Oriole Park at Camden Yards
is a Major League Baseball
ballpark located in Baltimore, Maryland.
field of the Baltimore Orioles
is the first of the "retro" major league ballparks constructed
during the 1990s and early 2000s, amd remains one of the most
highly praised. The park was completed in 1992 to replace
Stadium. It is situated in downtown Baltimore a few
blocks west of the Inner
Historically, Oriole Park at Camden Yards is one of several venues
that have carried the "Oriole Park
for various Baltimore franchises over the years. The park is
typically known simply as "Camden Yards."
Prior to Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the predominant design trend
of big league ballparks was the symmetrical "multi-purpose stadium
". Camden Yards
was the first Major League
downtown "retro" ballpark. It was designed by the architectural firm HOK
Sport (now Populous), which
had pioneered retro ballparks on the minor league level four years earlier
Field in Buffalo, New York.
Construction began in 1989
lasted 33 months. Former Orioles owner Eli Jacobs favored naming
the new field Oriole Park
, while then-Maryland Governor William Donald Schaefer
. After considerable debate a compromise was
reached to use both names.The ballpark opened on April 6, 1992
, the Orioles hosting the Cleveland Indians
. The great success of
Camden Yards which followed sparked a trend in the construction of
more traditional, fan-friendly ballparks in downtown locations
across the U.S.
Camden Yards hosted the 1993 MLB All-Star Game
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 passengers to the
bottom landing. On September 6, 1995
Camden Yards witnessed Cal Ripken,
's record-setting 2,131st consecutive game. Exactly one year
later, Eddie Murray
blasted his 500th
Two orange seats stand out from the park's dark green plastic
chairs. One, located at Section 96, Row D, Seat 23 in the
right-center field bleachers (officially known as the Eutaw Street
Reserve sections), commemorates the spot where Murray's 500th home
run landed. The other, Section 86, Row FF, Seat 10 in the left
field bleachers, was the landing spot for Ripken's 278th home run
as a shortstop
, breaking Chicago Cubs
legend Ernie Banks
' record for the position. That home
run was hit on July 15, 1993
finished his career with 345 home runs as a shortstop and 431
Between 1992–2000, the Orioles averaged more than
40,000 spectators per game, with a total attendance of
3.71 million persons in the 1997 season. Since then,
attendance has declined to 1.91 million in the 2009 season.
The current single game highest attendance record at Camden Yards
is 49,828, set on July 10, 2005 against the Boston Red Sox
. The low-attendance mark was
set on May 26, 2009, when just 10,130 fans watched the Orioles
play the Toronto Blue Jays
On August 19, 2008, the stadium hosted its 50 millionth fan, a
milestone reached in just seventeen seasons, the fastest park in
baseball history to reach such a figure. Since opening in 1992,
Oriole Park has hosted the third-most number of fans in Major
League Baseball, exceeded only by Dodger Stadium and Yankee Stadium.
- September 6, 1995: Cal Ripken, Jr. broke Lou Gehrig's record of 2,130 consecutive games
played, and hit a home run. Attendees of the game included
President Bill Clinton and Vice
President Al Gore, as well as Cal Ripken, Sr., who had not been to a game
since being fired as Oriole manager seven years earlier.
- September 6, 1996: Eddie Murray hit
his 500th career home run exactly
one year after Cal Ripken, Jr. broke Lou Gehrig's consecutive game
- April 4, 2001: Hideo Nomo pitched the
first no-hitter in the history of Camden
Yards, walking three and striking out eleven.
- October 6, 2001: Cal Ripken, Jr.'s final MLB game. Former President Bill
Clinton and MLB Commissioner Bud Selig
were in attendance.
- August 22, 2007: The Texas
Rangers beat the Orioles 30–3 in game one of a doubleheader, the highest scoring game in 110
- June 30, 2009: The Orioles rallied to score 10 runs against the
Red Sox after facing a
10–1 deficit in the 7th inning, breaking the franchise record for
the largest comeback, and the Major League Baseball record for the
largest comeback by a last place team over a first place team.
Design and features
Yards was built on land that once served as the rail yard for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad's
Station. The view from much of the park is dominated
by the former B&O
Warehouse behind the right-field wall. Many seats in the
stadium before 2007 had a good view of the downtown Baltimore skyline.
The bullpen area was designed after many write-in designs were
submitted by the public. Its unique two-tiered design was a first
in major league parks.
On the street there is a statue of Babe
entitled, "Babe's Dream", created in 1996 by sculptor
The scoreboard in center field advertises The Baltimore Sun
at the top. The "H"
in "The Sun" will flash to show a scoring decision of a hit, and
the "E" will flash to show an error.
stadium is the first major league park to have an outfield wall
made up entirely of straight wall segments since Ebbets Field.
The playing field is 16 feet below street
New HD video scoreboards were installed in 2008.
The stadium planners incorporated the warehouse into the
architecture of the ballpark experience rather than demolish or
truncate it. The floors of the warehouse contain offices, service
spaces, and a private club. The warehouse has been hit on the fly
only once, by Ken Griffey, Jr.
during the Home Run Derby
. Adam Dunn
reached the wall on
one hop on June 28, 2009.
Eutaw Street, between the stadium and the warehouse, is closed to
vehicular traffic. Along this street, spectators can get a view of
the game or visit the many shops and restaurants that line the
thoroughfare, including former Oriole star Boog Powell
's outdoor barbecue stand. On game
days, pedestrians must have a ticket in order to walk on the part
of Eutaw Street adjacent to the stadium; however, on non-game days
the street is open to all, while access to the stadium is gated.
Sections 90–98, called Eutaw Street Reserve, are located not in the
stadium, but adjacent to Eutaw Street, with the seats descending
toward the outfield below. If a game sells out, fans may purchase
" tickets, which entitle them to enter Eutaw Street and
watch the game from two designated standing areas.
Many home run balls have landed on Eutaw Street, and the Orioles
organization has marked the spots with small baseball-shaped bronze
plaques embedded in the street, though it sometimes takes up to a
year for each homer to get a plaque. The first home run to reach
Eutaw Street was hit by Mickey
of the Detroit Tigers
on April 20, 1992.
Access and transportation
far side of the B&O Warehouse is the present Camden Yards
station, served by both the Baltimore Light Rail and MARC commuter
rail. The latter rail line provides direct service
D.C., and the former to BWI Airport.
The Light Rail service began around the
time the stadium opened.
stadium is located in downtown Baltimore, near the Inner Harbor. The ballpark, along with the adjacent
Stadium, home of the Baltimore
Ravens of the National
Football League, make up the Camden Yards Sports Complex,
though Camden Yards generally refers to only the baseball
The football stadium wasn't built until 1998.
Camden Yards is just a short walk from Babe
's birthplace, which is now a museum. Coincidentally,
Ruth's father once owned a pub located in what is now center field
of the stadium.
2005, a new sports museum, Sports
Legends at Camden Yards, opened in Camden Station.
Ballparks influenced by Camden Yards
Since its opening day in 1992, Camden Yards was a success and fan
favorite. Attendance jumped from an average of 25,722
over the last ten years of Memorial Stadium's tenure to an average of 43,490 over the first ten
years of Camden Yards' existence.
Due to its success, many
other cities built traditional-feeling asymmetrical ballparks with
modern amenities (such as skyboxes) in a downtown setting.
These ballparks include:
Blocked skyline views
construction in 2007–2008 of two large buildings beyond the
stadium's outfield walls — a 757–room Hilton
Baltimore hotel north of the stadium occupying a two-city
block area and a high-rise apartment complex —has blocked
views of the city's skyline from most sections of the
Baltimore Sun said on April 21, 2008, "There's just a
glimpse of the Bromo Seltzer Tower's crenellated top just to the right of the new
Hilton Baltimore Convention Center hotel ... something's
drastically different at Oriole Park this year ... the
sweeping view of downtown Baltimore that fans have enjoyed for the
past 16 seasons has changed considerably..."
Sportswriter Peter Schmuck
"the big, antiseptic convention hotel ... looms over
Camden Yards ... [and] has blocked out the best part of
the Baltimore skyline". A Washington
columnist called it a "cruel cubist joke on a
previously perfect ballpark", although others said they were
pleased with new construction downtown as indicative of urban
In popular culture
- Vanhooser, Cassandra M. " Inside Camden Yards." Southern
- Biography of Susan Luery, the sculptor of the Babe
Ruth statue. URL last accessed July 6, 2006.
- Baltimore Orioles Attendance Records by Baseball