The Construction of Oriole Park at Camden Yards
The Baltimore Orioles are celebrating the 20th anniversary of Camden Yards this year. Its a big season for the Orioles as they attempt to fight their way out of the cellar while celebrating the stadium that started the ballpark revolution of the 1990′s.
I did some poking around some websites and found some great pictures of Camden Yards as it was being built.
I hope you enjoy.
Also, I’ll be in Baltimore on opening day, in hopes of snagging one of these commemorative baseballs that the Orioles will be using this year:
Camden Yards looks like this now:
But it once was a pile of dirt
and a vacant warehouse that would be transformed into one of the most beautiful ballparks in the US.
Incorporating the B&O Warehouse, which was built in 1899, was a fantastic idea. It brought us back to the old days of baseball, where stadiums were built to fit into the surrounding neighborhoods.
Here’s the outer side of the B&O Warehouse, facing away from the stadium. Just ahead, you see the building that now houses the Babe Ruth museum.
The Warehouse sat dormant for over 20 years, rotting… until 1992.
That’s when the Orioles completely renovated it to house offices, a team store, restaurants, a ticket office, etc. What a view.
Here’s the foundation of where the center field seats would later be built:
The unfinished exterior of Camden Yards… (is that a real kid in the picture?)
Construction began in 1989
And it took 33 months of work to get the stadium completed.
It was built by HOK Sport, and was the first of the retro ballparks.
There’s really not a bad seat in Oriole park. The field is beautiful, the layout is gorgeous, and the Warehouse looming beyond right field is awesome.
Anyone have any idea what part of the stadium this is? A possible hidden chamber underneath the field or seats?
It looks like the upper deck was the first structure put in place. The lower level still looks a mess in this picture:
The stadium by the way cost $110 million to build. By today’s standards, that’s about $180 million. In contrast with other stadiums that have been built, that’s pretty cheap.
Could this be a flag pole out in the famous right field ‘flag court?’
How excited were the people of Baltimore when this stadium was being built? Anyone have any personal stories that lived in Baltimore during this time?
The playing surface at Camden Yards is Kentucky Bluegrass.
Once the grass starts getting installed, you know that the end of construction must be close.
A worker takes a breather to look at the beauty that surrounds him:
A view from center field. The upper level looks just about finished.
Looking towards left field into center field.
A view down the left field line from the second deck:
The stadium looks almost complete except for the lower level seating bowl.
One of the final touches is constructing the giant scoreboard in center field.
Since the stadium opened in 1992, millions have people have enjoyed baseball there, including me. I’ve been there 9 times, making the four hour drive from Pittsburgh.
Maybe one day soon, the Orioles will get their organization turned around like the Rays did in 2008 to be an annual contender. In the meantime, at least they have a beautiful venue to play ball in.
There’s only 35 days until opening day, and 2 days until the first broadcasted game on MLB TV (Yankees vs Phillies). And, just 3 more days to win this LA Dodgers shirt.
By the way, welcome to March. Opening Day will be here before we know it.
Also, thank you for reading! February 2012 was my second busiest month in the history of this blog. We logged 11,000 views in the month. I’ll keep turning out the entries daily as long as you keep reading. I’m looking forward to doing some ballhawking entries soon! Opening weekend is going to be very busy for me.