Gisriel: A love affair with Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium

From SABR member Austin Gisriel at on November 16, 2012:

David Stinson, a friend, and author of the novel Deadball, recently took me on a trip to Baltimore to visit some interesting and little known baseball sites. We visited the spot where once stood Union Park, home of the National League Champion Orioles. This was the team of John McGraw and Wilbert Robinson whose graves in New Cathedral Cemetery we also visited. The final stop on our tour was a gravesite of another kind; one I had visited before and was not anxious to visit again. Our final stop was the site of old Memorial Stadium.

Back in the spring of 2009, I had ridden down 33rd Street, and seeing those white houses out beyond where center field had been caused a surreal kind of confusion. The houses were there, but where was the stadium? For a dumfounding second, I waited for it to come into focus, but what became clear was the reality of its demise. I felt half sick. I knew that it was gone, but actually seeing it gone was akin to talking about love in the abstract as opposed to actually being in love.

I felt as if I was about to revisit a very painful breakup.

Much to my delight, however, as David and I pulled into the site that now contains town houses and a YMCA, there also came into view a Little League-sized baseball diamond. “Memorial Field at the Y” proclaimed a plaque which had been placed at the base of the screen.

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Originally published: November 16, 2012. Last Updated: November 16, 2012.