To Birdland and Back

Yesterday I took a little trip to Birdland with three friends from E-Free (Ryan, Paul, and Jared). If you have no idea where Birdland is, don’t feel bad. I had no idea Baltimore was Birdland until I saw the many billboards and banners that proclaimed it so (for those of you who are not sports fans: Baltimore’s baseball team = Orioles;  Football team = Ravens . . . does that help?).

The purpose of the trip was a visit to Oriole Park at Camden Yards to see the Orioles play the Royals. Upon arriving at the park we purchased tickets (hooray for bargain ticket night, sponsored by Ollie’s Bargain Outlet). The next stop was Boog’s Bar-B-Q. You’ll notice a “This is Birdland” banner right in front of Boog’s stand.

Boog\'s Bar-B-Q

 I fully intended to photograph my pit beef sandwich before I ate it. But I was hungry. Sorry. Trust me, it looked and tasted very good.

Take a look at the picture below and see if you can guess what the promotion was for the game.

George Sherrill Jerseys

If you guessed George Sherrill t-shirt jerseys for the first 10,000 fans 15 and over . . . you’re right. Note that the Sherrill jersey second from the right is signed by Boog Powell.

Below the main video board at Camden Yards the strikeouts of the Orioles starting pitcher are tallied. Forward (swinging) and backward (looking) Ks are used to denote the strikeouts. Normally the scoreboard operator uses care to avoid putting KKK on the board. This is what happened last night:

The first two strikeouts were swinging, so two Ks were on the board. The third strikeout was also swinging. Normally the third K would go on the right side of the CareFirst logo, then when a fourth K was recorded all the Ks would suddenly shift to the left side. Instead, last night the scoreboard operator put up the forbidden third K. Within 20 seconds that K was switched to a backwards K (which made no sense, because the strikeout was a swinging strikeout, not a caught looking strikeout). This amused me.

Here is a shot of Luke Scott at the plate.

I took a walk around the park in the middle innings, so the following pictures come from various vantage points. First we have a shot that is fitting for a baseball fan/horticulturist. I took this from behind the bullpen in center field.

This is another bullpen shot. It is an anonymous Kansas City relief pitcher lounging in the pen. 

Bullpen

This shot was taken from right field. You can see the foul pole (or fair screen, as it could more appropriately be named).

Right Field

This shot was taken from behind the plate. I shot this picture while I talked to an usher about digital cameras. He wanted to know the difference between Nikon, Nikkor , and Tamron lenses. He has the same camera body I do (Nikon D40), and is looking to get a lens for it.

Behind the Plate

I made it back to my seat for the last couple of innings. Going into the top of the 9th inning the Orioles had a four run lead. Dennis Sarfate was on the mound. He recorded one out and walked a couple of batters. The fans grew restless. We want Sherrill. They said. We want Sherrill. To the fans’ delight Sherrill entered the game. He allowed the two baserunners to score but got the save. Final score Orioles 7, Royals 5. I took this picture just before Sherrill wrapped things up.

 

On our way out of the park we paused to take some pictures with the markers of the longest home runs hit to right field at Camden Yards. Paul and I posed beside the marker for Ken Griffey Jr’s bomb that hit the warehouse (it’s the round marker on the wall above us).

I took this compelling, riveting, and otherwise brilliant photograph of my foot with another Ken Griffey Jr marker. Sandal tan lines and baseball . . . does it get any better than that?

Sandal Tan Lines

After leaving Camden Yards we stopped by a park with a view of the Birdland skyline. I need to work on my night photography skills. Most of my pictures did not turn out. This one is passable, but not perfect. 

We left for State College around 11:00. On the ride home we listened to some great (and not so great) music. On the plus side we had Cootie Brown (even though one of the songs was 16 minutes long), Andrew Peterson, Brad Paisley instrumental music, a Dave Matthews-sounding band that I can’t remember the name of, Robert Earl Keen, and The Avalanches. On the negative side we had some bad country music that referenced one-eyed dogs, opposums, pick-up trucks, bass fishing, and hitchhiking. Good times, good times. 

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2 Comments

Filed under Photos, Sports

2 responses to “To Birdland and Back

  1. The unnamed band is Blue James Band. And sorry for the 16-minute Cootie Brown track. :-) Also, sorry I couldn’t manage to take a picture of you & Paul that wasn’t tilted. I fail. Oh, and don’t forget about the “all my wives” line in the refrain of the song about pickup trucks, haha.

  2. thebenjamin

    Don’t worry about the 16 minute song . . . it did set up one the greatest improv jokes I’ve head in the past year: “How long is it?”

    I didn’t even notice that the picture of Paul and me is tilted . . .

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