The Baltimore Orioles had to wait awhile before last night’s game against Pittsburgh was able to begin at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Storms rolled into the Baltimore area, causing the Birds and starter Dean Kremer to sit through an hour and 49 minute rain delay. But once the game started, we were reminded of the first game ever at Camden Yards, this on the ballpark’s 30th anniversary weekend. Kremer’s line: 6.1 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K.
Opening Day of 1992, 30 years ago this year, of course saw the opening of Oriole Park at Camden Yards – which is being commemorated this weekend. It seemed that most people knew and understood that it was a special place right away. You almost felt like the “Ballpark That Forever Changed Baseball“ had been standing for generations and already had a storied history.
Incidentally, I would submit that when they trademarked that phrase ten years ago, they should have made it “The Ballpark That Forever Changed Baseball BACK.” Because baseball had gotten used to the cookie cutter stadiums that didn’t have as much character as say the Fenway’s and Wrigley’s of the world.
Then Camden Yards comes along, with it’s old fashioned feel to it. And it rejuvenated the game, along with starting a trend of retrofitted ballparks. Cleveland got one, then Texas, Denver, and others. Oriole Park at Camden Yards brought baseball back to it’s roots in a sense, and yes it forever changed baseball.
The first game at the ballpark was started by journeyman veteran Rick Sutcliffe. He pitched a complete game shutout, and the O’s won 2-0. People walked away thinking that the new park would be a pitcher’s park. Little did we know that was an outlier!
Last night’s game was kind of a reminder of that in a sense – once it started, of course. Kremer, while not pitching a complete game, did a pretty decent Sutcliffe impression. Ramon Urias’ RBI-single in the last of the sixth gave the O’s a 1-0 lead.
And when your pitching across-the-board is as solid as that of the Orioles has been, you’re in good shape at that point. And in fact, the Orioles were. Felix Bautista got the save, and the O’s cruised to a 1-0 win over Pittsburgh.
The series continues late this afternoon at Camden Yards. Austin Voth gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Pittsburgh’s Jonathan Brubaker. Game time is set for just after 5 PM.