A hotdog at the ballgame beats roast beef at the Ritz.
— Humphrey Bogart
Last night my friend Tigers Fan and I headed up to Baltimore to see his hometown Detroit Tigers take on the Baltimore Orioles. I was psyched, because I’d never been to Camden Yards for a baseball game,* despite having gone to college in Baltimore and having lived there after graduation. Also because, as you might have heard me say once or twice, I love baseball and there’s nowhere else I’d rather be on a summer night than at the ballpark.
We left NoVa around 5, which was a mistake, because then we sat in traffic for a hundred years and only made it to the stadium about 20 minutes before game time. But since it was my first time there, we walked around a bit first, and this is what I saw:
Between the warehouse and right field is a promenade, with lots of concessions and stuff. Here, apparently, you have to be careful you don’t get knocked on the head by a home run! In fact, there are plaques spotted all over the sidewalk in the shape of baseballs with dates and names of the players who hit home runs out there. I wish I’d taken a picture of one. Only one person – Ken Griffey, Jr. – has ever hit a ball that actually hit the warehouse.
This was my first glimpse of the field. I’m kind of short, but Tigers Fan is nearly a foot taller than I am, so he could see significantly more from this vantage point than I could. He said, “There appear to be some people in period garb down there.” And, indeed, there were:
More specifically, they were the Yorktown Fife and Drum Corp, and they performed the National Anthem.
Then we headed to our seats. Baseball tickets are one thing I don’t mind spending money on, and they’re cheaper at Camden Yards than they are at Nationals Park. We had club level seats, which is code for “fancy.”
So fancy that you don’t even have to go get your own food and beer if you don’t want – they bring it right to you! (And now that I say it like that, I realize they’ll do that for you in the cheap seats too – the beer vendors and hot dog guys – but this was way better: you just wave your orange menu and someone comes and takes your order – and there’s lots to choose from – and then they go and get it for you and bring it back. How cool is that?)
Here’s the view from our (larger than average, comfy) seats:
The game itself was exciting – several home runs and lead changes and a near come-from-behind win for the Os in the bottom of the 9th, but in the end, the Tigers held on to win 6-5, and Tigers Fan was a happy guy.
* I have been to Camden Yards before – in fact, I’ve been in the Os dugout and on the field and all around the inside of the stadium. In college, we had one of our formals there, and we got to go on tours of the park. But this was better. Way better.