Oriole Park at Camden Yards is a baseball stadium located in Baltimore, Maryland, which was constructed to replace the aging Memorial Stadium. It is home to the Baltimore Orioles baseball team, and considered by many to be one of America's most beautiful baseball stadiums.
Historically, Oriole Park at Camden Yards is one of several stadiums that has carried the Oriole Park name, for various Baltimore franchises over the years.
In 1989, construction began on an all-new, baseball-only ballpark for the Baltimore Orioles. Construction lasted 33 months on the ballpark, which finally opened on April 6, 1992, against the Cleveland Indians. After considerable debate on whether to name the new ballpark Oriole Park or Camden Yards—former Orioles owner Eli Jacobs favored "Oriole Park" while then-Maryland Governor William Donald Schaefer favored "Camden Yards"—a compromise was reached to use both names.
The retro-style ballpark began a trend among other cities to construct more traditional, fan-friendly ballparks, including Jacobs Field in Cleveland, Ameriquest Field in Arlington, Texas, Safeco Field in Seattle and Comerica Park in Detroit.
Camden Yards hosted the 1993 MLB All-Star Game. On June 18, 1994, 43 fans were injured in an escalator accident; one of the stadium's multiple-story escalators, overcrowded with fans heading to their upper-deck seats, jerked backward, throwing people to the bottom landing. On September 6, 1995, Camden Yards witnessed Cal Ripken, Jr.'s record-setting 2,131st consecutive game (the layout of the playing field was, in fact, somewhat designed to match Ripken's hitting style). Exactly one year later, Eddie Murray blasted his 500th home run there.
Most Memorable Games
- September 5, 1995: Cal Ripken tied the streak, and homered in the game
- September 6, 1995: Cal Ripken broke Lou Gehrig's Streak of 2131 games. In addition he hit a home run, it should be worth noting that both President Clinton and VP Al Gore attended, along with Cal Sr. who had not been to a game since being fired by the O's
Transportation and the Local Area
Camden Yards is built at the former location of a major rail station; its name derives from the rail yards that were formerly on the site. The view from much of the park is dominated by the former B&O warehouse behind the right-field wall. Immediately adjacent to the current stadium is a rail station served by both the Baltimore Light Rail and MARC commuter rail. The latter rail line provides direct service to Washington, D.C., the former to BWI Airport.
The stadium is located in downtown Baltimore, near the Inner Harbor. The ballpark, along with M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League, make up the Camden Yards Sports Complex (the football stadium wasn't built until 1998). Camden Yards is just a short walk from Babe Ruth's birthplace, which is now a museum. Coincidentally, his father's pub is where center field is located on the playing field.
In May 2005, a new sports museum, Sports Legends at Camden Yards opened in Camden Station.
- Major League II (1994), a movie about the Cleveland Indians, was actually filmed at Camden Yards while Jacobs Field was under construction. The recognizable B&O warehouse can be seen in many scenes in the movie, and immediately gives away the real filming location.
- The movie Dave (1993) features a scene with the President of the United States, played by Kevin Kline, throwing out the first pitch at Camden Yards. That scene was filmed in front of an actual capacity crowd at the ballpark, prior to a regular-season game. Similar scenes were filmed for the Chris Rock movie Head of State and for the 2004 season finale of The West Wing.
- During the planning of Camden Yards, Hall of Fame outfielder Frank Robinson (now manager of the Washington Nationals), who was then an Orioles executive and their manager from 1988-1991, attempted to convince the Orioles to install a terraced outfield similar to the infamous left field incline at Crosley Field, ballpark of the Cincinnati Reds until 1970. Robinson, a member of the Reds from 1956-1965, liked the terrace. The Orioles declined to build the terrace. However, the Houston Astros' park, Minute Maid Park, features an incline in center field area called Tal's Hill. However, at 30 degrees, it is twice as steep as Crosley Field's 15-degree incline.
- In October 1995, Pope John Paul II celebrated mass at the ballpark.
- Ballpark Digest Visit to Oriole Park at Camden Yards
- USGS aerial photo
- Camden Yards Info
- Camden Yards images and information