A tale of two ballparks

Back from my trip up the  Eastern Seaboard, which included my first visit to Camden Yards, now 25 years old. It doesn’t look a day over 10.

You could say the same about Turner Field, but the similarities end there. I attended Friday night’s game vs. the Yankees, which, if not a sellout, was close. Yet I waited in no lines because the park was fully staffed. Vendors routinely made their way through the stands, even in the Upper Deck. That rarely happens at The Ted.

One thing Turner Field has that Baltimore doesn’t: Manufactured noise and an over-abundance of distractions. No carnival barker screaming at you between innings. No Kiss Cam. No Barbie Dolls tossing T-shirts into the crowd.

And the only country crap pop rock I heard accompanied Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph to the plate. They actually played The Smiths between innings.

On the downside, the hot dogs sucked. Otherwise, it was nice to go to a ballgame not masquerading as a Monster Truck jam or Rascal Flatts concert (which probably explains why I saw a good number of African-Americans in the crowd).

I should probably stop there, considering what’s been going on with a certain other Atlanta pro sports franchise.


11 thoughts on “A tale of two ballparks

  1. Great park. When I was there last they had some great BBQ. It’s been 10 years but I remember it like yesterday. We were sitting on the first base line and I literally followed the smell to the place they were smoking it. I think it was in right field near the warehouse.

  2. Surprisingly, the Orioles are only outdrawing the Braves this year by a few hundred a game. Both are averaging 29,000-plus. I saw a game at Camden Yards in 1992, the year it opened. Nice park.

  3. Camden Yards is beautiful, and you definitely should have waited in line for Boog’s. Also, did you drink Natty Bo (National Bohemian) beer? You have to drink that when in Baltimore!

  4. I agree with you on the dislike of the constant canned music and promotions/contests between innings. It’s gotten so bad at the Isotopes games it’s like the game is secondary. I would love to have a least one between inning break without noise and be able to hear the pop of the baseball in the mitts as infielders practice.

  5. Years ago, I saw a game at Stade Olympique (former Brave Tommy Greene’s no-hitter!), and outside the stadium (but not in the open air), they had a calliope, a bunch of kiddie rides, hell, they might have had a petting zoo for all I know. I got the hell into the park itself as quickly as I could because it was so bizarre and disconcerting. But most of all, it struck me as desperate, artificially trying to gin up enthusiasm where none existed.

    And from the way you guys describe the Ted these days, it’s become Stade Olympique du Sud.

  6. We hate the Red Sox. Red Sox Nation. The Bandwagon, the #cowboyUP! etc. I get it. But I was in Boston last weekend and caught a Blue Jays game at Fenway. Do I need to say the difference was Night & Day between Fenway and The Ted (or whatever Souless Consumer Capitalist CheeseCake Factory Wet Dream in Cobb County)?

    Every inch of Fenway literally honors the game, their team, their history, and the fans in the stands are there to watch baseball and cheer. And that is what they literally do–watch baseball and cheer and sing and boo and the game rises up and you are reminded that the game is enough.

    We have a forsaken, forgotten concrete spot in a paid parking lot next to a soon to be forgotten stadium honoring one of baseball’s greatest moments and men.

    Being a Braves fan, an Atlanta Braves fan, is a constant reminder of those in ownership who don’t believe the game itself is ever enough.

  7. I went to Chicago the last two summers and i made damn sure to catch games at Wrigley Field. A wonderfully unique ( and anachronistic) experience. No rock or rap walk up music for batters; the organ was the only music played. No video replays. No annoying between inning activities, just announcements. Just a tremendous atmosphere inside and outside of the stadium. And a crowd of about 36,000 came to watch a last place team play on a hot August afternoon. Yup, there’s definitely a difference between Wrigley and the ballpark on my home turf.

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