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Thread: Memorial Stadium (Baltimore)

  1. #1

    Memorial Stadium (Baltimore)

    Since some of the other posts have dealt with long gone but not forgotten ballparks, I figured I'd add in some pictures I've found of old Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. Not nearly as flashy as its successor, but definetly beloved by any Orioles and Colts/Ravens fan who ever saw a game there.

    Feel free to add any pictures, memories or thoughts on the old yard on 33rd Street.









    (Thanks to minorleagueballparks.com, roadsidephotos.com, ballparktour.com, and ballparksofbaseball.com. )
    Last edited by PeteU; 06-22-2007 at 06:03 AM.

  2. #2
    More....








  3. #3
    Baltimore Memorial is one of my favorite parks because of its layout. The park employed a pinched oval, much like Cleveland Municipal, just with a tighter "pinch." The infield seating was at ground level without too much foul ground, the upper deck was built directly over the lower, providing great sightlines for the cheap seats, and there were even a large section of luxury boxes below the upper deck.

    Take a look at the layout here: http://andrewclem.com/Baseball/MemorialStadium.html

    For football, instead of the PSCSLD rotating stands of other multipurpose parks, this had more traditional retractable seating in the outfield. It seemed to work equally well for football and baseball, thus making this dramatically superior to the circle clones, or the kingdome / metrodome type of park.

    Even with potential seating over 53,000, from the pictures, it never seemed to overwhelm the field. I could be entirely mistaken on this count, but BMS seems to be incredibly underrated. Can you imagine if either generation of designers, over a 4 decade span, had used this as the base instead of the 60s brutalism or 90s classicism? We could've finally had variants of proper multi-use parks that still kept all the benefits of retro, but with the magnitude of post-war construction.

    Instead... Safeco and GABP. Sigh.

  4. #4
    Both Cleveland Municipal and Montreal Olympic had similar "horseshoe" designs with the home plate at the center bottom and the football grid running vertically. Memorial was a bit more intimate than those two parks, though. Despite having deep dimensions its first few years of existance, it never gave off a "cavernous" vibe. Fans felt very much at home there.

  5. #5
    Exactly right. Unfortunately for the people of Montreal, their stadium had to deal with the olympics (thus widening the field), and the stupid CFL football field (which elongated the field). Olympic Stadium, for all the much-deserved crap it got for being a terrible place to watch baseball, was an architectural wonder even without the roof. The concrete supports for the roof went a shocking distance over the field, seemingly floating in mid-air.

    But, the field was just too poorly shaped for baseball, and the upper deck situated too far away, to ever be an acceptable park. The stands beyond the fences were also completely impractical for anything following the olympics, as I rather doubt the Alouettes really drew enough people to require those far-away upper deck seats.

    Imagine what Olympic Stadium would've been with the money invested in an overhanging glass ceiling instead of that stupid inclined tower, a proper upper deck, and a true plan of attack following the olympics. And, well, no Jeffrey Loria.

  6. #6
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    as beautiful as OPACY is, there still is no replacement going out to Memorial Stadium as a kid w/my Step Dad on alot of Sunday afternoon games....

    nice pics.....
    "The Days Of Earl, now that was the Orioles Way

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Days Of Earl View Post
    as beautiful as OPACY is, there still is no replacement going out to Memorial Stadium as a kid w/my Step Dad on alot of Sunday afternoon games....

    nice pics.....
    Amen to that, brother.

    Although I came into baseball as a kid a little late in Memorial Stadium's career, there was a great atmosphere about the place that was uniquely Baltimore.

    First game was June 10, 1989 (during the "Why Not?" season)--Orioles versus Brewers. Went with my dad and my little sister. Parking was crazy that night so we didn't get into the park until the 2nd or 3rd inning. Our seats were at the very last row of the upper deck. The Orioles lost 6-0. Despite all that, it brought me into the world of baseball and once I was in, there was no way I was getting out. The last few years of the Orioles at Memorial Stadium were actually quite instrumental in shaping me as a baseball fan.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteU View Post
    Amen to that, brother.

    Although I came into baseball as a kid a little late in Memorial Stadium's career, there was a great atmosphere about the place that was uniquely Baltimore.

    First game was June 10, 1989 (during the "Why Not?" season)--Orioles versus Brewers. Went with my dad and my little sister. Parking was crazy that night so we didn't get into the park until the 2nd or 3rd inning. Our seats were at the very last row of the upper deck. The Orioles lost 6-0. Despite all that, it brought me into the world of baseball and once I was in, there was no way I was getting out. The last few years of the Orioles at Memorial Stadium were actually quite instrumental in shaping me as a baseball fan.
    Parking could be a monster at Memorial stadium now, that's for sure.

    I still have alot of memories there myself....I still remember a Sunday Night Game vs. the Royals and Big Ben was pitching (we were seating up in the UD right behind home plate), and George Brett hit a shot off of McDonald that from all the way up were we were sitting you could here the crack of the bat.

    Thankfully for the O's the game was rained out, so it didn't matter anyways.

    My Step Dad and I going out there together was priceless, I have 2 kids now myself (3 and almost 2) and Sunday July 15 vs. the White Sox will be the 1st game either 1 of them as attended, I hope that someday they hold the memories of a ball game w/me the way I do my Step Dad at Memorial.

    I kinda of miss that place to tell you the truth.
    "The Days Of Earl, now that was the Orioles Way

  9. #9
    A great stadium and a wonderful neighborhood setting.

    I saw the first Monday Night Football game (or at least that's my claim) at Memorial Stadium. It was in 1964, Colts vs. St. Louis Cardinals. The game was originally scheduled in St. Louis, but the baseball Cardinals were in the Series against the Yanks and the football game was moved from St. Louis to Baltimore on Monday, October 12. I believe the Colts won the game; what I do remember is the big game that Steve Stonebreaker had at linebacker for the Colts. I had been to the Saturday Series game at Yankee Stadium (Mickey Mantle homering on Barney Shultz's first pitch in the ninth, beating the Cards 2-1), so that was a big sports weekend for me.

    The Colts/Cardinals game, of course, was six years before the first MNF telecast on ABC (September, ' 70), but it was NFL on Monday night, thus my claim.

    Baseball or football, Memorial Stadium was a terrific place to go for a game.
    After 1957, it seemed like we would never laugh again. Of course, we did. Its just that we were never young again.

  10. #10
    Here's a shot of Memorial Stadium in 1993 when it served as the temporary home of the Bowie Baysox:



    Here's Memorial in its last couple years of service as home of the Baltimore Ravens:



    A view of the outfield and the surrounding neighborhood. Memorial Stadium was smack-dab in the middle of a residential neighbhorhood. No busy expressway in sight--only side streets:




    (Thanks to Charlie's Ballparks, StadiumsoftheNFL.com, and chrisputro.com)

  11. #11
    An aerial view of Memorial Stadium:



    Football configuration for the Baltimore Colts:



    The configuration of the stadium when it first opened in 1954. Center field was 450 feet away and consisted of a bush hedge:



    The famed memorial entrance way:



    (Thanks to runfreeordie.com, stadiumsofnfl.com, ballparksofbaseball.com, smugmug.com)

  12. #12
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    Oh, I loved Memorial Stadium.

    I loved the 'country' atmosphere. It was a very down home ballpark, and a very proud one, too. The place had GREAT acoustics. If you sat underneath the upper deck, tucked away, you could bellow loud enough, and they'd hear you throughout the park, regardless of the size of the crowd. The fans were always super-friendly (compared to the Vet of the '80s, which, perhaps not as welcoming as Fallujah, wasn't really far off in spirit), and the food was good as well.

    Baltimore, like Philadelphia, and Trenton, is a city of neighborhoods. The neighborhood beyond the outfield wall was middle class. West on 33rd were the dorms and frathouses for Johns-Hopkins, and south of the parking lot across 33rd from the main entrance was a study in urban blight. Sharp neighborhood borders.

    I have pics. I will post them soon.

  13. #13

  14. #14
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    Memorial Stadium

    Some of my fondest childhood memories are of attending games at that stadium. Always got a thrill when(coming from east B"more) we would wind our way through Clifton Park and at the Harford road red light you could catch a glimpse of the lights, and I knew we were close.
    Even going that way today I still miss that sight. I was fortunate to attend the last game, (a loss to the Tigers ..Cal Jr made the last out at the stadium)
    and I can still see Brooks running out to third base and gently pawing at the
    dirt aty the begining of a very emotional (for me) closing ceremony.
    I had many favorite Orioles thru the years but my all time hero #7 Willy Miranda

  15. #15
    My only visit to Memorial Stadium was the last Yankee game played there. I went with a friend. We stayed in the inner harbor and took a long slow bus ride to the stadium. The bus got stuck in traffic and we ended up walking the last few blocks.

    We had no tickets and figured we would scalp some at the park. As we neared the stadium along some side street, and old black man (kind of looked like he had seen thousands upon thousands of ball games) waved us over to his porch. We could see the stadium from his porch, it was really cool....

    He said, you boys looking for tickets to the game? we said yes and he pulled out a pair of tickets.... "been going for years, just don't feel like going today" he said... He just handed us the tcikets... would not take any money for them...

    Turns out they were second row about half way down the right field line.. great seats... It was a great day for baseball and I was so glad I got to see municipal stadium before it was gone...

    We snuck back onto the old mans porch after the game and dropped a couple of twenties in his mailbox....
    cong

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Hue View Post
    Some of my fondest childhood memories are of attending games at that stadium. Always got a thrill when(coming from east B"more) we would wind our way through Clifton Park and at the Harford road red light you could catch a glimpse of the lights, and I knew we were close.
    Even going that way today I still miss that sight.
    That's the same route my family took to the stadium as well. Plus, when we would drive from my grandmother's (on my mom's side) house on Patterson Park to my grandparents' (on my dad's side) house in Parkville, we'd always take that route and it would always be a treat seeing the ballpark in the distance.

    The cool thing about Memorial was there was no one "best" way to get there. You didn't just exit off the expressway and bam, you were there, as most ballparks are like. You had to drive through the city, and as such, you would experience the city of Baltimore. The Old Lady on 33rd Street will be missed.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by cong View Post
    My only visit to Memorial Stadium was the last Yankee game played there. I went with a friend. We stayed in the inner harbor and took a long slow bus ride to the stadium. The bus got stuck in traffic and we ended up walking the last few blocks.

    We had no tickets and figured we would scalp some at the park. As we neared the stadium along some side street, and old black man (kind of looked like he had seen thousands upon thousands of ball games) waved us over to his porch. We could see the stadium from his porch, it was really cool....

    He said, you boys looking for tickets to the game? we said yes and he pulled out a pair of tickets.... "been going for years, just don't feel like going today" he said... He just handed us the tcikets... would not take any money for them...

    Turns out they were second row about half way down the right field line.. great seats... It was a great day for baseball and I was so glad I got to see municipal stadium before it was gone...

    We snuck back onto the old mans porch after the game and dropped a couple of twenties in his mailbox....

    Cool story. They don't call it Charm City for nothing.

  18. #18
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    Here are my pictorial submittals to the Memorial Stadium thread.

    First photo is from 1953 when the City of Baltimore expanded the 31,000-seat stadium with the Upper Deck, in preparation for the Orioles coming to Baltimore.

    Second photo is from October 1, 1982, prior to the First Game of a Twi-Night DH that Friday night with Milwaukee. Orioles of course, swept the DH, reducing the Brewers lead to 1 game with 2 games to go. Dennis Martinez is the pitcher.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  19. #19
    Wow! Where did you get the 1953 picture, by chance?

    Very few pictures out there of the pre-expanded stadium prior to 1954.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteU View Post
    Wow! Where did you get the 1953 picture, by chance?

    Very few pictures out there of the pre-expanded stadium prior to 1954.
    Both pictures are from the same book, Take Me Out To The Ball Park by The Sporting News, published in 1983. This is the same book that I am going through bit-by-bit and scanning and posting 90% of the pictures that I have posted on this site for all to see and enjoy. Taking a lot longer than I thought, but eventually, all relevant shots will be uploaded.

  21. #21
    From baseballtrips.net

    Orioles vs Toronto 1989








  22. #22
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    Memorial Stadium was one of those ball yards that I liked to watch on TV. It just looked good. On the other extreme was Toronto's Exhibition Stadium, which I hated to see on TV.

  23. #23
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    Some shots from May 15, 1991 vs. the Oakland A's. In attendance that night, George H. Bush and Queen Elizabeth. Not in attendance, Reggie Jackson, OJ Simpson, or Enrico Palazzo.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bernard Shakey View Post
    Some shots from May 15, 1991 vs. the Oakland A's. In attendance that night, George H. Bush and Queen Elizabeth. Not in attendance, Reggie Jackson, OJ Simpson, or Enrico Palazzo.

  25. #25
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    hey guys, what is there now? Im in baltimore at least once a year and whenever we take that exit to go to the zoo I see the stadium sign and think "hey we should go see the ballpark site" but never do

    this june im going to Baltimore again and I wanna actually see it this time

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