By Corey McLaughlin

Illustrations by Sam Peet

Rites of Spring

Ten Things That Make Camden Yards The Best in MLB

Our list of insider tips, can’t-miss attractions, and perennial favorites at Oriole Park—recently ranked the top stadium by USA Today.

By Corey McLaughlin

Illustrations by Sam Peet

The Orioles lineup is full of likable young stars legitimately eyeing a World Series trip, so the ballgames themselves are an attraction. But Oriole Park, recently voted MLB’s best park, has a lot to offer, too. Here are insider tips, new attractions, and perennial favorites.

1. Eutaw Street

You literally can’t miss Eutaw Street, unless you try. A few musts: Grab something from Boog’s Barbeque and find the famous home-run ball markers. There are more than 100, including a medallion on the B&O Warehouse wall where Ken Griffey Jr.’s 465-foot blast hit during the 1993 All-Star Game home run derby. Scope the plaques honoring Eddie Murray’s 500th home run and each member of the Orioles Hall of Fame, too.

2. Be an Early Bird

If for nothing else, get to the game on time to hear and participate in the signature “O!” during the National Anthem, written in Baltimore, of course. Batting practice is also a great time for kids to get autographs, too.

3. Hawaiian Shirt Night (and other Giveaways)

When Orioles wins were hard to come by not all that long ago, it seemed the biggest draws to the ballpark were the fun giveaways, like O’s-themed Hawaiian shirts, bucket hats, and bobbleheads. They’re still fun and always will be. (Mark your calendars: Hawaiian shirt night is June 29.)

4. Bird Bath Splash Zone

If you don’t mind getting sprayed with water after a big hit for the home team, a seat in Section 86, above Walltimore, is the place to be. Inspired by the players’ water-themed celebrations last year, Mr. Splash—a real person wearing swimmies, an inflatable flamingo floatie named Adley, and snorkeling gear—mans the hose.

5. A Taste of History

Find the Negro Leagues mural beyond the bullpens in center field, the larger-than-life-sized bronze statues of O’s legends like Brooks Robinson (and Baltimore’s Babe Ruth), and exhibits on the concourse behind home plate, featuring memorabilia like old uniforms and equipment.

6. The Big TV

The Big TV On the centerfield scoreboard, upgraded last year, the hot-dog race (after the second inning) and the crab shuffle (middle of the fifth inning) remain fixtures. You can arrange to have birthday wishes—or wedding proposals—displayed, too.

7. A Bar with a View

Drink, eat, and be merry while watching nine innings from the Roof Deck Bar in center field. You’ll pay the equivalent of a generous cover charge (your game-day ticket) to enjoy one of the best views and atmospheres in baseball.

8. Snack, Sip, and Dip

You can bring food through the gates as long as it fits in a modest, clear plastic bag; or satiate with a stadium-bought Yard dog, soft pretzels (with or without crab dip), ice cream, beer, Coke products (new this year), and more. Download the MLB Ballpark app for the most up-to-date concession locations and menus.

9. The Corner Office

In the green padding of the right-field corner wall, you’ll see a small window. Orioles head groundskeeper Nicole Sherry’s office is on the other side. One of her jobs is to monitor the weather, and the window and its location are relics of the pre-Internet era stadium design, which allowed her predecessors to see storms moving in from the west first-hand. Today, Sherry first uses radar apps.

10. Kids Running the Bases

Ticket-holding kids, ages 4-14, can run the bases after Sunday afternoon games, one of several kid-friendly features at Camden Yards. The playground on the right field concourse near Gate C is another. So is the Oriole Bird roaming about and goofing off, of course. Adults like us love the feathered mascot, too.

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