10 Never Before Seen Facts on Camden Yards

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10 Never Before Seen Facts on Camden Yards

Oriole Park at Camden Yards is one of the original retro-style stadiums every baseball fan has on their bucket list. In fact, the Orioles’ ballpark opened in 1992 and hosted the All-Star Game one year later. Any Baltimore fan that bleeds Orioles Orange will know every information possible, from the team playing in the Championship Series in 2014 to Trey Mancini winning the 2021 Comeback Player of the Year. However, there are new Camden Yards facts that many baseball supporters never knew or never heard of in their lives. For details on what facts baseball fans rarely knew about, please refer to 10 Never Before Seen Facts on Camden Yards below!

10: Escalator Accident at Camden Yards Injured over 40 Fans

Just two years into the ballpark’s opening, Camden Yards suffered a horrific accident. During a game in 1994, one of the escalators broke down and fans began to tumble down the stairs. As a result, more than 40 spectators were injured and at least 25 of them ended up in the hospital. It was later revealed that a metal shaft failure was the cause for the escalator’s breakdown. This was not the first time that the Orioles had an escalator accident in the franchise’s history. In the 1960s, nearly 50 fans were injured and one of them was killed in a similar incident at Memorial Stadium.

9: Eutaw Street was Named after a Battle from the 1700s

Eutaw Street is a street that is located between the stadium and the warehouse at right field. The walkway is home to restaurants, shops, and even restrooms. On rare occasions, even home run balls have landed on Eutaw Street. But did you know that the street was named after the Eutaw Springs Battle in the late 1700s? Despite the fact that the event took place in South Carolina, one of the key players in the war was Maryland-native/Colonel John Eager Howard. In fact, Howard fought in two other battles in the same century: Ninety Six and Hobkirk’s Hill. The reason Eutaw Street was named in Howard’s honor was due to his military efforts.

8: Camden Yards Almost Changed its Name in the Early 2000s

The stadium, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, had a name for a reason. While “Camden Yards” was named after a former railroad station that was connected to the warehouse, the “Orioles Park” name was conceived as a tribute to Baltimore clubs from the past. So, Williams Donald Schaefer (Maryland Governor) came up with “Camden Yards” and Eli Jacobs (Team’s Owner) came up with “Orioles Park.”

However, nearly ten years later, the stadium almost had a name change with a corporate sponsor. In the early 2000s, the Orioles explored a new ballpark name after being inspired by the Baltimore Ravens’ naming rights deal with PSINET Stadium (now M&T Bank Stadium). The Orioles believed that a corporate naming rights plan would help increase revenue. Eventually, those plans somehow fell through and the stadium is still known as Oriole Park at Camden Yards today.

7: Oriole Park Did Not Have its 1st Concert Until 27 Years Later

It is not uncommon that postgame concerts are taking place at baseball stadiums. Interestingly, there are teams that previously hosted either postgame or live music shows. Those teams were the following: Rays, Mets, Reds, Angels, Yankees, Cardinals, Red Sox, Astros, Rangers, Marlins, and many more. But did you know that Oriole Park at Camden Yards did not have its first concert until 27 years after its opening? In 2019, musician and pianist Billy Joel performed in front of a sold-out crowd. The stage was installed at centerfield with chairs all over the field except the infield and pitcher’s mound. Since the Joel show, other acts have played at Camden Yards: Paul McCartney, Smash Mouth, and Flo Rida.

6: There are Pieces of Memorial Stadium at Camden Yards

Memorial Stadium served as the home for the Baltimore Orioles from 1954 until 1991. In fact, Memorial Stadium was also the home for the NFL’s Baltimore Colts until they relocated to Indianapolis in the 1980s. The old venue has since been demolished, but that doesn’t mean everything about Memorial Stadium was wiped out completely. The great part of this is that there are pieces of Memorial Stadium at Camden Yards. For instance, both of the foul poles at Oriole Park were used by the old stadium. Another example is that the All-Star Lounge (club level at left field) hosts an official locker room from Memorial Stadium. The old stadium might be gone forever, but it’s never forgotten at Camden Yards.

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5: Camden Yards Invented the Two-Tiered Bullpen

Oriole Park at Camden Yards is notable for becoming the first retro-style ballpark in the big leagues. A retro-style ballpark is a venue that is configured into a baseball-oriented stadium rather than the cookie cutter-shaped venues like Shea Stadium and the Old Busch Stadium. But did you know that Camden Yards was the first ever ballpark to invent the two-tier bullpen? The new version of the bullpen is a two-story configuration where the home team warms up on the first level while the visitors practice on the second level.

The two-tier bullpen received positive reviews from fans and players alike, including former closer Sean Doolittle. He said he liked the Orioles’ bullpen due to the views of the stadium as well as the fans coming over to watch warmups. Other baseball stadiums have since followed suit on the new style of bullpen: Citizens Bank Park, Progressive Field, PNC Park, and Angel Stadium. 

4: Orioles Park Used to Have a Rubbered Warning Track

Camden Yards is one of the league’s most unique ballparks in America. The uniqueness of the venue ranges from the warehouse to the two-tier bullpen. Believe it or not, Oriole Park used to have a rubbered warning track when it first opened. The track was grounded into rubber because of the possibility of a baseball landing on it so hard that it could create more ground-rule doubles. Camden Yards was the first and only ballpark to have ever incorporated rubber into the playing field. That is, until over a decade later, Camden Yards decided to replace the rubbered warning track with the one made from grounded stone. The material was developed to make the walking/running experience easier for the outfielders. 

3: What’s Inside the B&O Warehouse at Right Field

When any baseball fan visits Oriole Park at Camden Yards, he or she would notice the huge brick building at right field. That building is the Baltimore & Ohio (B&O) Warehouse, which was originally going to be dismantled for the new stadium. About 20 years prior to the opening, the warehouse was left completely abandoned. The city of Baltimore was planning on tearing down the building to potentially add more parking spaces, but the Orioles decided to utilize the brick structure instead. 

Now, the main question is: what’s inside the B&O Warehouse? The building consists of the following: the team store and a pub restaurant on the first floor and the second floor belonging to office spaces. The Warehouse was only hit by a ball once in its history during the 1993 All-Star Game batting practice (Mariners OF Ken Griffey Jr.). In addition, the brick building served as a major sight during Cal Ripken Jr.’s consecutive games streak night when the numbers “2,131” were hung from the structure

2: Before Camden Yards, it was the Site of a Railroad Center

Wrigley Field sits on the site of the church & priest school, while Fenway Park occupies a former garbage landfill. Dodger Stadium sits on the property that was meant for a housing project, while New Yankee Stadium lies on the land formerly used by a park filled with lots of trees. But did you know that before Oriole Park at Camden Yards, there used to be a railroad service called Camden Station? In fact, the train station would use the warehouse building to store hundreds of freight cars. Today, fans at Camden Yards can get a piece of the old railroad station. The warehouse’s name is actually named after the company that works on Camden Station: Baltimore & Ohio (B&O) Railroad. 

1: “The Sun” Sign at Centerfield is Actually a Score Keeper

Other than the warehouse and the two-tier bullpen, there is another sight that needs to be seen at the ballpark’s outfield. That sight is “The Sun ” neon sign located beneath the Orioles clock, but on top of the centerfield video board. The sign was named after the city’s local newspaper company, the Baltimore Sun. Not many people know this is that the sign is actually a score keeper. For instance, the “H” light would go on-and-off if a player got a base hit. But a fielding error occurred; then the “E” light would flash in a similar motion.

Unfortunately, word just got out that Camden Yards is planning to get rid of the sign as soon as 2022. The team wanted to replace it with either team-branded advertising or sponsorship with a corporate firm. Since the sign will be gone, that means there’s more meaning to this Camden Yards fact. 

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