Larry Fleisher
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August 2 - A Visit to Camden Yards

The Orioles haven't been very good for a few years but their ballpark
remains top-notch.  

After 13 years, I finally found my way down to beautiful Camden Yards
in downtown Baltimore and it lived up to the expectations I had for it
based on accounts from people and watching games on television.

I went to Saturday afternoon's game against the Chicago White Sox
and got to the area around the ballpark three hours beforehand, which
allowed me to visit the new Sports Legends Museum, a very cool place with tons of sports history
from Baltimore and Maryland.

After 90 minutes or so, it was time to enter the ballpark and I went through the Eutaw Street entrance.  
Upon getting in, I spotted Boog's BBQ, run by former Oriole first baseman Boog Powell.

For just eight bucks you could get a BBQ turkey sandwich, bean and cole slaw so I ate that and then it
was time to go in for batting practice.  

The Orioles didn't take any on the field, so I got to see the White Sox warmup and field and took
several pictures from many different angles.  One thing that's good about watching batting practice at
Camden Yards is you can all the way down to the first row behind the dugouts, something you can't
do at Yankee Stadium.

Although my seat wasn't there, I also walked up to the upper deck just to check out the view from there
and it was pretty good.

Once the game started, I had a good seat.  In what would be equal to the main reserve seats at
Yankee Stadium, I sat behind third base. I was worried the overhang might obstruct my view but
instead it provided nice shade from the sun and also TV monitors allowing fans to see replays.

As for the game, the White Sox jumped on top with two early runs and then the Orioles struck back for
four. The White Sox then tied it but Baltimore took a two-run lead on Rafael Palmeiro's two-run home
run.

But that lead ended in the eighth when the White Sox scored four.  A.J. Pierzynski hit a three-run shot
and Jermaine Dye added a solo shot and that was it for the Orioles, who fell under .500.

As for the ballpark, the environment is great, better than both in New York.  But then again almost any
ballpark has better surroundings then Shea Stadium.

The food is good, at least the Boog's BBQ.  They also serve Esskay hot dogs, which from the looks of
things appear much better than the ones served at Shea.

If there's a bad seat there, I don't know.  The view I had offered clear shots of the field and ample photo

opportunities.

So on a scale of 10, Baltimore's Camden Yards rates a nine.  I deduct one point for the Orioles not
being a good team.
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