We usually go to 5-6 games each season at Camden Yards. It is usually the one stadium we visit the most during the course of any season. Yet, in 2012, we somehow made it to the last weekend of July before going back for only our second game of the season at Camden Yards. It took several plans to fall through for this to happen. But on July 28, 2012, we finally made it back!
Just like our first Camden Yards game of 2012, this game featured a showdown between the Oakland Athletics and Baltimore Orioles. It also featured the possibility of reaching two personal milestones. We have had 49 Camden Yards baseballs on our resume for the last several months. Our next baseball at Camden Yards would be our 50th! And, if we could manage to get two baseballs, our second would be our 300 baseball since Tim’s first game! We had hit the 100 mark on 9/12/10 at Nationals Park and the 200 mark on 9/12/11 at Camden Yards. So if we did it, it would be the first time we’d hit a hundred mark on a date other than September 12th!
So let’s get to the action. Tim collects pictures with fire hydrants and he’d never got one at Camden Yards. On our way to the CF gate, we found two fire hydrants about 20 feet apart…
…just across from the ballpark. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen two fire hydrants so close together before. It is Tim’s first 2-hydrant picture!
Before the gates opened, we met up with Avi, homerun catching machine Tim Anderson, and A’s superfan Rick Gold. After chatting a few minutes, the gates opened and we all made out way to LF. While the rest of the guys stayed in LF, Tim, Kellan and I swung around to the shady seats in foul territory.
I’ve never really noticed it before (and somehow didn’t get a picture of it), but the front row by the LF foul pole is perfect if you want to watch BP with a little kid. The last seat at the end of the front row is pivoted toward home plate and rests up against the brick wall. The result is that there are 5-6 seats in the front row that open from the aisle and then dead-end into the last seat so we were able to trap Kellan in there He could walk back and forth between a couple seats, but Tim blocked the way to the aisle and the end seat blocked the other way. It was, indeed, perfect.
When we arrived down the LF line, the O’s were hitting and a single Athletic was pitching to a catcher along the LF foul line. There were almost no fans in foul territory other than 4-5 people standing behind the A’s catcher.
When the A’s pitcher wrapped up, he tossed his baseball to one of the people standing behind the catcher. Then he grabbed another ball and threw it to another one of the people standing behind the catcher. Then he walked over there, I assume to sign autographs.
Meanwhile, former-Mariner Chris Tillman sauntered over to grab a ball hit down the line. Avi swooped in to advice, “That’s Chris Tillman!” Thanks to Avi’s advice, we were able properly to ask Tillman for…
…our life-time (Tim’s lifetime, not mine) baseball at Camden Yards!
Tillman tossed the ball to Tim, but threw it a bit too high. So it went over his head and Tim had to grab it on the bounce/roll.
Kellan was all set to make a play of his own:
With one milestone in the books, we turned our sights toward our 300th lifetime (again, Tim’s lifetime, not mine) baseball. It didn’t take too long. An Orioles batter laced a liner down the line. It took one hop on the bouncy warning track, I reached high over Tim’s head and gloved the ball easily:
In that last picture, can you see the fan sitting closest to us behind my glove. He’s wearing shorts, a grey shirt and a green hat. See him? At one point, he wandered over and started chatting with me. He came over seemingly to verify that we were really Mariners fans and ask why a family of Mariners fans was at an Orioles/Athletics game.
Figuring he was a lifelong A’s fan, I mentioned something about the Oakland Coliseum, and he surprised me by mentioning that he had “not been there yet.” Turns out he wasn’t a lifelong A’s fan. He was a lifelong Yankees fan, “but my son Evan pitches for the A’s.”
I was like, “What!? Whose your son?”
Then he pointed over to that group fans that had been standing behind the A’s catcher. And there was a Major Leaguer sitting in the front row chatting with his family! Actually, if you look in most of the pictures above, you will find A’s pitcher Evan Scribner sitting in the seats.
I asked Evan’s dad if Tim could get his picture with Evan because “he’s never had his picture with a Major Leaguer in the stands!” Mr. Scribner was all, “Oh, sure! No problem.” We walked over and Mr. Scribner made some introductions and then Tim cozied up with Evan for this outstanding picture:
That’s Evan’s brother sitting next to him in the red hat. I believe they said he’s pitching in high school still…although, maybe they said college. But the best part of it in my opinion (well, aside from the simple fact that it is a picture with a Major Leaguer sitting where the fans are supposed to sit) is the big smile beaming from Evan’s grandma’s face. She looks so thrilled to see some random kid wanting to get his picture with her grandson. Pretty awesome, in my book.
I mentioned to Evan that I was sorry to intrude but we really wanted a picture with a player sitting in the stands. He explained that the on-field usher yelled at him for sitting on the short brick wall and told him he had to sit in the stands if he wanted to sit down. That’s pretty hilarious. Evan possibly met up with the strictest usher at Camden Yards, where people are generally allowed to sitting anywhere they want to sit.
Whenever we’re at Camden Yards during BP, Tim eventually notices that Avi is in the outfield and decides that he wants to go out there too. I like to stay in foul territory as much as possible where it is less likely that one of the boys will get beaned by a BP hit. But we decided to move just a section or two around the foul pole into fair territory to hang out with Avi.
Turns out it was a good decision. Someone hit a baseball down the line that rolled to a stop below us. Avi let us know that the guy coming to retrieve the baseball was Zach Britton, and Avi’s advice turned into this:
Britton flipped the ball up to Tim and he made a great snow cone catch. The picture on the right is Tim’s actual reaction as he is turning around to show me that he snow coned it. The picture above to the left shows Britton walking back to his group of BP mates as Tim reenacts his catch.
The way Tim caught the baseball, Avi and I could both see the Camden Yards commemorative logo hanging out of the top of Tim’s glove. It was a really clean and nice commemorative baseball.
Then we quickly had an excuse to head back to foul territory: Yoenis Cespedes was signing autographs along the foul line.
We scurried over there with a baseball and pen in Tim’s hands ready for a signature, but it wasn’t in the cards. Tim was trailing right behind Yoenis as he made his way toward home plate. It’s a bad place to be and it resulted in no Cespedes signature. But, I did get a cool Cespedes-based picture:
After Cespedes stopped signing he grabbed his glove (while I was still in the process of taking close-ups of it) and ran out to LF to work on his fielding. We headed back to our little dead-end front row…
…and watched Cespedes make a circus catch behind his back:
Cespedes had stopped signing autographers essentially at the same time that the teams switched spots on the field. Now the A’s were taking BP. All the A’s were running around doing there BP-thing, except for Evan Scribner. Scribner literally spent the entire O’s and entire A’s BP chatting with his family. Except there was one difference, during O’s BP the O’s relievers were shagging the balls hit down into the LF corner. During A’s BP, the A’s didn’t put anyone in LF. So Scribner jumped out of the crowd and ran over and shagged every single baseball that was hit down the LF line, and he tossed EVERY SINGLE BASEBALL into the crowd. It was pretty amazing.
Here is one of those baseballs…
…and Scribner signing it about 5 minutes after tossing it to Tim.
Sribner tossed this baseball to Tim from probably 30-40 feet away and Tim made a great lunging catch on it. A few minutes later, Scribner ran into the LF corner to retrieve a baseball that hit the foul pole and came to a rest just below it on the LF grass. After he tossed that baseball into the OF seats, he walked back to his family. On his way by, I asked him if he would sign the baseball that he tossed to Tim. He agreed and then a hilarious little conversation occurred wherein Tim enthusiastically told Scribner that he had caught the baseball he was getting signed, and Scribner replied, “I know! I saw it!” and I added in, “He threw it to you, Tim!” And Tim was like, “oh.” Maybe you had to be there, but it was pretty funny.
Soon, we decided to move back 15-20 rows and away from the field so Tim we could take some pictures of the ballpark (and the local birds):
While we were hanging out there, a guy named Mike stopped by and said he recognized us from our blog. It’s always cool to meet someone how has enjoyed reading about our baseball adventures.
I asked Tim to try to take a nice picture of me and Kellan and this was the (very frustrating to Tim) result:
He was all set to click his shutter when someone launched a deep homerun over us. I reacted by flinching and following the flight of the ball, and Kellan did whatever that is he is doing there. The whole thing was very dissatisfying to Tim, the aspiring photographer.
When BP wrapped up, we did some wandering. We wandered over to the picnic area behind the bullpens and checked out the new statues:
Then we watched some warm-up action in the bullpens:
And Orioles coach Bill Conrad came over and tossed a ball to me for Kellan:
Kellan was on my shoulders at the time. After I caught it, I put him on the ground and handed him the ball. He walked over to bullpen fence while Conrad did the same. As you can see above, Kellan was holding the baseball in his left hand. Conrad asked if he’s left handed. When I said, “no.” Conrad told me that I ought to teach him to be left handed.
Next, we decided to head to the play area. But on our way, we took a detour up to the new bar area above the batters’ eye. We’d never checked it out up there yet. It is pretty cool:
As you can see in the bottom right picture above, there are two rows of stool seating at the front of the batters’ eye bar. I took this panorama from the SRO area directly behind the second row:
After we headed down the stairs from the batters’ eye bar, we ducked into the CF seats to watch the first pitch:
And then we walked through the revamped flag court on our way to the play area:
I wanted to get a good action shot from the flag court, but the best I could do was this pitch out to Seth Smith while Jemile Weeks did not try to swipe 2B:
And, finally, much to Tim’s relief, we made it to the kids’ play area. First up, a picture with the very cool looking Orioles pig:
Tim took a few hacks in one of the cages:
Kellan inspected one of the big Oriole bobbleheads while Tim argued with the bird like he was an umpire:
And then it was time to do some bouncing…
…and playing on the way-too-tall-and-dangerous play fort before heading off to get some ice cream.
A nice usher let us sit in some great handicap accessible seats right behind home plate while the boys ate their ice cream:
This was the view as Bartolo Colon set down the Orioles in order in the bottom of the second inning:
After the boys polished off their ice cream, we headed out to LF for a while. This was our view as we looked at the field:
And this was our view when we looked away from the field:
Of course, those fellas are Baltimore’s own Avi Miller and Tim Anderson. Tim told me on the drive down to Baltimore that he was going to take a self-portrait of himself and Avi. Mission accomplished.
The A’s started the scoring for the night in the top of the fourth inning on a 2-run blast by Yoenis Cespedes…
…who was stationed just to our right during the bottom half of the innings we spent out in LF.
By Tim’s request, we pulled the “old switcheroo” – desert first followed by a late dinner. Ice cream was a success. Now it was time for dinner. We decided on pizza. Avi gave us directions to the closest pizza stand. Once we grabbed our slices, we headed to the back row of the upper deck to eat:
This was our view from up there:
I got a great picture of Cespedes hitting a ball and breaking his bat:
At the time, the score was 3-0 A’s. The very next batter was Chris Carter, and he blasted a homerun to LF. We could clearly see Avi and Tim Anderson from up top, and I could tell that Tim gave chase to the homerun and ended up lunging over some seats to make an attempt at it. I couldn’t tell if he had gotten the ball or not. He didn’t.
Carter’s homerun made the score 5-0 A’s.
Before leaving the upper deck, I took some funny self-portraits of the three of us:
While we were up in the upper deck (and the A’s led 3-0), Chris Carter blasted a homerun to LF. We could clearly see Avi and Tim Anderson from up top, and I could tell that Tim gave chase to the homerun and ended up lunging over some seats to make an attempt at it. I couldn’t tell if he had gotten the ball or not. He didn’t.
Carter’s homerun made the score 5-0 A’s.
We decided to head back to the play area before it closed down in the 7th inning. I noticed something cool on the way down the stairs in the RF foul corner:
When we got back to the play area, the boys did a little bit more bouncing in the moon bounce and got a picture with another Orioles bobblehead:
Then we headed back behind home plate and ran into the Oriole Bird:
I tried to get Kellan to pose with the Bird too, but he was too scared of the big smiley Bird.
We were going to hang out in the cross aisle behind home plate for a while. But an usher didn’t want us standing there, so she made us sit down in the fancy seats behind home plate.
Okay, I guess so, if you say we must!
The boys had lots of fun clowning around in the seats:
We repositioned again in the 9th inning. And look who was pitching for the A’s:
It was Evan Scribner.
He pitched well, except for giving up a homerun to Nick Markakis:
The A’s ended up winning the game 6-1.
At the end of the game, we got in perfect position for an umpire baseball attempt. But the ump turn the other way and gave out all of his baseballs to kids on the other side of the tunnel before heading out of the field area.
We decided to head over to the Orioles dugout and one of the Orioles relievers ended up tossing an commemorative baseball to us. Don’t know who it was, but
Once all of the action on the field was finished, an usher took a picture of me and the boys before we headed out of the ballpark:
It’s always great to spend an afternoon and evening at Camden Yards. Luckily, we’d be back soon. The very next week our Mariners would be stopped through Camden Yards for three games, and we planned to attend one of them.
2012 C&S Fan Stats
|16/14 Games (Tim/Kellan)|
|18/17 Teams – Tim – Mariners, Rockies, Phillies, Mets, Marlins, Athletics, Orioles, Nationals, Diamondbacks, Blue Jays, Twins, Cubs, Cardinals, Royals, Red Sox, Rays, Pirates, Braves; Kellan – Mariners, Rockies, Marlins, Nationals, Athletics, Orioles, Mets, Diamondbacks, Blue Jays, Twins, Cubs, Cardinals, Royals, Red Sox, Rays, Pirates, Braves|
|24 Ice Cream Helmet(s) – Phillies 2, Orioles 3, Mets 2, Twins 2, Cardinals 3, Royals 2, Rockies 3, Red Sox 2, Pirates 3, Nationals 2|
|1 Ice Cream Glove! – Nationals|
|87 Baseballs – Mariners 9, Marlins 4, Mets 8, Nationals 4, Phillies 5, Umpires 6, Orioles 11, Athletics 2, Diamondbacks 4, Blue Jays 1, Twins 1, Cubs 7, Cardinals 1, Royals 6, Red Sox 6, Rays 6, Pirates 3, Rockies 2, Braves 1|
|14 Commemorative Baseball(s) – Marlins Park, Mets 50th Anniversary 2, Camden Yards 6, Dodger Stadium 4, Fenway Park 1|
|10/9 Stadiums – Tim – Citizens Bank Park, Nationals Park, Camden Yards, Citi Field, Target Field, Busch Stadium, Kauffman Stadium, Coors Field, Fenway Park, PNC Park; Kellan – Nationals Park, Camden Yards, Citi Field, Target Field, Busch Stadium, Kauffman Stadium, Coors Field, Fenway Park, PNC Park5/1 Mascots Photos – Tim – Sluggerrr, Teddy Roosevelt, Abe Lincoln, George Washington, Oriole Bird; Kellan – Fredbird|
|4/1 Player Photos – Tim – Ricky Bones, Willie Bloomquist, Jeremy Guthrie, Evan Scribner; Kellan – Willie Bloomquist|
|2 Batting Gloves – Ronnie Deck|
|6 Autographs – Willie Bloomquist 2, Tim Byrdak, Brian Roberts, Munenori Kawasaki, Evan Scribner|