I fully agree with the Oriole’s decision to make it more difficult to hit home runs at Camden Yards by enlarging the playing field in left field.
The problem is the design is an eyesore that has destroyed the gem we call Oriole Park. It is hideous. I’m glad someone on the Yankees hates it for its difficulty but it looks like an add-on item that was not factory-made.
It was an afterthought but it did not have to look like it. Yes, it’s harder to hit homers. But did you have ruin the park? If there were several design options to choose from, I am convinced management chose the wrong design.
The problems are inherent to the abruptness of the design. First off, having a right angle corner in the middle of the playing field is a safety issue. I don’t care if MLB signed off on it or how much padding you put on it.
Players are going to run into that right angle and ½ of those players are on our team because we play 81 games in that field. Secondly, the new playing field addition is a huge rectangle that looks like it was pasted on there like a postage stamp. There was no attempt to blend that expansion into the overall design of the park.
Was there a more expensive design that would have made the expansion of the field fit aesthetically into the park? The goal to reduce home runs was admirable. The execution of that goal in design is dreadful. The current design is not quirky. It’s clunky.
I’m sure it will be harder to hit homers with the new wall but the design is a massive fail. My hope is that it is unfinished, a work in progress that will unfortunately require a lot of money and effort to fix.
Dudley Thompson lives in Girdletree, MD., population 106. He was born, raised, and lived most of his life in Baltimore. He worked for the News-American on the advertising side until it closed in ‘86. His second career was teaching in juvenile jails for the Maryland State Department of Education. He holds a Masters in Liberal Arts from Johns Hopkins University, ‘77, and a B.A from the University of Maryland,’74.