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I reversed course and headed north to Baltimore on Monday, September 14, with the express purpose of going to Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore. OK, I also was going to see my college friend Bunny Horine Renaud, too :).
First I stopped for coffee with Carey Goodman after a tour of Southern Teachers Agency. The barista (and owner) of Para Coffee, who knows Carey well, is a photograher on the side, so it took ages to get this photo, even with just my phone's camera. I am the one in the white shirt :-). The photograher also made a lovely leaf design on Carey's latte and had to take a picture of that, too. You don't get that kind of attention at Starbucks.
On the way out of Charlottesville, I snapped a shot of another of the ArtInPlace sculptures that Rob judged. This one is a whale's tail. I really like it.
On to Baltimore. Here are Bunny and me outside the ballpark. I think the Oriole is blowing into the straw, and making me expand.
Here is the Oriole mascot Oriole Bird (an amazingly imagnative name). Yes, we were that close. We walked up and got tickets in the tenth row behind the plate! We could literally see the Orioles players' whiskers not grow (the Orioles are pretty bad, and have a lot of young players). They scored four in the bottom of the first and then proceeded to lose 8-4 to the Tampa Bay Rays. At least there was plenty of action for us to see up close and personal, when you throw in the multiple errors.
Here are Bunny and me surrounded by all our friends ;-). Not sure the couple behind us could stay awake. Little did they know their likeness would be published via blog for literally tens of people to see.
All kidding about the Orioles aside, Oriole Park at Camden Yards is impressive and uses the brick Baltimore & Ohio Warehouse (the longest building on the East Coast) to the fullest extent, combining wonderfully the old feel with modern convienences. Safeco Field in Seattle is equally impressive, and obviously many features of Oriole Park were used there.
Fun fact: The warehouse has been hit on the fly only once; Ken Griffey, Jr. of the Seattle Mariners hit a blast that reached the wall during the Home Run Derby contest of the 1993 All-Star Game.
Monday's beer, from a plastic cup at the ballpark: Baltimore's own Clipper City Golden Ale. Good stuff. But then beer at the ballpark is always good.
A series of 4-foot aluminum monuments depicting retired Orioles uniform numbers sits just outside the ballpark, like Eddie Murray's #33, in the background. I am standing where Cal Ripken's #8 should be. Just the night before it was pilfered.
Tomorrow I will play tourist in Baltimore, particularily in the Inner Harbor and at the National Aquarium.