Ballpark tour starts with a home game - Oriole Park at Camden Yards - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Ballpark tour starts with a home game — Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Oriole fans weren’t able to see their team play in Baltimore—or anywhere else in 2020. That should change in 2021 and fans, even in limited numbers, hope to see the Orioles play at home.

Over the offseason, I’ll offer tips on how to see the Orioles at visitors’ parks in which they’re scheduled to play during the 2021 season.

One thing we’ve discovered is that a number of our readers aren’t from Baltimore, or have moved away from the area and still follow the Orioles. So, we’ll begin at home.

Oriole Park at Camden Yards is still a marvelous place to watch baseball. Opened in 1992, it served as the gold standard for stadiums that were built after it. Two stadiums, Atlanta’s Turner Field and Texas’ Globe Life Park that were built after Oriole Park, are no longer home for the Braves and Rangers.

Ticket situation: In 2019, the Orioles had just four crowds of more than 30,000, so it’s easy to get good tickets, and they’re fairly inexpensive for many games.

In recent years, the Orioles have allowed adults who purchased upper-deck reserved tickets to add two free tickets for children 9 and under.

The most notable concession available is Boog’s Barbecue, run by former Oriole first baseman Boog Powell. Pit beef, a Baltimore specialty, ham and turkey are available, and Powell is there before most games to chat with fans and take photos.

Powell also had a stand at Sarasota’s Ed Smith Stadium for Grapefruit League games the past two springs.

Boog’s Barbecue is on the Eutaw Street concourse.

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Next scheduled game: Opening Day, April 8, 2021, against the Boston Red Sox

Most memorable Orioles moment: September 6, 1995, when Cal Ripken Jr. broke Lou Gehrig’s streak for consecutive games played (2,131).

Statues of Ripken, Eddie Murray, Jim Palmer, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson and Earl Weaver are in the left-field flag court.

What else is there to see? The Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum is just a few blocks from Camden Yards at 216 Emory Street.

The museum, which has excellent exhibits on Babe Ruth, is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Brooks Robinson’s heroics in the 1970 World Series.

Admission is $12, $10 for seniors and military and $6 for children between 5 and 16. During the pandemic, the museum is open on Friday, Saturday and Sundays from 10-4.

In the nearby Inner Harbor, there’s the National Aquarium and Maryland Science Center. There are four dolphins at the Aquarium. (I have a soft spot for zoos and aquariums.)

Where to stay: There are a number of hotels within blocks of the ballpark. The Hampton Inn Baltimore-Downtown Convention Center, Hilton Baltimore Inner Harbor and Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor are the closest, but there are many within walking distance.

Where to eat: Baltimore has many outstanding restaurants. Here are a few of my favorites.

If you want the best crab cakes, try Koco’s Pub, which isn’t far from the site of Memorial Stadium, home of the Orioles until 1991. Jimmy’s Famous Seafood and Faidley’s Seafood make three of the best crab cakes in town. Faidley’s is in Lexington Market, a short walk north of the ballpark.

In season, if you’re looking for hard-shell crabs, the Costas Inn and Jimmy’s both have superb crabs. They’re 20-to-30 minutes away from the Inner Harbor.

If you want to try some more pit beef, Chaps Pit Beef has the best in town. It’s about a 15-minute drive from the ballpark. Warning, it’s located next to a “gentleman’s” club.

Other great places to eat are Little Italy and Fells Point, both less than 10 minutes away from the Harbor. Aldo’s and Chiaparelli’s are my two choices in Little Italy. In Fells, Point, the Thames Street Oyster House has wonderful sea food.

If you’re craving a burger, Abbey Burger Bistro has three locations. The original is in Federal Hill, a healthy walk from the ballpark. Newer locations are in Fells Point and Mt. Washington, about 15 minutes from downtown.

Former Oriole great Adam Jones has a burger named after him, the “Simply AJ10,” made of kobe beef, pepperjack, avocados, jalapeños and bacon.

Pickles Pub and Sliders are both popular pregame and postgame meeting, eating and drinking establishments located just across the street from the ballpark.

My ballpark rating: It’s a hometown call, to be sure, but Oriole Park is still my favorite ballpark because it did set the standard and still looks great after all these years

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