Camden Yards: 6 Quirks/Facts of the Orioles Home That You Don't Know About
The beautiful Oriole Park at Camden Yards, which opened on April 6, 1992, has been a model ballpark in the majors since its unveiling.
Pretty much every MLB ballpark constructed since then, with the exception of the new Yankee Stadium in New York, has been based off the Camden Yards' retro look.
And of course, with all baseball venues comes the stadium's unique quirks. Camden Yards is no exception.
These random facts and fun oddities are what help make visiting each ballpark, as well as playing in them, a different experience each time one attends and ensures that no baseball stadium is too much like the next.
Let's check out some of the unique features of The House that Cal Built.
The Warning Track
Okay, so I'll admit this isn't the best kept secret of Oriole Park, but there are a good bit of fans that don't realize the warning track that runs along the edge of the ball field is actually rubberized. It isn't real earth and dirt.
Why the designers of such a breathtaking venue decided to make the warning tracks rubberized, I'm not exactly sure. However, there have been many players who have complained about it.
I'm sure that it's no fun to run on, at least in comparison to real baseball diamond clay, and it can also add a little spring to a batted ball looking to hop over the wall for a ground-rule double.
Hopefully, the city of Baltimore and the Orioles organization can get around to correcting one of the very few mistakes the park was saddled with in the near future.
When the Great Bambino was a youngster, his father owned a building that was a saloon on the bottom level and the family's home on the second floor.
That building was known to be located somewhere out in what is now center field at Oriole Park.
Pretty cool, huh?
So, even though Babe Ruth never played for an MLB-level Baltimore baseball team during his professional playing days, his spirit is still with the O's.
Maybe that's why they've been losing for so long; the Babe doesn't want the O's beating his Yankees...
Look above the actual scoreboard itself, right under the clock.
See where it says "THE SUN"?
That's an advertisement for Baltimore's largest local newspaper, the Baltimore Sun.
That's also how fans know if a close call on a batted ball has been ruled as a hit or an error.
If the umpires decide that a ball has been ruled a hit, the "H" flashes. If the ball is ruled as an error, the "E" flashes.
There are a ton of those dark green seats in OPACY.
Not all of them are dark green, however, as two were replaced with orange ones to commemorate very special occasions.
The first event that demanded a commemorative seat in the ballpark happened on July 15, 1993. It was where a record-breaking home run by Cal Ripken Jr. landed, and that homer catapulted him into the number one spot on the list of most career home runs by a shortstop.
His 278th dinger broke the record set by Chicago Cubs legend Ernie Banks. The seat is located at Section 86, Row FF, Seat 10.
The other was the landing spot of Hall of Famer Eddie Murray's 500th career homer, which happened on September 6, 1996, exactly one year after Cal broke Lou Gehrig's consecutive games streak.
The location of that seat is in what is officially known as the Eutaw Street Reserves section out in right-center field, at Section 96, Row 7, Seat 23.
A great idea to lock in a special memory of two incredibly awesome moments for the Orioles, and for baseball.
That may not sound like anything unusual, but in fact, Camden Yards is the first MLB park since Ebbets Field to have the outfield wall made up entirely of straight segments. There are no curves whatsoever on the field's border.
To fully show the rarity that presented at the time of OPACY's opening, Ebbets field was opened on April 5, 1913.
So, from then until the point of Oriole Park opening, no other stadium had been built for MLB use with a wall made entirely of straight segments.
On a side note, another fact is that the playing field is actually 16 feet below street level.
Orioles Park at Camden Yards features a very unique, two-tiered bullpen, meaning the home team and visiting team have their bullpens side-to-side; but one (the visiting team) sits higher than the other, as evidenced by the slide's accompanying picture.
Something I find cool is the fact that the public helped design the bullpen. Many write-in designs were submitted, which helped the designers develop the bullpen into what it is today.
The two-tiered bullpen in Camden Yards is a first for major league ballparks.