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GDT: Camden Yards is pretty great

Cal Jr. Ripken Photo by William F. Campbell/Getty Images

And not just because the Rays, lately, have won a lot of games there.

Major League baseball owners had spent several decades building undistinguished stadiums off suburban interchanges surrounded by a sea of parking. Camden Yards — located near transit, sitting amidst decidedly urban architecture — was a real departure when in opened in 1992, although of course it has been very widely imitated since.

Camden Yards, buoyed by a great deal of state and local aid, replaced the 1944 multi-purpose Memorial Stadium. Located in Baltimore but outside the downtown area, the site of Memorial stadium is now a YMCA and a mixed income neighborhood with subsidized housing for seniors.

I love the ballpark at Camden Yards. First, its name. Not Guarantee Incorporated Loan Corporation Field, but actually named to recall what was there before — the Camden Yards rail depot. The number of stadiums that don’t have soulless corporate names can be counted on one hand, and most of the others are very old.

Also, the decision was made when the stadium was built to preserve the B & O Warehouse, which you can see behind the right field wall. The Orioles have their offices there, and there are event spaces that can be rented out. What a great way to appreciate the built fabric of the industrial era that fueled the early growth of the city.

Let’s if our Lowes can hit a few to the warehouse, and #RaysUp