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Stadium 12: Our Visit to Orioles Park at Camden Yards

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On August 9, we left Wilderness Lake Campground in Connecticut. 341 miles later, we arrived at the Washington DC / Capitol KOA Holiday campground in Maryland. This will be our home for the next three nights, while we visit the Orioles Park at Camden Yards and Nationals Park.

We have enjoyed the raucous sounds of katydids, frogs, and crickets at night. The crickets sounded like an electrical buzz as I walked back and forth from the laundry room at night. The katydids chirp back and forth to one another as if they are arguing. It is amazing that creatures this small can make so much noise!

Our Impressions of Orioles Park at Camden Yards

So far, Orioles fans are the closest second to the Phillies in terms of enthusiasm. The crowd roared with every successful play, and collectively moaned when the opposing outfielder caught a pop fly.

We liked the Orioles’ stadium. The parking is relatively easy and ample. It has a lovely courtyard between their administrative offices and the field. The field is easy to navigate, with nice concourses and clear signage.

The Orioles’ mascot is, of course, an oriole. During the 7th inning stretch, the crowd belts out Thank God I’m a Country Boy in addition to the traditional Take Me Out to the Ballgame. The Oriole perches outside the press boxes with his “fiddle” to encourage crowd participation.

Our Seats: Our seats were in Section 31, Row 11, Seats 10, 11, and 12. The good news about these seats is that they were out of the rain. The bad news is that we couldn’t see the big screen, and the screen available to fans was very small. Fortunately, it wasn’t a sold-out crowd. We were able to move forward a few rows after the game started and had an excellent view.  

The Food: Ryan and Brad both stopped at Boog’s BBQ, owned by former Orioles player Boog Powell. They both had his signature sandwich accompanied by chips. While the sandwiches were good, the chips were not a hit with either Brad or Ryan. I ordered a crab cake sandwich from Jimmy’s Seafood, which was quite tasty.

Non-Alcoholic Beer Review: The Orioles Park at Camden Yards is another Bud Zero stadium.

The Game Recap: 4 Home Runs for Housing!

Orioles’ designated Hitter Adley Rutschman got our home run-a-thon off to a good start in the bottom of the first inning with a home run for the left center field. In the top of the second, Astros’ catcher Yainer Diaz hit the second home run into right center field, tying the game up 1 to 1.

The Astros player everyone still loves to dislike, Jose Altuve, hit the next home run. At this point, the Astros were still trailing by one run. In the bottom of the 7th, the Orioles’ Ryan Mountcastle hit a home run into the bullpen, advancing the Orioles’ lead to 5 – 2. After a few walks, at the top of the 9th, the bases were loaded and it looked like the Astros might take the lead. Unfortunately for the Astros, Oriole shortstop Gunder Henderson caught the pop fly hit by Jon Singleton, handing the win to the Orioles.

The Orioles won the game 5 to 4 over the Astros.

After the Game: A Visit to the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum

One of baseball’s legendary players, Babe Ruth, grew up just blocks from Camden Yards. Baseballs painted on the sidewalk guide fans from the stadium to the museum in his family home. The museum was only open for about 30 minutes after our arrival, so our visit was quick but interesting.

Ruth had a tough childhood. He grew up in a low income family in Baltimore, the oldest of ten children. Ruth had a record of petty thievery, truancy, and misconduct. His parents sent him to St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys, a Catholic School, to help correct his behavior issues. While he was there, his mother died of tuberculosis, and he became a permanent ward of the school.

St. Mary’s introduced Ruth to baseball and brought him to the attention of the Baltimore Orioles. He signed on with the team in 1914. He purchased a saloon for his father, a barkeep by profession. Unfortunately, his father lost his life in a brawl outside the saloon. While his professional career took off, Ruth continued to struggle on the home front.

For me, the visit was a great reminder that a person’s story is often much deeper than one might realize. I knew of Babe Ruth’s success as a ballplayer, but not of his personal struggles. If one were to leave out the financial success he experienced through his career, his personal story might have been that of a client at Wellspring. His parents struggled financially, and many of the personal challenges he faced are the types of problems that cause asset-limited, income-constrained, employed households to experience homelessness.

Up Next:

We’re looking forward to a slower start tomorrow morning. The Nats game is in the evening, which will give us a little time to wander around Washington D.C. before heading to the Nationals Park.

  1. Laura McMillan Laura McMillan

    We watched Adley R when the Orioles beat the Mariners in Seattle last week. He hit well in that game. We paid attention because we happened to be sitting by his dad and little brother. We learned that he is an Oregon boy. Grew up in the Portland area and played for OSU.

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