Monday, April 20, 2009

My Exile is Over...

I had not been to see a ballgame at Camden Yards in nearly 10 years. July 17th, 1999. Scott Erickson pitched a complete game and Will Clark and Harold Baines both hit solo homers to beat the Expos 2-1.

So why so long? Shortly after the 1999 season, I left the area and moved to Maine. Guess what you don't do during the summer when you live in Maine? Leave. Maine is gorgeous in the summer and you tend to get away during the winter instead. By the time we moved south, my parents had moved to southern Virginia and Maryland was no longer a frequent destination. But we finally went up to visit my sister in Maryland this year and I got to take the whole family out to OPACY.

It was last Thursday versus the Yankees, the game that Alfredo Simon and Brian Bass singlehandedly lost but that didn't bother me that much. Why? The fans at Camden Yards.

Unlike years past, Yankees fans did not completely overrun the park. I would say it was probably 60-40 in our favor. Mark Teixeira was booed loud and long everytime he approached the plate, every time he got a hit and every time he made an out. You can quibble with the logic of why Teixeira is hated but it was great to see such passion, for anything, from the Oriole faithful. Booing Mark Teixeira was a lot of fun too. A "De-rek Je-ter" chant was started by the Yankee fans and they were booed and shouted down by the rest of us.

When Camden Yards opened up, an Oriole game became a real event but all too often attracted a more casual fan, a more polite fan, a more subdued fan. This game I just attended felt a lot more like a raucous, fiery Memorial Stadium crowd and made my heart skip a beat. Yeah, there's something wrong with me. But I loved the passion.

Not to mention, this was the first game I was able to take my kids to at Oriole Park and they dug it. So there's that.

The view from the cheap seats:

Yeah, I'm not going to let 10 years go by until the next time I go to Camden Yards.

1 comment:

Dave Mc said...

Congratulations! I'm glad you had a great time.