Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Camden Yards, Baltimore, MD.
We walked about three blocks from our hotel to get to Camden Yards in Baltimore.
I know this park ranks high on a lot of baseball fans lists. I was very excited to finally make it there.
There are many things that I liked right away about this place. First off, we weren't hassled at all on the way to the park. No one asked for change, and no one tried to sell us tickets. The few vendors we saw were just there.
I was reminded of my similar walk to Commerica Park in Detroit. As much as I like that park, team, and town it can be a bit of a battle finally getting to the game. And that is the kind of thing that will make you think twice about a return visit. Camden did not have this problem.
The park itself is pretty. Very pretty. I love a great skyline view, and seeing all of the buildings out over a field.
I like a good atmosphere outside of a park. Places to go before the game, nice restaurants and bars. That kind of thing.
They have that in Baltimore. See my other entry on the bar "Sliders". I love a good atmosphere though. Plus there is the Baltimore Sports Museum right next to the park, and Babe Ruth's Birthplace is less than 3 blocks away!
I was thinking about some other parks I love- some have a great atmosphere going on outside the park (I think St. Louis can't be beat in this category) and some stadiums are surrounded by parking lots.
Baltimore is an easy town to get around in (for its size). They had trains that bring locals to the games from outside areas (I saw several locations with flyers about how to use transportation to get to Camden Yards). Parking and driving seemed easy too.
We did ask very friendly staff person to take our photo with the field in the background. No big deal- we have done this dozens of times. Well, the friendly usher took our photo and we were on our way. Right after that, another usher (I assume a supervisor) came over and gave the usher a ton of grief because she did not have us turn our flash off before taking the picture. I did think this was very odd and unnecessary. Other than the intense usher/supervisor person, the staff seemed great.
Camden, as I ramble here in my writings, is obviously the ballpark that other parks get compared to. As we were there, and as we left, we kept comparing certain features and styles to things we have encountered at other major league parks.
We DID like this park a lot- and we will make more visits. We have debated where this park ranks on our personal favorites list. I will say I talked to several people recently about this one. I need to give that one a little more thought.