More than any other major sport, baseball treasures the stadiums in which its athletes compete almost as much as it reveres the players themselves.
Fenway Park in Boston and Wrigley Field in Chicago are cathedrals of the game and among the most iconic landmarks in their cities. When it opened in 1992, Oriole Park at Camden Yards joined their ranks, immediately proving transformational by ending the era of cookie-cutter, multi-use stadiums and ushering in more intimate, baseball-only ballparks in urban centers.
A quarter-century after hosting its first game, Camden Yards, as locals call it, remains the majors’ most beloved “new” ballpark. Here are nine innings of tips to ensure your visit is a home run.
Before the game, stop by Memorial Wall, near the south end of the B&O Warehouse. Dedicated in 2003, the wall honors Marylanders who died in America’s wars and pays homage to the Orioles’ previous home, Memorial Stadium. Be sure to get to your seats in time for the national anthem. Fans yell “O!” as the performer sings “O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave.” The shout-out is a tribute to both the team and the lyrics penned in Baltimore’s harbor by Francis Scott Key.
A relic from the site’s rail yard days, the circa 1900 B&O Warehouse is the longest building on the east coast and the stadium’s signature backdrop. Stroll inside to sample a baseball-themed beer (Wild Pitch Wheat, Rain Delay IPA) at Dempsey’s, named for beloved former O’s catcher Rick Dempsey, or shop for Birds gear at the team store.
Walk along Eutaw Street, which separates the warehouse from the stadium, and look down at the plaques documenting where homers hit the promenade. No one’s ever hit the warehouse—432 feet from home plate down the right field line—on the fly in a game.
Grab a bite at Boog’s BBQ, operated by legendary Orioles first baseman Boog Powell. Pit beef, a Baltimore specialty, is the focus here, and as the long lines prove, Boog does it right. It’s not unusual to see the big man himself behind the counter or working the crowd.
Stand in the Flag Court and watch the game from above the right field scoreboard. Flags for each American League team are flown in order of the current divisional standings.
If the children are getting antsy, take them to the Kids’ Corner, near Gate C. It features a moon bounce, climb and play area, speed pitch and batting cage. If they’re still energetic (and under 14), they can take the field and run the bases after Sunday games.
Return to your seats for the sing-along with the Orioles’ traditional seventh-innings stretch song, “Thank God I’m a Country Boy.” The team started playing the John Denver tune in the 1970s and it’s been a staple ever since.
Climb the stairs to the Roof Deck, an open-air bar overlooking center field. You need a ticket to sit in one of the two rows of seats, but anyone is welcome to stand and watch the game on the field or on one of the full-service bar’s TVs.
When the game’s tight, often there’s action in the bullpens where relief pitchers warm up. Along the railing right above them, fans line up for great views of 90-mile-per-hour fastballs that pop into the catcher’s glove. From there, stroll just a few feet to Orioles Legends Park, which displays statues of six greats, including Cal Ripken Jr. and Frank Robinson. Baltimore-born Babe Ruth is immortalized in bronze at the corner of W. Camden and S. Eutaw streets.
Pickles Pub, located on Washington Boulevard in the shadow of the stadium, teems with fans before and after games. It’s a great place to savor a beer (or two) and celebrate a win or drown your sorrows and proclaim, “We’ll get ‘em tomorrow!”