There is no stadium like Camden Yards. It is one of the few remaining stadiums in this league that still has character. Every time I go to the Yard is another memory I soon won’t forget. The Warehouse, Eutaw Street, the Flag Court, the ivy, and the Clock Tower out past left-field; the atmosphere of an Orioles game is like none other. Last year the Orioles introduced Legends Park, where kids will learn about the Orioles greats and others will reminisce on all the memories those six unforgettable Orioles gave them when they were growing up. This stadium and the experiences you share here are ones that you will always cherish, I know I do.
There is something about that walk from the Metro, hearing the vendors yelling “Cheaper on the outside!” or “One dollar water!”; following a sea of orange and black, while chatting with strangers about the latest buzz about the O’s; weaving through the granite statues of all the retired greats, only stopping to avoid stepping in front of a family photo. That walk pulls you in, and you lose yourself in the excitement and anticipation.
When you walk through those green iron gates you know that you are surrounded by people that are all there for the same reason, to feel and be a part of the Orioles Magic. You are not a stranger when you come to Baltimore. No, not unless you wear pinstripes or red socks. In this stadium, this city and these people are one. If you don’t believe me then you’ve never felt the chills when the entire stadium erupts “O!” during the Star Spangled Banner. Nor have you felt the unison of the Seven Nation Army Chant of a sellout crowd. The feeling is unforgettable.
I keep saying “being a part of this city” or “a part of this team”. I hope everybody who as been to an Orioles or Ravens game, or even watched the game at home with family or friends, know what I am talking about. The feeling of knowing everybody around you shares that same passion for a team who gives everything back to you. That passion and love for the game is what brings people together.
Sports are a powerful thing, and I have seen the change in Baltimore this past year. The Orioles amazing turn around last year had this city electric, and when the Ravens hoisted the Lombardi Trophy at City Hall I have never felt such indescribable joy. I can’t imagine what it will be like when the Orioles win the World Series.
My father has always told me, “You think this city is crazy when the Ravens win the Super Bowl? Baltimore is a baseball town and always has been. You will have never seen the city of Baltimore the way it will be if the Orioles ever win the World Series.” Well Dad, I have felt the victory of being Super Bowl Champs twice now, and it is amazing. But there is still a part of me that wants that World Series Championship a little more. I consider Camden Yards my home away from home and April 2nd couldn’t come any sooner. So to Buck, AJ, Nick, Matt, and the rest of the Orioles, I say lets start a run this city will never forget.