We're three weeks away from the Orioles' home opener, and preparations are coming along to get Camden Yards ready for the April 4 game against the Detroit Tigers.
From my fifth-floor warehouse window, I've been watching the grounds crew turn the infield dirt and work on the home plate area. A surveyor's tripod rests on the pitcher's mound. Work crews are putting the finishing touches on newly installed seats throughout the ballpark, and masonry workers are performing maintenance on the flag court.
To whet your appetite for baseball season, we present this YouTube trip down memory lane to 1994, when Camden Yards was still working on its first coat of distinctive green paint and the Orioles had the late Johnny Oates as manager.
New O's fans might not understand Rafael Palmeiro's reference to hitting the Bromo-Seltzer Tower. Before the Hilton beyond left-center field was constucted, there was a clear view of one of Baltimore's iconic architectural landmarks, a clock tower atop which once sat a larger-than-life bottle of Bromo-Seltzer. The advertising beacon, brightly lit at night, shone from what was Baltimore's tallest building when erected in 1911. The building still stands, though now obscured by the hotel, and serves as art studio space for visual and literary artists. The clock still works, and features the spelled-out name of the headache remedy, once manufactured by the then-Baltimore-based Emerson Company, instead of numbers on its face
I'm sure you have your little game-day rituals when you visit Camden Yards, but getting a dose of Baltimore history is a great way to pass time pregame. So next time you're in the area, take a walk to the Bromo-Seltzer Tower and take in one of Charm City's most unique structures. And imagine the kind of prodigious poke that it would have taken to hit a ball that far.