Our family is in the midst of The Summer of Kyle, where my oldest is trying to cram as many events as he can before he races off to college. Last month we took in two Philadelphia Union soccer games – the only Philly team we actually like – he’s been to a Phillies game with his friends, and Friday we spent the day watching the Baltimore Orioles play the Tampa Bay Rays at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
The original plan was to take Kyle, three of his friends, and Erik. At the last minute, Erik was invited to a birthday party, so he chose to do that. Kevin, ever the trooper, decided to take Erik’s seat and we saddled up for the two and a half hour drive*.
*It actually took a little over three hours, because PA and Delaware traffic sucks.
I dropped off Kyle and his friends in front of the stadium – which is still the best stadium in the league, IMO – while Kevin and I found parking. As we were walking to the stadium, Kyle sent a text saying, “These seats are insane!” He wasn’t wrong, as you can see below. (Click the photo to embigggen.)
We were in Section 86, Row 2, which is in left-center field.
There is more below the fold…
To give you a better idea of how great our seats were, I have never been close to a sign like this. Kevin asked what it meant, and I replied, “It means we’ll probably see a home run or two land near us.”
I wasn’t lying. The Rays hit a homer which landed a few feet to the left of us, and later the O’s launched one which landed about twenty feet to our right. For his first game, Kevin really seemed to like it. He loved the stadium, enjoyed the atmosphere, and is now a die-hard Orioles fan; which is difficult because the O’s haven’t been good in a long time.
Since Kyle got to the seats before me, he took the spot I wanted, right next to the O’s bullpen. He could literally reach out and touch the players. Late in the game, a reliever was warming up, and the sound his pitches made when it hit the catcher’s mitt were awe-inspiring. The guy was throwing serious heat.
There were a few lowlights, however. A water main break blocked our way to the parking lot we paid for, so I had to pay twice – although the second lot was only $10, where Philly charges nearly $30. The traffic to and from Baltimore sucked, and worst of all, the Orioles got trounced by a score of 16-4.
All that said, we still had a great time, the food was good, the post-game fireworks were excellent, and the Orioles sent us an email detailing the water main detours on Friday, and an email Saturday thanking us for coming. Yes, they aren’t winning as much as I’d like, but their organization actually cares about the fans.