When Camden Yards opened in 1992, the new ballpark launched a new era of Orioles baseball. Fans came in droves - the season attendance of 3,567,819 made tickets a tough get - and a blue-collar lineup under the direction of manager Johnny Oates managed to post 89 victories. There were two Ripkens in the infield, observers wondered whether Sam Horn could hit the warehouse on the fly, Rick Sutcliffe added a veteran presence in the rotation, Mike Mussina flirted with 20 wins and still-active Arthur Rhodes hadn't yet made the transition from starting pitcher to reliever.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Camden Yards, the Orioles have turned back the clock and revived the popular Dream Week fantasy camp, which will be held in Sarasota, Fla., from Jan. 30-Feb. 4. Participants will play daily doubleheader intrasquad games and receive full major league treatment, including a personalized Orioles home uniform and Baltimore road batting practice jersey.
Among the Orioles alumni who will be taking part of drills at the O's Twin Lakes Park and Ed Smith Stadium complexes are Chris Hoiles, Mike Devereaux, Leo Gomez and Joe Orsulak. Other former players will be announced in the weeks to come.
Participants will be treated like major leaguers during their time in Sarasota, with daily breakfast and lunch served in the clubhouse, a clubhouse locker for each player, treatment by club athletic trainers and laundry service by clubhouse attendants. Daily doubleheaders will be played at the Buck O'Neil Baseball Complex at Twin Lakes Park, while the championship game will be held at Ed Smith Stadium, the field used by the O's in spring training. Dream Week participants will also play a reunion game at Camden Yards during the 2012 season.
Dream Week also includes a welcome reception, question-and-answer and autograph sessions with the former Orioles in attendance, an awards dinner at the end of the week and team and camp photos. The cost of $4,199 includes roundtrip airfare from Baltimore to Florida, ground transfers to and from the airport to the team hotel and six nights, seven days hotel accommodations (double occupancy, private rooms are available). Separate week and weekend packages are available for Dream Week guests.
For more information or to register for Dream Week 2012, visit www.orioles.com/dreamweek, call 410-547-6063 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.