn’t acceptable. There would be no ballgame for us that night.
Still we had a great day…
Later, on the water taxi to Fell’s Point, probably a few hours before game time, I saw a man about my dad’s age wearing a Red Sox hat. I was probably wearing a Yankees hat, but I don’t recall that level of specificity. The man smiled at me. I smiled back. Small talk ensued.
I said, “My dad is a big Red Sox fan, he loved Ted Williams.”
That opened the door to a discussion of the Red Sox of old.
“You really know your baseball, “ the man said. And then he offered, “Are you going to the game tonight?” I explained that we tried to get tickets, but that we couldn’t, so we’d be seeing Fell’s Point instead.
The man then told me that he was traveling with a bicycle club and that two couples didn’t show up. He had four extra tickets that he offered to sell me at face value.
How could we say no?
I distinctly remember the look of shock and amazement when I told my wife and sister that I was able to get tickets for the game that night. It was all thanks to Ted Williams and a nice older man.
We soon arrived at Fell’s Point. We took a quick walk around some streets, and then hurried back to the water taxi, and headed to the ballgame.
It was Hat Day and we all got pinstriped Orioles hats. Somewhere I have a picture of us all.
As for the game itself, I don’t remember much. I do know that it went into extra innings, but we didn’t press our luck and stay until the end.
Note – I did some quick research and determined that the game we attended was probably on August 8, 1993. The Orioles won in walk-off fashion in eleven innings over the Cleveland Indians.
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