Long gone, but never forgotten: Baltimore's Memorial Stadium

From 1954 to 1991, it was home for the Orioles. It was also home to the Baltimore Colts, the Canadian Football League’s Baltimore Stallions and for their first two seasons, the Baltimore Ravens. In 1993, it was even home for a season to the Bowie Baysox before Prince George’s Stadium was built.

For some of us of a certain age, it just felt like ... well, home.

It was Memorial Stadium on 33rd Street. 

Looking back, we can admit now it was an old rickety stadium that came up short in a few areas. But when I was kid the anticipation of just going to see a game there was amazing, topped only by actually entering the place itself. It was special and I thought it was the greatest place any kid could ever go.

The memories of so many great games with so many great friends blur a bit now, but that feeling never leaves you. You always remember that. When I was a kid, it was that excited feeling of walking up the ramp to see the green grass and then watch the Orioles take the field. They always seemed to be among the best teams in baseball.

I have often wondered whether my love of baseball would be the same now if I had grown up in a city with a bad team. I guess we’ll never know.

The teenage me could not wait to get there for batting practice, to enter the minute they opened the gates and run to the outfield stands in left field – always in left, for some reason – to try to get BP balls hit into the stands. I never got one that I can remember. Still wouldn’t trade a single minute I spent out there. Summers in my youth were mostly spent playing baseball all day, and if my team didn’t have a game that night and the Orioles were home, trying to find a way to get to that game.

Great teams, great players, great friends, great times.

Seeing this twitter post on Friday, got me thinking about the great old place, which is long gone now. Torn down in the spring of 2001. It was tough to see that, and it felt like watching an older loved one in their final days. It was painful.

In time, there was this amazing new place, Oriole Park at Camden Yards and it’s special for me, but in a very different way.

“Time Will Not Dim The Glory Of Their Deeds” it read on the Memorial Stadium façade to honor veterans who died in the world wars. We can never forget that part. And while most of the façade was demolished, that line was saved and that portion of the façade, really a mini version of that facade, still stands at Oriole Park. It is on the south side of the Warehouse.

It's never a bad time to think amount Memorial Stadium. What are your memories of the place or of the facility that might have been your version of the place? 

Click here to read a wonderful piece the O's Bill Stetka first wrote about Memorial Stadium for the Orioles Magazine game program in 2016.

The MLB season is now over: Trey Mancini, World Champion. Has a nice ring to it, no pun intended. But the former Oriole is now going to get a ring.

The Houston Astros beat the Philadelphia Phillies 4-1 last night to win the World Series in six games. 

The Phillies won Game 3, 7-0 to take a 2-1 lead in games and then Houston allowed three runs in winning the next three games.

So Trey gets a ring and so does manager Dusty Baker for the first time. Rookie Jeremy Pena was the World Series MVP.

He mashed some homers: O's prospect Heston Kjerstad finished second last night in the Arizona Fall League's eight-player Home Run Derby competition. 

Kjerstad mashed 11 homers in the first round and 11 more in the second round to reach the final. But he lost 11 to 10 homers in that final round to Seattle's Robert Perez Jr.

I wrote about Kjerstad and his strong AFL season recently in this entry.

Today, Kjerstad and O's pitching prospect Noah Denoyer take part in the AFL's Fall Stars game which will air at 4 p.m. ET on MLB Network. 

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