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Monday, September 30, 2013

Red Sox @ Orioles September 28, 2013

If you ever get the chance to go to Oriole Park at Camden Yards, DO IT!  Baltimore was not only beautiful (the gorgeous 72 degree weather also helped), but there seemed to be a lot to do around the ballpark.  Even though the Red Sox lost Saturday night when we were at the game, the experience was spectacular.  I'm really hoping to go back for a series next season.

When we arrived in Baltimore, we had about 5 hours before the game, and we thought we'd check out the Inner Harbor.  If you do go to a game in Baltimore, here's a tip: PARK AT THE STADIUM!  We were able to park our car for $10 five hours before the game started and walk about 1/2 a mile to the Inner Harbor.  Otherwise, the parking garages around the Inner Harbor were about $13 an hour.

After parking the car, we walked around the ballpark for a little bit.  There's a sort of atmosphere surrounding that park that reminds me of Fenway.  There were tons of people there hours before the game, and there were bars, shops, food, etc. open and buzzing.  People are able to view batting practice from outside the stands (there's a gate, but you can see everything as the ballpark is set down from street level).  While the street is open before the game, they do shut it down when admission is let in (much like Yawkey Way during Red Sox games).

There are plaques on this street area of balls that have "left the park" and landed on this street.  I took pictures of a few of these plaques.  I really enjoyed the fact that the Orioles honored all baseball players who hit the ball out of the ballpark, not just Orioles players.

We had a couple drinks and an appetizer when we got to the Inner Harbor, which was beautiful.  There were tons of shopping, attractions, restaurants, and people at the Inner Harbor.  We went to J Paul's Dining Saloon, which overlooked the water.  I had an "Oriole Magic" cocktail (when in Rome), which was delicious!

Word of advice, they shoot a canon off a replica ship at noon, between 3-4, and 6-7 every day.  We were not expecting that!

Before we went into the park, we had a couple drinks at a tavern across the street.  There, we had a conversation with an older gentleman who was from Virginia and was a Red Sox fan.  I think Cole and I talked to him for about an hour, and he was great company.  We also ran into a Iowa Hawkeyes fan (he was wearing a Hawks shirt) who informed us the Hawkeyes game was on the television inside the tavern.

The game was great too.  The seating reminded me of Target Field, as I didn't see any seats that would have a bad view.  A friend of mine worked grounds crew for Oriole Park a few years ago, and he told me how wonderful the stadium is, I agree.  The Red Sox put up a good showing for a 6-5 loss, but the experience was wonderful.  Check out the pictures I took below:

David Ortiz Plaque
Mo Vaughn plaque
View of Inner Harbor from J Paul's Dining Saloon
These shirts shocked me!  Really?  Crawford and Okajima?!
View of the field from our seats
Pedroia before the game started
Me and Cole before the game
Wearing my #GetBeard shirt in honor of my brother, Jacob, and his fight against Leukemia
First batter, Shane Victorino
Lester pitching
Pedroia at Second Base and Lester pitching
Middlebrooks at Third Base, Drew at Shortstop, and Pedroia at Second Base