Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Postcard tour: Baltimore, a place for brief but memorable visits

We spent just one day at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, but we had enough adventures to last an entire home stand – or beyond.

We attended a game in the stadium’s final season as part of a Flint Journal story about ballparks, and in the course of one afternoon we:

 Sort of played catch with Cal Ripken Sr.
 Watched Flint native Jim Abbott pitch seven strong innings.
 Ate crab cakes in the press box.
 Lounged around the Angels’ dugout
 Witnessed a full-fledged press box tantrum
 Sat in bleachers – in the upper deck.

All the detais are here. But as the postcard clearly shows, Memorial Stadium was a different-looking kind of ballpark, and a pretty awesome one, too.

The Mets spent just one more game than we did, splitting the first two games of the magical 1969 World Series in Baltimore. The Series never made a return trip, with the Mets completing the miracle in five games.

I have the one postcard of Memorial from that trip, but have managed to acquire more of the team’s new home, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, a bad name for a wonderful stadium.

We enjoyed an incredible hard hat tour of Camden Yards before the game at Memorial. Even then we could tell it was going to be a special place.

The Mets like going there, too, winning 11 of 17 interleague games, including a three-game sweep last season.

Two of the post cards are nice stadium and city shots, and one is an interior photo with team graphics that I was sent by the Orioles, who always added postcards and stickers to my annual request for a schedule.

The final one is my favorite, but not for the reasons you might suspect. Oh, the photo of the ballpark on the front is nice.

But check out the back:

The producers – identified as the Traub Company of Baltimore – have a fill-in-the-blank spot for the name of the ballpark, then a disclaimer: Fees for printing the trademarked name would increase the price of this card.

Seriously? And I don’t recall this postcard being sold in a special, less-expensive rack than the others. Why were these alleged savings not passed along to me, the consumer, who is even asked to complete the job by filling in the stadium name?

And despite being a photo of Baltimore produced by a Baltimore company, the cards proudly state they were printed in Canada.


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