Baltimore Orioles

We checked out of our motel in Hagerstown, Maryland at 9 AM. The plan was to spend the morning driving to Balitmore, Maryland to do some quick sightseeing and then attend an Orioles game at Camden Yards in the afternoon.

We stopped at Frederick, Maryland for breakfast. We arrived in the Baltimore area shortly after 11 AM. The start time of the Orioles game was 1:35 PM, so we had 90 minutes to see Baltimore before we had to find parking and walk to the ballpark.

We’re all huge fans of “The Wire”, the HBO drama series about Baltimore, so we drove around in Baltimore for a while to get a look at the landmarks and row houses that we’d seen on The Wire. By noon, we had enough sightseeing. We found parking in a downtown garage and walked a few blocks to Camden Yards.

This was Mother’s Day, with sunny weather and the New York Yankees in town as the opposition, so a large crowd was expected at Camden Yards. If the Orioles had a decent team then this game could have sold out, but the Orioles have stunk for a decade now so there’s very little excitement about this team. I’d estimate that 40% of the people in attendance were Yankee fans.

I did call my mom on this Mother’s Day. In fact, I called her from the ballpark while I was snapping photos on the upper concourse.

Camden Yards is getting close to 20 years old now. It has become one of the old major league parks, almost overnight. That seems like a ridiculous notion until you consider how many new parks have gone up during the last 15 years.

Home runs accounted for all of the scoring in today’s game. In the top of the first inning, Mark Teixeira hit a solo blast to center field to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead. In the bottom of the first, Aubrey Huff slammed a 3-run homer to put the Orioles in front 3-1. There was no more scoring until the 7th, when Robinson Cano brought the Yankees to within a run with a solo homer. Later in the inning, Johnny Damon hit a 3-run homer to give New York a 5-3 lead. Neither side scored again as the Yankees defeated the Orioles by a final score of 5-3. Box Score

This was the first visit to Camden Yards for Mark, Rob, and Joe. I’d been here once before, 9 years ago. In September, 2000 I was in Baltimore on business for a week and I attended a ballgame in Camden Yards. Amazingly, one player from the Orioles starting lineup in that night in September, 2000 was also in Baltimore’s starting lineup for today’s Mother’s Day 2009 ballgame. Which player? Melvin Mora. Melvin had rough games on both occasions. In the September, 2000 game that I attended Melvin made 2 errors at shortstop, while in today’s game he was caught stealing and grounded into a double play.

The game ended at 4:40 PM. By 5:15 PM we were in our car, rolling out of Baltimore, and heading north to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania via Delaware. This was my first visit to Delaware and it lasted about 30 minutes as we drove straight through to Philadelphia without making a stop. I had mentioned that I would like to stop briefly in Delaware, but we didn’t make a stop. I can’t remember why. Maybe we just wanted to press on to Philadelphia.

There was considerable traffic on our drive northbound on I-95, as many Yankee fans from New York and New Jersey had driven down to Baltimore to see the Mother’s Day game in Baltimore. With the expensive pricing of seats in the new Yankee Stadium, maybe it is cheaper for Yankee fans to make the trek to Baltimore to see their team! The traffic thinned out in Delaware when the Yankee fans left I-95 to take the Jersey Turnpike home.

It was about 7 PM when we checked in at the Holiday Inn in downtown Philadelphia. After checking in, I was done for the evening. I relaxed in the hotel room while the guys went somewhere nearby in downtown Philadelphia for dinner.