Tuesday, September 7, 2010
The Warehouse at Camden Yards
Last week I had the good fortune to be at an Orioles game. I haven’t been there in years and years. In fact, the last time I was there was when Brady Anderson was our great power hitter. I had forgotten that such great views were accessible from the top levels of the ballpark. Here, this shot looks south over that end of the city, bordered by the warehouse on the left. Unfortunately, the north side view is now ruined by an ugly modern building. (It was more fun when we could see the Bromo Seltzer Tower.)
I actually used to work at Camden Yards during the mid 1990s. I had a lot of good times with the people I worked with and it yielded plenty of crazy stories. But, the crowds, like the one on my recent visit, tend to be cheerful. I worked there in the days when it was still newly opened. Then, some considered it the ultimate ballpark and I would often meet people from far away who were simply astounded by it. Early one morning some guys arrived in a beat up old car and told me that they drove for three days only to go to Camden Yards.
This old warehouse was always the most interesting thing about the ballpark. It was built for the B&O Railroad in 1905, back in the days when this area was all rail yards. According to baseballpilgrimages.com the warehouse is 1,016 feet long and 51 feet wide. In the days when I worked there it was not fully occupied. I remember during one of the first games of the season I wanted a restroom and my supervisor suggested that I go in the warehouse and find one. Well, a guard gave me a third degree and sent me to an upper floor, which was unfinished but had working bathrooms. It was pretty interesting up there so I took some time to admire the view. When I came back down the guard was annoyed that I spent so much time up there and indicated that she was watching me on closed circuit TV the entire time. Well, let’s just say I made a real effort to know the locations of handy public bathrooms after that.