|Scoreboard clock at Camden Yards|
I had this game circled on my calendar ever since the Tigers exhibition game against the Washington Nationals was rained out in March. After having two of my last three Tigers games rained out, I decided to wait to buy tickets so I could keep an eye on the weather. A few days before the game, possible rain was forecast, so I waited until the day before the game to make a decision. After confirming that rain was not likely, I went on StubHub and found a cheap seat in foul territory in left field.
Getting to Camden Yards
The game was scheduled to begin at 12:35 p.m. on Wednesday morning. I left my house in Northern Virginia at 9:20 a.m. I avoided most of D.C.'s rush hour and made it to the stadium’s parking lot in an hour. I parked in Lot F, which is south of Camden Yards near M&T Bank Stadium where the Ravens play. The lot is under an overpass, which probably would help to keep a car cool on a sunny day, and it only costs $8. I read about other lots that were closer to Camden Yards or near Baltimore’s restaurant scene in the Inner Harbor, but most charged significantly more. I had been to Baltimore before, so I went with the cheapest parking option.
|Johnny Unitas Statue outside M&T Bank Stadium|
|Eutaw Street Entrance to Camden Yards|
|View of Baltimore from my left field seat|
|The old warehouse on Eutaw Street|
|Cal Ripken statue|
|Frank Robinson statue|
|View from my seat before game time|
|View from the patio after the last out: Miggy is happy|
Camden Yards has the typical hot dog stands, peanuts, and Cracker Jack, but it also has a lot more, including soft shell crab sandwiches and Korean barbecue. I read several stadium reviews of Camden Yards and decided to try three places: Boog's BBQ, Polock Johnny’s, and Stuggy's. Before you judge me for eating so much, I would like to mention that I was at the ballpark for almost 6 hours and only ate a light breakfast at home, plus do not forget that I am tall so hopefully that gives me a little more room for the
Boog's is the most famous place to eat at Camden Yards because former Oriole Boog Powell owns the place. I was not impressed. The $10 Boog's Sandwich was the most expensive of the 3 meals I had. To be fair to Boog's, they do put a lot of meat on their sandwich, but the meat was chewy and fatty and did not have much taste like good barbecue beef should. Maybe I should have tried the turkey, but with the $10 price tag I’m not sure if I want to give Boog's another try, especially since Camden Yards has so many other food options.
Polock Johnny’s left me wondering if I, as a Polish-American, should be offended or honored by its name.
|Offensive? Maybe. Tasty? Yes.|
Stuggy’s was the culinary champion because of this:
|The Crab Mac n Cheese Dog in all its glory|
|Need more room for a Stuggy's banner|
There are a lot of beer options throughout Camden Yards, and beer generally cost between $8 and $10. I had read about a cheap beer stand where you can get $2 canned beer, but I could not find it after several walks around the concourse.
I also tried a beer by Maryland craft brewery Flying Dog. The Dead Rise Old Bay Summer Ale was refreshing and tasty. I was a little worried that it might taste too much like Old Bay seasoning, but there was only a slight hint of the seasoning that gave the beer an interesting twist.
The ballpark was not too crowded. The Orioles were on top of the American League East, and the Tigers came in with the best record in baseball, so I am surprised more Orioles fans did not show. Maybe it was the 12:35 start time on a weekday and the nasty weather.
|The ballpark was not packed|
Tigers fans showed up in decent numbers. It was nice to see the support, but there were more and louder Tigers fans at the game I went to at Nationals Park last summer.
|Joba Chamberlain signing autographs for Tigers fans|
The Tigers won 7-5. They jumped out to a 6-0 lead before the Orioles got 5 runs off Verlander in the bottom of the 5th. Luckily, Rajai Davis hit a home run in the top of the 6th to give the Tigers a two-run lead. Despite a few threats in the later innings, the Orioles did not score again, and the Tigers swept the three-game series with Baltimore.
|Play ball! Right before the first pitch|
Driving out of Baltimore was a little trickier than my drive to the game. I blame my GPS for sending me onto a street with a railroad crossing (where I waited 3 minutes for a train to pass) and another one with construction, but I eventually made it onto 295 South and did not hit serious traffic until I was back in DC. My trip back took about an hour and forty-five minutes, but that was because I hit DC during rush hour and also randomly found myself on a street near home blocked by two tour buses that wasted another 10 minutes.
If the Tigers were playing in Baltimore during the weekend or on a nicer day, I would have probably spent more time in Baltimore. It is a decent city with a lot to do. Unless they meet in postseason, the Tigers will not play at Camden Yards again this year, but Tigers fans should consider a visit next year.
Although the weather was not great, I had a great time at Camden Yards and would highly recommend a visit to this ballpark, especially if you can get a hotel room near the ballpark so you can enjoy walking to the game and around the city.
|Cool view of a clock tower|