Oriole Park at Camden Yards (Baltimore, MD)

This article was written by Curt Smith



Baseball only decrees 90 feet between bases and 60 feet 6 inches from home plate to the mound. Elsewhere, look backward, angel.Thanks to Alexander Cartwright,” said former Commissioner Bowie Kuhn, “the outfield distance, fence height, and space between the seats and lines vary. Parks could do as they liked.”1 Some have been liked better.

In 1908 vaudevillian Jack Norworth wrote the lyrics to “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” Baseball’s first steel and concrete park, Shibe Park, opened the next year in Philadelphia. By 1923, Forbes Field, Comiskey Park, Fenway Park, League Park, Griffith Stadium, the Polo Grounds, Crosley Field, Navin Field, Ebbets Field, Wrigley Field, Braves Field, Sportsman’s Park, and Yankee Stadium – 14 in all – rose from the grid of urban streets.2 Each fit on finite turf, which often made for odd, even aberrant angles. Most parks had “steel, rather than concrete trusses, an arched brick façade, a sunroof over the gentle slope of the upper deck, an asymmetrical playing field, and natural grass turf,” observed The Ballpark That Forever Changed Baseball, writing about Oriole Park at Camden Yards.3

In Flatbush, Ebbets resembled a pinball machine. In Pittsburgh, Forbes’s vast outfield acreage grew heavy with base hits. In Cincinnati, Crosley seemed more at one with post-World War II Little League. “Across the country entire cities revolved around them,” said Larry King, growing up in Brooklyn USA.4 For a half-century such Xanadus of personality sired a oneness with the spirit the past, and an infinite feeling for baseball’s essence. In person, by radio, or on television, America inhaled the wakes and triumphs of a thousand afternoons – through the 1950s, the “classic park” the place where much of the Republic lived.

Foolishly, baseball spent the next quarter-century ditching such jewels for multisport lookalikes, trying vainly to fuse its DNA (triangular) with football’s (rectangular). The Braves invaded sterile Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. St. Louis dealt cozy Busch Stadium for a same-name oval. The Reds and Phillies left for Riverfront and Veterans Stadium, respectively. Baseball braved Kingdome, Three Rivers Stadium, and Olympic Stadium5 – The Big O, as in zero. Some even felt Fenway passé! As clones multiplied, others cried: Give us a cookie-cutter. Out: intimacy and individuality. In: vast foul turf and seats in another county. Worst, they precluded building the baseball-only park that had and would again stir baseball interest.

If “baseball-only” was the solution, almost no one acted to enact it. Then, in 1983 a small group of architects founded the Kansas City firm Helmuth, Obata, and Kassabaum, which in time became HOK Sport. “The idea was laughed at,” said chief architect Joseph Spear, who had designed that city’s much-lauded Kauffman (née Royals) Stadium, “that a company could thrive by designing only sports.”6 Few laughed when HOK’s 19,500-seat Triple-A Pilot Field opened in 1988 to critical acclaim in downtown Buffalo. By then, HOK had begun to design Baltimore’s Oriole Park in Camden Yards, which opened in 1992 having cost $110 million, seating 48,041 (later reduced to 46,550 and then 45,971),7 and becoming the dream that changed everything awakening cities sans baseball-only plots to grasp what they might have.

If, as Shakespeare wrote, “What’s past is prologue,” success was facilitated before Camden’s first pitch. For one thing, the one-time railroad center is 12 minutes west by foot from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and only two blocks from the birthplace of the man who entered our vernacular in a long-ball way, choosing to never leave. George Herman “Babe” Ruth was born in Baltimore in 1895. Between 1906 and 1912, his father operated Ruth’s Cafe on the ground floor of the family residence located at Conway Street & Little Paca, now beneath center field at the Yard.8 What remains is the legend of the Everyman/Superman. In 1969, professional baseball turning 100, “The baseball writers and broadcasters voted Babe Ruth “the Greatest Player Ever,’ George Vecsey wrote – “a title so Twentyish, so circus-posterish, that it was Ruthian in its sweep. The man even had an adjective in his honor.”9 The Babe became “the first national superstar,” said George Will, “the man who gave us that category.”10

Another reason to prophesy Oriole Park’s success, if not phenomenon, was that a ballpark must acquire a persona: be old yet new, high-tech yet antique, bridge, not disengage, the years. The Yard became local, of Baltimore, yet universal, of Classic sites – “like Nixon goes to China,”11 said 1969-84 Commissioner Bowie Kuhn – for baseball, the dividing line in form and content between what came before and what exists today. Helping were: under contract to HOK, the urban design firm of RTKL, landscape architecture firm Wallace, Roberts and Todd, and engineering firms Bliss and Nyitray; Rummel, Klepper and Kahl; and Kidde Consultants, Inc. –a and, under contract to the Orioles, the interior design firm Forte Design and graphic design firm David Ashton and Associates.12 A third reason for success was where it happened, for few cities have had a greater baseball heritage, minor and major league, or known better the need for a field to provide prosperity and panache than Baltimore. To sum up a century before Camden Yards:

In 1892, the American Association Orioles joined the National League, winning the 1894-95-96 pennants and the final two 1896-97 of the four Temple Cup title series with a famed quartet – Hughie Jennings, Wee Willie Keeler, John McGraw, and Wilbert Robinson.13 In 1901 the Birds joined the American League as the charter O’s, then became the New York Highlanders (later, Yankees). The Orioles trekked to the International League for the next half-century. In 1944 Oriole Park on 29th Street and Greenmount Avenue burned down.14 As the Birds began a two-week road trip, football’s Municipal (later, a.k.a. Baltimore, Venable, Babe Ruth, then Memorial after World War II) readied for baseball, wooing 52,000 that fall for a Junior World Series game. The Birds’ aviary rebuilt for hopefully a big-league team, Memorial Stadium, at Ellerslie Avenue, Edmore Road, and East 33rd and 36th Streets, 10-12 minutes by car from downtown.

Above Memorial’s entrance was a eulogy to veterans noting, “Time Will Not Dim the Glory of Their Deeds.”15 Plain, large, and horseshoed, it anchored a residential neighborhood on Baltimore’s north side – said longtime News-American columnist John Steadman, “from the outside resembling a large school.”16 Military personnel like those lauded by the stadium played pickup games in World War II, Babe Ruth often throwing out the first ball. Too old to serve, Ruth raised money for service groups and for events like a Baseball Writers’ Association of America fundraiser for the Finnish Relief Fund. “To the average GI training to go abroad,” said broadcaster Mel Allen, charged with driving Babe to events, “it was like talking to God.”17

Babe died in 1948. In 1953 Baltimore got a franchise, the Colts, in the National Football League. If not a changing of the guard, baseball’s International League seemed now old-hat. Said Steadman: “We wanted the bigs.”18

After Anheuser-Busch Brewery bought the St. Louis Cardinals in 1953, Browns owner Bill Veeck, unable to get an AL OK for Baltimore, sold the franchise to a syndicate, which moved it there.19 The next April, Baltimore tried to expiate its 52-year big-league void in a “gigantic parade,” said the O’s first major-league Voice, 1954-59’s Ernie Harwell. “A stirring welcome to Baltimore.”20 The 1953 Browns had drawn 297,238. Memorial lured 46,354 to its 1954 opener and 1,060,910 for the year. (Capacity was 47,708, baseball’s sole roofless upper tier wrapping home plate beyond each line.) Foul poles stood 309 feet away. (An 11-foot 6-inch wall reached each 446-foot alley.) The first year a 10-foot hedge linked left- to right-center field. (Center was 445). “The hedge was beautiful,” said Harwell. “Sadly, for hitters it rarely entered the area of play.”21

For a time, until dimensions shrank, power alleys, like foul terrain, were cyanide to offense – thus, fan involvement. Then, in 1960, the Birds found an antidote, coming out of nowhere to nearly take the pennant, its Memorial record 1,187,849 attendance third in the last eight-team league.22 In 1964, the O’s again almost winning, third baseman Brooks Robinson was voted MVP. In December the Birds acquired Frank Robinson from Cincinnati. On May 8, 1966, he hit the first fair ball out of Memorial Stadium. “Every game,” added Chuck Thompson, from 1955 to and beyond 2000 retirement the most beloved-ever Voice of the Orioles and Colts, “you saw this flag marked HERE beyond the left-field seats.”23

F. Robby’s 49 homers, 122 RBIs, and .316 average won the Triple Crown: the first ALer since Mickey Mantle in ’56. Boog Powell added 34 taters. Shortstop Luis Aparicio, second baseman Davey Johnson, and center fielder Paul Blair helped forge the league’s fewest errors. The O’s drew a new record 1,203,366 and swept LA in Baltimore’s first World Series, blanking it a record 33 straight innings.24 It was harder to warm to the park. “Looks more like football bowl than ball park,” Sports Illustrated wrote of Memorial Stadium. Entering, a visitor saw ramps, left- and right-field bleachers, and three tiers in a semicircle – also, “the only seats with backs [were] in the lower deck”; “for sun, the east side of [the] stadium”; or for a “five-mile view” of the city, the upper deck, framing Baltimore.25

The 1969-71 Birds won each pennant: in the Series, losing to the Mets, beating Cincinnati, and bowing to Roberto Clemente, respectively. In 1970 they drew only 27,608 for League Championship Series Game Three. Attendance flagged this decade, too. Then, “in one summer,” Steadman said of 1979, “Baltimore became a baseball town,”26 having always meant the Colts. In 1979 new radio flagship WFBR began marketing “Orioles Magic,” promo and song heard in a bar, at a stoplight, on the beach. Meanwhile, 40 miles away, Washington, deserted by baseball in 1971, adopted the Orioles. “The Gas crisis kept people at home, with baseball inexpensive,” said Baltimore announcer Tom Davis. “Most of all, the team had a new hero every night,”27 winning one game after another on a key hit, fine catch, and pitching based on fidelity to fundamentals and work – what longtime O’s player, scout, coach, and manager Cal Ripken baptized the “Oriole Way.”28

Memorial became “Birdland” or “The House at 33rd Street.” Bill Hagy, a taxi driver in Section 34, twisted his body to spell ORIOLES atop the dugout. In August 1979, DC legal icon Edward Bennett Williams bought the Birds, fueling worry that they might move. The barrister said it would depend on attendance, which, ending angst, soared to 1,681,009 from 1,051,724 in 1978.29 The O’s won the AL East, took the ALCS, and extended the Series to Game Seven, attendance far from the 1971 Classic, with 15,003 fewer seats sold for Games Six-Seven than One-Two.30 After 1979 virtually no one was ever heard again to speak of the Orioles moving. In 1982 they lost a last-day pennant upon Earl Weaver’s retirement. Afterward, 51,642 roared for the bantam skipper. The next April, 50,000 jammed boats, filled blocks, and chanted O-R-I-O-L-E-S at an Opening Day rally at Inner Harbor. In retrospect, the moment’s intensity presaged Camden Yards.

That spring former Red Sox radio Voice Jon Miller arrived from Boston. “People ask, ‘How do Oriole fans compare to the Red Sox?’” he told the rally. “I think you should ask, ‘How do Boston fans compare to the Orioles?’”31 The throng roared. Jon arrived to a sense of caring for the O’s that the radio-TV talent of Harwell, Thompson, Bill O’Donnell, and cable Home Team Sports’ Mel Proctor had or would abet. In the 1980s TV cameras panned Memorial Stadium on “Seat Cushion Night” as another Voice who followed his own drummer, HTS’s John Lowenstein, ad-lib sailed his cushion onto the field. Hundreds more followed, halting play till each cushion was removed.”32 Such interest rose in 1984 after the Colts left without warning in the dead of night for Indianapolis. Stunned, the State of Maryland’s agency, the Maryland Stadium Authority, vowed to keep the Orioles. “The Colts had owned the town,” said Washington Post writer Richard Justice. “Now baseball was all it had.”33

At best, Memorial had paled like yellowy B movies. With football gone, the City of Baltimore accorded the Birds new respect. A new park would be owned and operated by the MSA. “The message from the Chesapeake Bay was clear from the outset,” said HOK’s Joe Spear. “What the Orioles and the Authority had in common in doing was to set a new standard.”34 Memorial was too old, its infrastructure too fragile, to consider renovation. Some wanted a new baseball-football plot. The Orioles adamantly refused. “We saw that the franchises that were the most successful, that were truly great, all had baseball-only facilities,” mused their president, Larry Lucchino.35 Camden Yards flew largely from his vision. Lucchino had been born and grew up in Pittsburgh. “I loved Forbes Field,” he said. “I’d seen the damage done when they left it for Three Rivers.”36

Perhaps no city suffered more than Pittsburgh by leaving a classic park for a sameness of dimension, dreary sightline, and stands where you needed a radio or television simply to follow play. In 1960 Lucchino, 15, had left school vainly hoping to watch on his family’s TV the end of thrilling World Series Game Seven. Instead, at 3:36 P.M. Bill Mazeroski hit a home run to beat the Yankees, 10-9, at Forbes. “I threw my radio toward the sky,” Larry said, racing home “on air.”37 A second baseman on Pittsburgh’s city high school title team, Lucchino felt kinship with Maz. The Pittsburgh All-City League basketball player, Princeton University and Yale Law School graduate, member of founder Williams’s DC law firm, Williams and Connolly, became a partner in 1978 and Orioles VP/general counsel on Williams’s acquiring them in 1979.38 Always he felt identity with his hometown’s 1909-70 heirloom.

At Forbes, you could almost reach out and touch the 1960s Clemente, Maz, or Stargell. By contrast, moving to Three Rivers in 1970 the Bucs found faux grass, a huge upper deck, and football’s body snatching baseball’s soul. The Pirates almost left by the mid-’80s, no longer fitting in the city’s emotional luggage. Lucchino, now 40, knew “the damage” that had been done – and from his childhood that only by going back to its future could baseball save itself. By then, he had become Williams’s pick to chart Memorial’s successor. From this choice rose Oriole Park at Camden Yards – father to two dozen retro, or “new old,” classic ballparks. Williams, dying of cancer, was a Red Sox fan wanting a site to rival Fenway. Brilliant architect and O’s VP Janet Marie Smith helped form the park’s core and flair. Each shared Lucchino’s vision that they could, in Thomas Paine’s words, “Begin the [here, baseball] world over again.”39

HOK Sport shared that vision, though its initial plan for the Yard resembled bland New Comiskey Park, opening in 1991 to lukewarm review. Like Williams, his ballpark point man hated it. “We said we don’t want that kind of facility,” Lucchino said, keeping design control in-house. “We want something distinctive … more like a traditional old ballpark”40 – but where? He, Williams, and then-Mayor, later Governor, William Donald Schaefer wanted downtown to aid commerce. HOK looked at more than two dozen baseball-only sites in and around Baltimore. “The public was asked for input,” said Spear. “Ultimately, we thought if the park was downtown, people would make a day of it.”41 HOK was particularly helpful sealing the Yard’s place, the response to Pilot Field confirming its and the Birds’ view. Buffalo’s minor-league park fit grandly into downtown’s grid of alleys. “Instead of building generically,” said Bisons owner Bob Rich. “they begin with a city’s landscape and architecture.”42

After years of debate over form, locale, and even name, the O’s and the Stadium Authority announced what George Will called among the three most important developments of the postwar era, with free agency and integration.43 It came, to quote a saying best described as a Chinese curse, “in interesting times.”44 The Yard teetered on conception as its future occupant seemed comatose on the field. In 1986 Baltimore had made the AL East cellar. Next September 14, it yielded a bigs’ single-game record 10 homers to Toronto. The 1988 Orioles began the season 0-21, only the 1904 Senators and 1920 Tigers even losing their first 13 sets. “Some clubs are lucky to find one storyline,” said Joe Angel, 1988 his first year as an O’s announcer. “Our team had a bunch.”45 Amid the streak, the Birds briefly came home, tested the water, and decided to market the first game back from a more extended trip as “Fantastic Fans Night,” hailing “great stars of the past Jim Palmer, Boog Powell, and Brooks and Frank [Robinson],” said Angel, “and their Series title as recently as 1983.”46

The night of May 2, a crowd of 50,402 that sold out Memorial to hail the 1-23 Orioles was electrified as Governor Schaefer announced that Williams and the Stadium Authority had agreed on a 15-year lease for a new ballpark to be built at Camden Yards in time for the 1992 season.47 The park would be on an 85-acre parcel parallel to turn-of-the-century trolley tracks, near the historic Camden Railroad Station of the old Baltimore & Ohio, and two blocks from the Sultan of Swat’s birthplace, a short fly ball from Inner Harbor.48 The 1988 team lost 107 games, but a year later finished 87-75, losing the AL East the final weekend in Toronto. “More storylines,” Joe Angel mused. “After a while, you run out of ink.”49 On June 28, 1989, the Orioles broke ground on the park and the plot was razed. Eventually, the Yard evoked other ballparks that had been part of a city. Writer Michael Gershman recalled being taken at age 6 by his parents to Ebbets Field to celebrate his mother’s birthday. “I remember walking through the marble rotunda at the entrance, and how every sound echoed,” he observed. “To me, it was like Grand Central Station. And then I saw it – the grass on the field. It was like seeing Oz.”50

On August 13, 1988, Williams died of cancer, Lucchino having become O’s president a year earlier and later owner. Incessantly he pressed HOK for personality, his ally NL President A. Bartlett Giamatti, turning commissioner in 1989. In each post, Bart asked, “Why can’t we have modern amenities and idiosyncrasies? Give me sharper quirks and odder angles,” recalling his first game, at 10, with dad at Fenway Park.51 Then Giamatti died in September 1989. “When this park’s complete, every team will want one,” he had said. “If you build it [right], they will come.”52 Two decades later renamed HOK Sports Venue Event changed its name again to “Populous” after a managers’ buyout by HOK Group and became a global international and architectural design practice. Its bona fides were nonpareil. From 1992 to 2012, HOK/Populous designed 14 new major-league parks, and renovated four current ballparks. Reviews delighted cities like Pittsburgh, Houston, and San Francisco, and merely pleased others like Cleveland and Detroit. Its Hope Diamond was the Yard, whose theme and outlook could be seen in every client, each hoping to be the Original.53

In retrospect, crucial to the ballpark’s magic was that it took essentially 33 months from the time razing began of structures on Oriole Park’s lot until the first Opening Day on April 6, 1992.54 “Looking back,” said Janet Marie Smith, “we had an extra year to plan, because we had an extra year to demolish the plot, and that made all the difference in the world. We never would have had the confidence or the time to study those old ballparks” – Fenway, Wrigley, Forbes, Ebbets – ”and incorporate their features.”55 On February 6, 1990, construction began after eight months of demolition at the site. Meanwhile, debate continued regularly and vocally for two years about the new park’s name until – on October 3, 1991, the eve of Memorial Stadium’s last weekend – a compromise was announced that pleased each side Oriole Park at Camden Yards.56 Cal Ripken Jr.’s river ran through 34 homers, 114 RBIs, and league-high 368 total bases. It ended on a magical October 6, after Cal hit into a game, season, and stadium-closing double play.

Home plate was removed and ferried by a chauffeured limousine to the O’s new park.

Since 1955 Chuck Thompson had lyrically voiced the Birds. His most poignant moment – “almost unbelievably moving,” he said, years later – now began. First, the field was cleared. “Next, the background music began from Field of Dreams over the PA system. Then Brooks [Robinson] emerged from the dugout to take his position at third base – followed by Frank [Robinson] in the outfield, followed by Jim Palmer,” winning a Birds-record 268 games, “on the mound,” then Boog Powell at first base: former players saying farewell. “This is how the team said goodbye to Memorial Stadium – asking all former Orioles to return. The crowd didn’t know, hadn’t expected this. When it happened, they were stunned.”57

More than 75 players ran to their position, each wearing the age’s uniform and their number –“scattered around the field – no introduction, just music, and that music kept rolling,” Chuck said.58 He used binoculars to eye players like Brooks and Boog – “and they were, like me, drained. It was hard to keep from breaking down completely.” Improbably, there was no cheering – “none,” the crowd too emotionally rent to speak. “Instead, thunderous applause, and enough tears for a river.”59 Later, walking to his car, Chuck Thompson saw a sea of red-eyed love. The phrase “‘There’s no crying in baseball,’” from film’s A League of Their Own, that day daubed art, not life.60


Opening Day for Oriole Park at Camden Yards, April 6, 1992. Courtesy of the Baltimore Orioles.


On April 6, 1992, the world of baseball architecture turned upside down, the O’s new home opening on downtown Baltimore’s western edge. Announcer Tom Davis noted how Camden made prior stadiums archaic. “In a pre-Opening-Day tour,” he said, “I understood for the first time the inferiority of circular stadia.”61 Like Saul on the Damascus Road, suddenly all things had been made clear. The first ball was tossed by President George H.W. Bush, who loved the game, captained his team at Yale, and inevitably bounced the pitch on one hop, as he did this day, blaming it on his 42-pound steel vest mandated by the Secret Service. Later, out of office, Bush ditched a vest but still bounced the ball. “Baseball’s a game of habit,” Bush said, it being his.62 A crowd of 44,568 attended. Other firsts: Pitcher: Rick Sutcliffe. Batter: Kenny Lofton. Hit: Paul Sorrento. Orioles’ hit: Glenn Davis. Run: Sam Horn, on Chris Hoiles’s double. RBI: Hoiles. Score: Birds, 2-0. Time: 2:02.63 That August a crowd filled the Yard in August for an O’s game and to film a scene for the movie Dave, released in 1993, actor Kevin Kline tossing a first ball.

“Field of Dreams Comes True in Baltimore,” the New York Times wrote of Baltimore – Time called it “one of the 10 best designs of 1992.”64 Many felt: Here was a perfect park. In sites like Oakland, seats half-circled each foul line. Camden’s nuzzled them. Wall height uniformity smothered multisport stadiums. The Yard segued from 7 feet tall (left and center field) to 25 (in-play right-field board), left-field bleachers intersecting the wall. “About a dozen times a year,” said Lucchino, “fielders reached into the stands and grabbed a homer.”65 At most ballparks, fences then gently curved. The Yard began at 333 feet from the plate (left field), receded to 364 (left-center), leapt to 410 (deepest left-center) and center (400), sharply angled to right-center (373), and dropped off a shelf (318, right).66 Instead of phony turf, the right stuff gleamed. Foul ground was scarce, Camden felt a homer palace. In truth, fair balance crowned the game.

In 1781 French general Comte de Rochambeau and thousands of French troops camped here, then known as Ridgely’s Delight,67 en route to Yorktown. Throngs camped during 1992. The Orioles sold out eight of their first 23 home dates, then began a streak of 59 dates through season’s end. Averaging 44,047, Baltimore tallied 3,567,819 paid to shatter 1991’s prior record 2,552,753. The effect, however, was more than numerical, almost mystical. Outlanders to the city would walk blocks around the Yard to stare from a myriad of angles. Passing the Yard on I-95, drivers would slow or move to the shoulder – and stopping, simply gaze, like pilgrims to Lourdes. More than 30,000 parking spaces were available in secure garages and open lots within walking distance. Baltimore Metro put a visitor at the nearby Camden Station building. Some sailed to Inner Harbor Marina, three blocks away. All entered the ballpark through wrought-iron gates and arched portals, typical of Janet Marie Smith’s devotion to detail. To many, the O’s had taken the best of the old ballparks and stirred them into one.

An arched red-brick façade mimed old Comiskey Park. Left field was triple-tiered like Yankee Stadium. The center-field scoreboard and ivied backdrop leapt from Ernie Banks. The right-field scoreboard evoked Carl Furillo playing caroms at Ebbets Field. “The board is emblematic of the park,” said Chuck Thompson. “Camden’s is traditional,”68 linking ads, blurbs, and out-of-town scores. A standing-room area topped it, where often hundreds crowded. Behind right field, the longest building on the East Coast, the 1,016-foot-long and 51-foot-wide brick B&O Railroad Warehouse, built between 1898 and 1905, enfolded the park.69 “Some wanted to tear it down,” said Will, also an O’s board member. “Instead they refurbished it,” housing sports bars, eateries, and team offices. “It became part of the park, made it seem intimate.”70 Between the park and Warehouse, a 60-foot promenade extended Eutaw Street, becoming a potpourri of shops and people and making “Eutaw a carnival,” said Tom Davis, airing there his regular pregame TV show.71 Boog Powell, whose smash hit “Boog’s Bar-B-Q” became a Camden staple, often joined Davis, guesting. Visitors nearby read plaques dedicated to members of the Orioles Hall of Fame and 5-inch baseball-shaped plates embedded into the pavement to designate where blasts first hit the Eutaw Street surface.72 Meanwhile, smoke kept wafting from Boog’s, its proprietor among the many O’s alumni to work for or with the team.

Central to the Yard’s allure was that going back or forward, its design etched baseball’s core. Back: Each aisle seat bore a replica of the logo of the famed 1890s Orioles of Willie Keeler and John McGraw. An upper-deck sunroof ringed the plate from left field to the right-field corner. Inadvertently, a bronze statue unveiled in 1995 at the park’s northern Eutaw Street entrance by artist Susan Luery recalls how even in death Babe could own the room, errantly showing a left-handed pitcher Ruth as a 1914 pitcher for the IL Orioles, “clutching on his hip a right-handed fielding glove.”73 In 1992 the Yard put Memorial’s right-field foul pole atop the tall wall in right field. In 2001 it installed the old joint’s left-field pole, as well.74 Forward: Hard-of-hearing could dial a “hearing assistance channel” from their seat. In left-center field, double-tiered pens let you see every reliever warming up. A grounds crew shed lay in front of the bleachers. “What a great ground rule. Balls hitting the roof and bouncing back onto the field were a homer,” said Jon Miller, who from his booth heard and saw an aria of other notes.75

Longtime public-address Voice and 1943 and 1946-50 Brooklyn pitcher Rex Barney moved from Memorial Stadium, his “Thank yoouuu!” a ritual after any announcement. A double-faced clock, seen from outside and inside the park, topped the right-center-field board. A fine view of Baltimore could be had from any seat until major completion of a Hilton Baltimore Hotel in 2008, wrote Sun writer Peter Schmuck, “blocked out the best part of the … skyline.”76 Yet few there will forget the initial feeling of bricks and mortar of another kind bringing grace to a city where the game belonged. “It’s like Ebbets or Wrigley Field,” said John Steadman. “The community became the team.”77 Added Fox TV’s Kenny Albert: “Opening, Camden Yards wanted to be Fenway or Ebbets. Since then, new parks want to be Camden Yards.”78 Visit Pittsburgh, PNC Park designed by the Forbes II Task Force. Forty miles from the Yard, Nationals Park mentally used it to inspire. Relive how finally, after so many charmless copy-cats, Charm City made baseball realize what it had.

For the Orioles and baseball, Camden Yards’ bewitchment began right off the bat, long before season one ended September 28 before sellout number 67. The ’92ers won 22 more games than in 1991. O’s pitcher Mike Mussina was first in league win percentage (.783); second in shutouts (four); third, ERA (2.54); and fourth, victories (18-5). On April 22, 1993, the home sellout skein ended at 65 games, 22,317 scattered for an evening makeup with the White Sox.79 In July the All-Star Game returned to Baltimore for the first time since 1958 to cap a weeklong and first-of-its-kind “Upper Deck All-Star FanFest,” the city revolved around the sport. Finally, someone, Seattle’s Ken Griffey Jr., struck the Warehouse in the All-Star Game Home Run Derby: 439 feet from the plate.80 Three greats threw out a first pitch – Brooks Robinson, Baltimore native Al Kaline, and the Baltimore Elite Giants’ Leon Day.81Vice President Al Gore attended, a lifelong fan. The Phillies’ John Kruk comically flailed at Seattle’s Randy Johnson and the crowd booed AL skipper Cito Gaston for not using Mussina after warming him up. Americans win: 9-3.

That week, Ripken Jr. broke Banks’s record for most home runs hit by a shortstop (278). Its import un-noted till offseason, the Orioles installed an orange left-field seat to mark the site. The ’93ers slid to 85-77, Chris Hoiles their sole AL top-five player: .416 on-base, .585 slugging, and 1.001 OPS. Attendance hit 3,644,965. Turning the page, in October, trial lawyer Peter Angelos and other investors bought the club from Eli Jacobs for a record $173 million. Lucchino left the Orioles to oversee the design and construction of another jewel, San Diego’s Petco Park, then as Red Sox president led a group rebuilding Fenway Park. On August 12, 1994, a player strike began that lasted until April 2, 1995 – canceling the World Series for the first time since 1904, aborting each season, and undoing each’s record, Baltimore ending 63-49, averaging a franchise record 46,097,82 Mussina again sparkling at 16-5 and Lee Smith saving 33 games.

The 232-day strike dimmed baseball interest overall, even in Baltimore. One man brought it back. By September 5, 1995, the Orioles were headed for third place in the AL East. Few noticed – nor Hoiles dinging in the second inning, Jeff Manto, Mark Smith, and Brady Anderson going deep back-to-back-to-back later in the frame, or each power surge tying a club mark: O’s, 8-0.83 What counted was Ripken tying Lou Gehrig’s 2,130 consecutive games played. Next night, Wednesday the 6th, ESPN TV visited. Shedding the strike, baseball needed help from such history as Cal’s 2,131st straight game. Usually network ball-and-striker Jon Miller would call the match, but the Voice also of the O’s declined, calling it a national “game” but a Baltimore “thing.”84 While Jon opted for Birds radio, Chris Berman did ESPN, Miller wearing a tuxedo to host ceremonies on the field.

Leaving the White House to share Cal’s summit was Bill Clinton, Bush’s successor as president, who found their office, like baseball, a marathon. (Gore joined him, the first time America’s top two office-holders attended a professional sports event together.85) Clinton, who grew up in Arkansas hearing the Cardinals’ Harry Caray over KMOX Radio, was to join Jon on Orioles wireless in the fourth inning. An inning earlier Miller had run to the restroom “just to make sure I was set.”86 The plan exploded when the Secret Service, also assigned security for Al Gore, blocked him trying to leave the restroom for the booth.

“I’m the broadcaster,” Jon said. “I’m going to interview the president next inning.” The agent said, “I don’t think so,” making clear he was not a straight man for a Miller ad. “This huge night,” Jon mused, “me and the president and the booth might as well be in Boise.” Thankfully, another Secret Service agent, an Orioles fan, then appeared. “Hey, let him through!” he said. “He’s going to be interviewing the president.” Passing agent number one, Miller tried not to rub it in.

Fourth inning: Clinton goes on the air, the count on Cal goes to 3-and-0, and Jon makes a funny. “This night of all nights,” he said.87 “He [Angels pitcher Shawn Boskie] can’t be walking Cal, not in this game. Maybe you could send a presidential order down there ordering him to throw Cal a strike.” Clinton paused. “I know one thing,” the president said. “Cal wants to hit this pitch, but if it’s not a strike he’ll take the walk for the good of the team because that’s the kind of guy he is.” Jon: “That’s very true. On the other hand, if he [Boskie] grooves one, even on three and oh …”

“Oh, well,” said Clinton, “then Cal’ll hit it a long way.” At that moment Cal swings – and boom! Home run! Jon starts describing it, but Clinton, with his own microphone, began yelling, “Go! Go! Yes! Ah-ha!” The president is clapping his hands, shouting into the mic, and helping to call the homer! What does Miller do? What could he do? He couldn’t grab Clinton’s mic away – so Jon became background noise, his voice almost disembodied.

“The bad news was that it kinda put me off, because this was a major moment in baseball history,” Miller continued, tongue in cheek, “but the good news mattered more. He was the president of the United States. The First Fan. He’s reflecting the excitement of the night better than any broadcaster could.” Plus, Jon thought, “I could now put on my résumé, ‘Worked with President Bill Clinton, a very close friend.’”

At the end of the top half of the fifth inning, the game now official, applause rocked the warehouse. Cal repeatedly tipped his cap, Rafael Palmeiro and Bobby Bonilla finally pulled him from the dugout, and Ripken circled the park, high-fiving and handshaking. Many forget the tenor of the age. Clinton fueled eight years of peace and prosperity, but polarization and impeachment left an electorate divided. Ripken became the perfect player in an imperfect time. Clinton and Miller fit like missing pieces in completing a historic night: each then a grand communicator. Depending on the occasion, each could be huckster, reporter, or cornball self. Clinton’s Ripken riff drew wide applause, a precursor of his 1996 reelection, pleasing Jon, an admirer of the 42nd president and, as we know, “a very close friend.” Next year the president returned to Camden, liking its feel as a “new old” park, to toss a ball a second time.


The Eutaw Street plaza next to the warehouse at Camden Yards (Courtesy of the Baltimore Orioles)

The Eutaw Street plaza next to the warehouse at Camden Yards.


The O’s ended 1995 by blanking Detroit, 6-0, 12-0, and 4-0, to tie the big-league mark of five shutouts in a row set by the 1974 Birds and the 1962-63 Cardinals. Despite the strike, Camden’s 3,098,475 gate topped the league the first of four straight times. On October 8 Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass before more than 50,000, the fifth of seven big-league parks to host a papal Mass.88 The Orioles were not a religion, though they could reward your faith. Earl Weaver hadn’t managed in a decade, but his legacy of pitching, defense, and the three-run homer lingered. In May 1996 Hoiles hit a two-out, bases-full, ninth-inning blast to beat Seattle, 14-13 – the bigs’ 20th sudden-death grand slam. In July the club hailed Weaver a week later making Cooperstown, unveiling a dugout plaque with his number 4. Eddie Murray, having returned in a midseason trade with Cleveland, later smashed his 500th homer, Birdland happy to again bellow “Ed-die! Ed-die!” An orange right-field seat now signifies the spot.89

The ’96ers finished four games behind New York in the East, lured 3,646,950, and bombed a big-league-high 257 taters, including a league second-best 50 by Anderson; 39, Palmeiro; 26, Ripken; and 22, Alomar. In the last week Alomar spit at umpire John Hirschbeck, the men in blue vowing to KO postseason if the infielder wasn’t suspended. He wasn’t, they didn’t, and on October 1, 1996, the wild card beat Cleveland in the Division Series, 10-4.90 After Alomar homered in the final set, O’s winning, 4-3, they split LCS Games One and Two in the Bronx. Baltimore then headed home, the series bereft of any home-field edge, New York sweeping,

5-2, 8-4, and 6-4.91 The 1996 postseason was the Birds’ first since 1983. Next year they encored: to that point only the fifth big-league team to lead their division or league wire-to-wire.

With a lot to cheer, many did: to wit, 1997’s record 3,711,132. On April 26, Roberto Alomar became the first to go deep thrice, vs. Boston. On May 30 Mike Mussina had a perfect game end with one out in the ninth, blanking Cleveland on one hit, 3-0.92 Four days later, the O’s, rallying, beat the Yankees in 10 innings, 7-5.93 On August 12, a day after Rex Barney died, Baltimore beat Oakland, 8-0, in a game without a PA announcer. The press-box seat was empty the rest of the year, fill-in PA voices working from the video control room. In his memory a plaque was installed in Rex’s old seat with his name, famous “Thank yoouuu!” and old Brooklyn Dodgers uniform number 26.94 Before October, Randy Myers had a league-best 45 saves. Mussina, a regular-season 15-8, beat Randy Johnson a second time to win the Division Series, 3-1. The O’s then dropped the ALCS in six sets despite outhitting Cleveland, .248-.193. You gorged on such Yard favorites as quesadillas and Chesapeake Bay crab cakes – and increasingly, a dozen imported beers when the late ’90s introduced a cause to drink – the first of 14 straight years of sub-.500 O’s.

The farm system began to dry up. Signings didn’t work. The NFL returned to Baltimore as the Ravens in 1996, the same year radio’s Jon Miller was not renewed because, as owner Angelos said, “Jon didn’t bleed enough black-and-orange” – his leaving, said talk-show host Nestor Aparicio, “an earth-shattering news story in Baltimore.”95 O’s success became where you could find it. In 1998 Eric Davis began a club-high 30-game hit streak. In the season’s last home game, Ripken, after moving to third base in 1996, ended his streak at 2,632 straight, Ryan Minor subbing. In 1999 Baltimore became the first big-league team to host a Cuban club on US soil. On September 28, 2000, 11 O’s either got a hit or scored a run, nine players having an RBI, bombing Toronto, 23-1, for a team record. Next year, they returned to some changes at the Yard: some apparent, some not.

The field had been built to be 16 feet below street level, contain an advanced irrigation and drainage system below grass turf, and cut rainouts by curbing the length of a rain delay. It worked, making the field ready for play within a half-hour after rain ended by automatically removing as many as 75,000 gallons of water in an hour. After the 2000 season, the infield and outfield were rebuilt, replacing the dirt, sand rootzone mix, sod, and drainage. Drainage improved by using an inlaid piping system topped by a fabric mesh and gravel to protect pipes and the playing surface. Later the warning track and sod were replaced, the latter by a darker sand-based blend of Kentucky bluegrass, giving Camden a more vibrant green color.96 In 2001 players back from offseason found that to rejigger the surface and drainage, the plate had been put seven feet nearer the backstop to lengthen the outfield. This didnt work, the batter’s-eye wall angle dimming and, refuting forecast, patron sightline not improving: In 2001 original distances returned with only slight alterations.97

None of this seemed to affect Cal Jr., whose calendar seemed to stand still, number 8 batting .340 in 1999 with hit 3,000 in 2000. Through good or ill, the Red Sox and Yanks remained the Birds’ primo draws. On April 4, 2001, Boston’s Hideo Nomo threw a 3-0 no-hitter. That August 11-12, the O’s lured 96,785 vs. the Red Sox – Oriole Park’s largest two-game series. (Boston also holds the three-game [146,786] and four-game [195,722] record, set in 2007 and 2005 respectively.)98 On October 6, a decade after leaving Memorial, Ripken Jr. retired, entering Cooperstown in 2007. A dugout plaque was installed for late dad Cal Sr., a scout, coach, manager, and mentor to players and staff for 36 years.99 His son’s 2002 absence was noted, the gate falling more than 400,000 to 2,682,439, under 3 million for the first full season at the Yard. (As usual, most called it Camden Yards, not Oriole Park.) The Oriole Way seemed a way off.

Memorial Day 2003, a monument at the south end of the warehouse on Eutaw Street was dedicated – a lighted 11-foot-tall black granite wall honoring Maryland residents killed in the nation’s wars. It contained Memorial Stadium’s original lettering, “Time Will Not Dim The Glory Of Their Deeds.” Also included: An urn from the old park with soil from all foreign US military cemeteries and a plaque on the Birds’ 1954-91 home.100 2004: The concrete padded wall backstop yielded to brick. 2005: Baseball returned to DC, the renamed Nationals starting to split the area market. A Red Sox-O’s set wooed a still-largest home crowd, 49,828. Recently the nearby Babe Ruth Museum had opened “Sports Legends at Camden Yards” at Camden Station. Its 22,0000-square-foot tour hailed Maryland’s major- and minor-league O’s, Negro Leagues, Colts and Ravens, college sports – and, of course, Babe. Q: How many times did Ruth hit for the cycle in his career? A: Never. Aubrey Huff became the first Bird to do so at the Yard.101

In 2007 Melvin Mora’s two-out bases-full bunt single, scoring Tike Redman to beat the Yanks, was redolent of Paul Blair’s to win the 1969 ALCS Game One. Next season Baltimore fell to fifth, its first of four years there drawing under 2 million. In August Camden lured its “50 millionth fan” more quickly than any other ballpark and the “100 millionth fan” saw a game there or at Memorial. Each got $50,000 and $100,000, respectively, and season tickets for five years.102 A year later a newly gilded club level and suites showed Series and ALCS trophies and Gold Glove, MVP, and Cy Young awards103 — and a series of orange circles with the numbers inside retired by the team was unveiled on the facing of the left-field upper deck. L to R: Frank Robinson (his number 20 retired in 1972), Brooks Robinson (5, 1977), Earl Weaver (4, 1982), Jim Palmer (22, 1985), Eddie Murray (33, 1998), and Cal Ripken Jr. (8, 2001) – plus a Dodgers blue 42 for Jackie Robinson.104

In August 2010 Buck Showalter replaced Juan Samuel as 32-73 O’s skipper and won 34 of the season’s last 57 games, “turning the worst team in the majors into the AL East’s best,” wrote Paul Salotaroff.105 Next September 28, the Orioles, behind with two out and none on in the ninth, shocked the Red Sox, 4-3, to give Tampa Bay, not Boston, a last-day wild card. The 2012 Birds at least temporarily invoked the old Guy Lombardo standard “Seems Like Old Times” to finish second. In his second game, Manny Machado hit two home runs and scored four runs – the first big to get a triple and two homers in his first two sets. On September 26, Baltimore hit seven homers vs. Toronto. All year, 4-foot-tall bronze sculptures were unveiled beyond left-center field of the six Birds with numbers retired by the club, each from 600 to 1,000 pounds, selected and created by sculptor Antonio Tobias “Toby” Mendez of Frederick, Maryland, watching the team play since the 1970s.106

That October 5, the Orioles beat Texas in their first wild-card game for a first postseason W since 1997. Three days later, Wei-Yin Chen edged the Yanks, 3-2, in Game Two of the 2012 Division Series, New York prevailing. Chen finished 12-11. Designated hitter Chris Davis bashed 33 home runs, center fielder Adam Jones added 32, and catcher Matt Wieters hit 23. A period reminiscent of past emphasis on fundamentals continued a year later. Jim Johnson became the only pitcher beside Eric Gagne with back-to-back years of 50 saves107 — and Baltimore set a big-league record for fewest errors (54), highest fielding percentage (.991), and most errorless games (119).108 Moved to first base, Davis lashed 53 homers, 138 RBIs, and a .286 average. His outlier was making contact: 199 K’s.

In “Long Time Gone,” Crosby, Stills, & Nash sang, “It’s been a long time comin’.” The O’s surely felt that winning the 2014 East title, their first in 17 years. Baltimore drew a team-best since 2005’s 2,464,473, hit 211 homers, third straight year over 200, but stole just 44 bases, lowest since 1961. Nelson Cruz wed 40 home runs and 108 RBIs. Jones averaged an everyday-player-high .281. Davis batted only .196 with 173 K’s in 450 at-bats, 26 homers including the O’s’ first walk-off pinch-homer in 26 years. Under Showalter, Chen was 16-6, Chris Tillman 13-6, and Bud Norris 15-8. On August 3, Zack Britton’s scoreless ninth inning earned his 23rd of 37 saves that season – and set a team high of 35⅓ straight scoreless frames at home.109

Five days later the Birds turned 60 by bashing St. Louis, 12-2, with 22 Orioles Hall of Famers, the most gathered at one site, lighting a gala laser show. On September 16 Baltimore clinched its first title at home since 1979. A 12-3 battering of Detroit in the Division Series debut set a postseason team record for runs (eight) in an inning (eighth). Next day, a four-run eighth-inning rally gave the Birds a 7-6 dramaturgy and 2-0 series lead; noise at the Yard deafened. In Game Three, Britton saved Norris’s 2-1 decision over David Price: O’s sweep. The Birds advanced to the LCS, where they themselves were swept. Kansas City won twice at Camden, 8-6 in 10 innings and 6-4, then interred Baltimore, 2-1, in each game out west.

The AL East Birds, in baseball’s best division, were a regular-season seven games better than the weak Central’s Royals. Few expected the LCS outcome. Few also thought civic unrest in Baltimore would close the Yard – until it did to ensure public safety for an April 29, 2015, game with Chicago.110 The home team led off with six runs, Davis and later Machado dinging: O’s 8-2, in the first big-league set with a zero crowd. That season the Birds hit a team-record eight homers vs. the Phillies and Gerardo Parra became the 1,000th Oriole to wear big-league garb.111 The ’15 O’s clung to .500, vaulted to second next year, and in 2017 hailed the quarter-century’s birth of the park that changed baseball by lauding the 1992 team. Baltimore placed last in 2017-19, hitting a Yards record low 1,307,807 in 2019. Even so, the park’s cachet is secure.

It is hard for the historically astute to visit Oriole Park at Camden Yards and not recall Winston Churchill’s “[w]e shape our buildings and afterwards our buildings shape us”112 – the Yards perhaps more than any ballfield since the original Yankee Stadium, shaping the game within. Abraham Lincoln played town ball as president on the White House Ellipse. According to Camden Yards’ history, The Ballpark That Forever Changed Baseball, Lincoln passed through Camden Station on several occasions, including the railroad journey that took him from Springfield, Illinois to Washington to be inaugurated as president in 1861.

Before Lincoln left the Great Western Railroad Station, he looked at the huge crowd gathered to say goodbye and realized that he knew most as friends and neighbors. Then he spoke poignantly to them in what is known today as the Farewell Address. “To this place, and the kindness of these people, I owe everything,” he said. “I now leave, not knowing when, or whether ever, I may return, with a task before me greater than that which rested upon Washington.” Lincoln continued, briefly, then concluded, “I bid you an affectionate farewell.”113

Lincoln left for civil war, death, and history, his funeral car stopping at Camden Station on its 1865 return for his burial in Springfield. Tomorrow is enriched by recalling the timeless ear of yesteryear. Just as Lincoln ennobled America, so Camden Yards, less monumentally but still sublimely, richens baseball.

Last revised: June 1, 2021

Fireworks explode above Oriole Park at Camden Yards (Courtesy of the Baltimore Orioles)



Photo credits

All photos courtesy of the Baltimore Orioles.



Selected games in text were chosen by 2017 fan ballot among the “25 most memorable games in Oriole Park at Camden Yards history.” In addition to the sources cited in the Notes, most especially the Society for American Baseball Research, the author consulted and websites’ box scores, player, season, and team pages, batting, and pitching logs, and other material relevant to this history. provided statistical information. In addition to the sources cited in the Notes, the author also consulted:


Loverro, Thom. Home of the Game: The Story of Camden Yards (Dallas: Taylor, 1999).

Koppett, Leonard. Koppets Concise History of Major League Baseball (Philadelphia: Temple University, 2015).

Lowry, Philip J. Green Cathedrals: The Ultimate Celebration of Major and Negro League Ballparks (New York: Walker and Company, 2006).

O’Connell, Kevin, and Josh Pahigian. The Ultimate Baseball Road Trip: A Fans Guide to Major League Stadiums (Guilford, Connecticut: Lyons Press, 2012).

Smith, Curt. Storied Stadiums: Baseballs History of Its Ballparks (New York: Carroll & Graf, 2005).

Seymour, Harold, and Dorothy Seymour Mills. Baseball: The Peoples Game (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990).

Thompson, Chuck, with Gordon Beard. Aint the Beer Cold! (South Bend, Indiana: Diamond, 1996).


The Baltimore Sun has been a primary source of information about Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Other key sources include Associated Press, Baseball Digest, the New York Times, SportsBusiness Daily, The Sporting News, and USA Today.

Interviews by author

Kenny Albert, September 2008.

Mel Allen, February 1972.

Joe Angel, April 2004.

George H.W. Bush, June 2015.

Tom Davis, June 1998.

Ernie Harwell, May 1983, September 1988, and November 2004.

  1. Bartlett Giamatti, December 1988.

Richard Justice, November 1998.

Larry King, June 1992.

Bowie Kuhn, February 1983.

Larry Lucchino, June 1993, December 2010, and March 2011.

Jon Miller, April 1993, November 1995, and December 2007.

Bob Rich, October 2011.

Joseph Spear, January 1988.

John Steadman, February 1985.

Chuck Thompson, June 1986, April 1993, and April 1994.

George Will, April 1989.



1 Bowie Kuhn interview, February 1983.

2 Ron Smith, The Ballpark Book: A Journey Through the Fields of Baseball Magic (St. Louis: The Sporting News, 2000), 11-14

3 “The Ballpark That Forever Changed Baseball,”

4 Larry King interview, June 1992.

5 Ron Smith, The Ballpark Book, 18-19.

6 Joseph Spear interview, January 1988.

7 (“History”).

8 (“History”).

9 George Vecsey, “Babe Ruth,” in Gerald Astor, The Baseball Hall of Fame 50th Anniversary Book (New York: Prentice Hall, 1988), 141.

10 George Will interview, April 1989.

11 Kuhn interview.

12 (“History”).

13 John Thorn, ed., Total Baseball 2001 (New York: Total Sports Publishing, 2001), 274, 275, 276, 277.



16 John Steadman interview, February 1985.

17 Mel Allen interview, February 1972.

18 Steadman interview.


20 Ernie Harwell interview, May 1983.

21 Harwell May 1983 interview.


23 Chuck Thompson interview, June 1986.


25 “Analysis of This Year’s Orioles,” Sports Illustrated, April 15, 1957: 57.

26 Steadman interview.

27 Tom Davis interview, June 1998.



30 Total Baseball 2001, 353.

31 Jon Miller interview, April 1993.


33 Richard Justice interview, November 1998.

34 Spear interview.

35 Larry Lucchino interview, June 1993.

36 Lucchino 1993 interview.

37 Lucchino 1993 interview.



40 Larry Lucchino, 2001 interview.

41 Spear interview.

42 Bob Rich interview, October 2011.



45 Joe Angel interview, 2004.

46 Angel interview.


48 (“History” and “Sports Legends”).

49 Angel interview.


51 A. Bartlett Giamatti interview, December 1988.

52 Giamatti interview.


54 (“History”).



57 Chuck Thompson interview, April 1994.

58 Thompson 1994 interview.

59 Thompson 1994 interview.


61 Davis interview.

62 George H.W. Bush interview, June 2015

63“ (“Firsts”).


65 Larry Lucchino interview, December 2010.

66 (“Dimensions”).


68 Chuck Thompson interview, April 1993.

69 (“Warehouse”).

70 Will interview.

71 Davis interview.

72 Bob Brown, senior editor, 1993 Orioles Yearbook: An All-Star Season (Glen Burnie, Maryland: French Bray, 1993), 17.

73 Jon Morgan, “The wrong glove on the right man,” Baltimore Sun, June 12, 1995.

74 (“Foul Poles”).

75 Jon Miller interview, April 1993.

76 Peter Schmuck, “The First Word,” Baltimore Sun, July 17, 2008: 3Z.

77 Steadman interview.

78 Kenny Albert interview, September 2008.



81 Rick Vaughn, ed., 1993 All-Star Edition Orioles program (Baltimore: Stephenson, 1993), 58.



84 Jon Miller interview, November 1995.


86 Miller 1995 interview.

87 Miller 1995 interview. Dialogue and play-by-play of next four paragraphs attributed to him, ending with “very close friend.”


89 (Game 14).

90 Total Baseball 2001, 434.

91 Total Baseball 2001, 436.

92 (Game 16).

93 (Game 25).



96 (“Playing field”).

97 (“Alterations”).


99 (“Improvements”).




103 (“Improvements”).










113 “Farewell Address at Springfield, Illinois,” February 11, 1861, reprinted in Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1953, 1990), v. 4, 190.