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Oriole Park at Camden Yards. It’s a fantastic name that just fits into the fabric of Baltimore.
The iconic stadium at 333 West Camden Street paved the way for how all ballparks are built when it opened in 1992.
None since seem to measure up to the beauty of the stadium however, with the warehouse looming beyond right field, the close proximity to the bullpen for fans and now, a roof top bar above the batter’s eye in center field that has quickly become a favorite among O’s fans and yours truly.
We’ve seen so many stadiums in recent years go the way of the big corporate sponsorship, away from names that everyone became familiar with.
For example: Jacobs Field in Cleveland, The Ballpark in Arlington, Oakland Coliseum and going even further back in San Diego when QualCommm Stadium once was named Jack Murphy Stadium (for a long-time local sports writer in town) just to name a few.
But Oriole Park at Camden Yards has stayed true not only to the area it was built upon, but of course the name that lines the front of those white and orange-piped jerseys each year too.
Could you imagine the ballpark name being anything else? Could you imagine Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park or Dodger Stadium being anything else? It’s unfathomable.
As Zach Wilt pointed out in his recent article, the Orioles had thought about selling the naming rights to the stadium in 2000 which I vaguely remember. Thankfully, they decided better.
The debate here is whether Orioles fans call the stadium by a shortened name. I’ve heard people call it “The Yard” and I’ve heard people refer to the stadium as “The Yards.”
It all depends on the context of how you phrase it. O’s radio announcer Fred Manfra refers to it as the latter, for example when promoting an upcoming game or series, he’ll say, “come spend a night down at the Yards.” I’ve heard plenty of fans or friends say to me, “are you heading down to the Yard tonight?”
“Yard” just sounds more natural in my opinion and what I proudly refer to the beautiful stadium as.
Some of you may remember during the 1992 season, the Orioles promotions team – in addition to the song below they played at the stadium – also ran series of ads promoting games and giveaways and a song playing throughout with the lyrics, “go play in the Yard!”
So, what lingo do you use when talking about Oriole Park at Camden Yards?