As I sat there in the press box watching the second game of the doubleheader against the Rangers, I couldn’t help but think of how exciting it would be if Camden Yards was packed on a consistent basis. It has been a very, very long time since this ballpark had the type of crowds we saw when it first opened back in 1992. This year marks the 20th anniversary of Camden Yards, and I can’t think of a better anniversary present to The Yard than to fill the seats with passionate fans who can’t get enough of their beloved Orioles.

I was here last season when the O’s knocked the Red Sox out of playoff contention, and the atmosphere in this place was out of this world. Just think of how nuts this place would be if the O’s were fighting for a playoff spot in late September. And with the way they are playing so far this season, who knows where they’ll be come September. I will tell you one thing, though. It makes a huge difference to these players when the stadium is packed full of passionate, screaming hometown fans instead of those of visiting teams (Yankees and Red Sox, especially). There are plenty of reasons to come out to The Yard and watch your O’s play, but here are five good ones.

There is never a dull moment

No matter if it’s a three-run walk-off homer to erase a two-run deficit in the bottom of the ninth or a bases loaded save with a one-run lead, the O’s never fail to raise our blood pressure at critical points in the game. Through the first 32 games, the O’s have already been involved in six one-run games and six extra inning games. They have more fight in them than I’ve seen in years and I think they truly feel like no lead is too big to overcome. The game I go back to is the 17-inning affair against the Red Sox last Sunday when they blew a five-run lead and still managed to battle back and win the game, completing their first three-game sweep at Fenway Park since 1994. Simply put, this team never says die.

The long ball is just a pitch away

At the time Thursday night’s game was completed, the O’s were third the majors with 45 home runs. That’s an astounding stat considering the teams and lineups they are surrounded by (Yankees, Rangers, Cardinals). What this means for fans is that a three-run deficit could vanish in the time it takes the ball to clear the fence. Home runs equal excitement no matter how you look at it, and so far this season the O’s have been able to provide that kind of frenzy for their fans.

Camden Yards is better than ever

Known as The Ballpark That Forever Changed Baseball, Camden Yards has really stepped up their game in 2012. They made a number of new renovations in the off-season including a new Roof Deck above center field that gives fans a unique view of the game as well as a full-service bar that is sure to amuse the fans who like that sort of thing (myself included). The right-field wall has been modified to reduce the height of the out-of-town scoreboard so the fans in the standing room only section that aren’t 6-foot-5 can actually see the game too. Maybe the best addition to the stadium is the bronze sculptures of the six greatest O’s of all time including Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, Earl Weaver, Jim Palmer, Eddie Murray and Cal Ripken Jr. These sculptures will be unveiled throughout the season and are a great addition to an already amazing ballpark.

Fan Pride

This one is pretty simple, guys. Come out and support your hometown baseball team. I understand it would be much more enjoyable if the O’s had a winning team year in and year out, but at least it looks as though they are making a concerted effort to be better this season.  It is much more enjoying and a lot less annoying when the seats are filled with orange and black as opposed to the visiting team’s colors. This is just a matter of pride. O’s fans need to start having some or they are going to get run out of their own stadium.

Anything can happen in baseball

We saw this a few years ago with the Tampa Bay Rays. They went from having the worst record in the majors at 66-96 to making it to the World Series the following season. Obviously, this doesn’t happen everyday, but they won games kind of how the O’s are winning them now. Great starting pitching, a solid bullpen and timely hitting. Add some Orioles magic to the equation and you’ve got this year’s O’s team to a tee. Rising from the basement to the top is easier said than done, but it’s feasible. I don’t want to jump the gun just yet because the O’s still have a long way to go before we can talk about the postseason. But just the inkling of hope that the O’s can put together a magical season should at least get some fans out to the ballpark to witness the possibility of greatness. After all, isn’t that why we watch sports in the first place?







About The Author

Sports Without Charm. features fan coverage and analysis of the Baltimore Orioles, Baltimore Ravens, Washington Capitals, Maryland Terrapins and Towson Tigers.


  1. I’ll give you one and the only one you need – it’s baseball. Whether the Orioles are good or not, it’s professional baseball.

  2. I will give you one reason the stadium will not be filled , Peter the Great does not care about the fans and most of us know it.

    • I don’t go to cheer for Angelos, just like I don’t cheer for Steve Bisciotti.

      • The owner sets the tone for the franchise , they either want to win and try or don’t care about winning and don’t try. Now which do you think Peter the Great is ?

    • You cheer for the team not for the owner, numbnuts. Do you thonk they cheer for Jerry Reinsdorf in Chicago or did they cheers for Michael and the Blls? You need to stay a mystery…

  3. First of all, I am a baseball fan and an Orioles fan. While I loathe what has happened to this team, I will never stop rooting for them.

    What I can tell you though is that this is, and probably always will be, a football town. This team boasted the best record in ALL of sports yet struggled to sell tickets. It was only when the Colts absolutely stunk in the late 70’s and early 80’s that the fans turned to the Orioles and then when Irsay’s “midnight run” took place, the Orioles really took hold.

    I went out last night to watch a team tied for first place in what is argubaly the toughest division in baseball, if not in all sports. Yea, I know, it’s only May. The fans were apathetic and seemed to not even know when to cheer. It’s a reactionary crowd, get a hit, they cheer, but put two runners on and you’re down by 3 runs and they have no idea what to do. Fans can and do have some impact on games. Getting the opposing pitcher rattled, rattling an opposing batter or even chiding an opposing outfielder are all intimidating to visiting teams. OPACY has become a nice little place to play baseball with friendly fans who very rarely impose their will on the opposition. I’m not encouraging abusive language or anything like that, but get on BJ Upton tonight, his nickname is “Bossman Junior” that’s what BJ stands for, look it up. Cheer wildly when Hellickson falls behind 3-0 to Jones with two on, get behind your team and stop making excuses.

  4. Here’s the biggest reason NOT to go: They haven’t had a winning season in over a decade. If they win, it will be packed. If they continue to fail their fans, then they won’t come back regardless of the improvements at the yard.

  5. coors field in denver is an exact duplicate of camden-yards,an architect told me.COORS field is packed for most games.GO-ORIOLES

  6. What Dude said. Support this team, or they will be moving down to Charlotte.

  7. To use your parallel, tell me, do you think Michael Jordan doesn’t want to win in Charlotte? You think he just looking to make a few more bucks to have golf money?

  8. Unfortunately, I have other financial responsibilities than to help pay for some people to play a game… When I don’t have to drop major cash to enjoy Camden Yards, then I’ll come back – its been almost 8 years since I went last, and between repeated yearly disappointments, and my criticism of the team’s owner, it may be a long time off still.

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