Thursday, May 24, 2012

Baltimore: Day One

Just a few minutes after midnight the alarm began to remind me of the trip, it made no sense to get a hotel room in Portland because a couple hours of sleep would result either way.  Jab and I chose to save the money, get to bed early, and drive the four hours to the airport for our fight to Baltimore at 6 a.m.

I remember this as a kid, 7/12 is also my wedding anniversary
Big bones at the Maryland Science Center
By 8 o'clock we were already on the light rail and on our way for Camden Yards, the home of the American League East leading Orioles.  Jab's wife and I had tried to schedule a trip around our Red Sox but a mid-week series offered no possibilities especially considering the constraints due to work, little league T-Ball & Farm League, and other things.  For that, we were going to see a weekend battle between two teams that were tied for the best record in the American League.  The Tampa Bay Rays were in town for a three game series and we had already locked in the mayor's seats behind home plate as a result of an auction Jab's father in law had won.  For the next game, we'd figure things out.

Once in the heart of Baltimore, we immediately started crossing off our things to see list that included the American Visionary Art Museum, Maryland Science Center, lunch at Camden Yards, and a strong two hour nap before the game.  With batting practice to watch, we crossed the street from the hotel and made way for left field to see if we could track a baseball down.

My favorite part of the Science Museum
 The seats nor the game did not disappoint.  Situated just a few rows back and just holding home plate to our right, we had a clear unimpeded view of the field.  I was however amazed by the crowd who would not fill the stadium to capacity until around the fifth inning.  Usually at Fenway, everybody is there early.  Maybe it's because of the price of tickets, who am I to investigate the reasoning behind the Orioles fans.  Nevertheless, the game proved excellent as Nick Johnson slammed a two-run home run in the seventh inning to complete a comeback over the Rays and assert the Orioles a first place spot in the American League East.  Nick Markakis and Adam Jones each cranked out home runs in the winning effort.  Aside of the variety of home runs, my favorite part of the game was the one two punch of Pedro Strop and Jim Johnson who shut the door on the Rays.  Strop even brought one in at 97 mph, throwing that hard is something that certainly is a god given gift.  We retired for the evening and looked forward to the decoy museum and another ball game when we awoke.



Great view, great ball game...

Here's a quick video highlighting one of the Rays sluggers during batting practice and the last at bat of the game when Jim Johnson earning his 10th save of the season.

video



2 comments:

  1. What a great place for a ballgame!!

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  2. Trey, I've been to most of the "major" stadiums in the country (including Shea, Fenway, and Yankee Stadium), and as a Yankees fan it pains me to say that Camden Yards is by far the best place to catch a game. Upper seats are still GREAT and are around ten bucks a seat. Anyone can afford to go see baseball.

    And in fact, the owner of the Orioles has built the team's business model around it. Not on winning games or creating a winning franchise, but on making Camden Yards a better, more fun, safer, and cheaper place to see an MLB game than the opposing team's home stadium - specifically targeting Red Sox and Yankees fans from Raleigh to the southern end of NYC. A Yankees/Bo Sox fan living 20 miles outside of NYC in North Jersey can literally spend less money, easier parking, etc going to a game in Baltimore, than they can by tripping over to the NYC stadiums or up the few hours to Boston.

    But this current season's record aside, this business model is why Angelos is making millions on the team, despite the fact that they've had 13? consecutive losing seasons.

    Great write up, DEDH, you guys really hit the high points!!! Great job touristing!

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