March 12, 2008

in memoriam

Baseball is coming. I love baseball. In some weird confluence of factors, yesterday I ran across a baseball blog (below) linked from a design site with a post about Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. I saw my first pro baseball game at Memorial Stadium. It was after I had graduated college - for some reason it had never occurred to me before then that I could go to a professional sporting event. I don't know why, but for some reason I thought of that as something on tv - something out of reach. The concept that I could walk up and buy a ticket and be inside is a big part of what led me to my love of baseball and my habit of traveling to All-Star and World Series games. Because I can. I think I only saw a few games at Memorial Stadium, but it was still where I saw my first. I do remember the wild but beautiful deco typography above the entrance. The rest is a blur. It was long before I cared about or could afford good seats, but that really didn't matter. I remember feeling on the top of the world and enthralled at just being in the middle of an experience that, for some unknown reason, I thought was out of my reach. The blog I ran across yesterday featured Google Earth photos of where Memorial Stadium used to be. It made me sad just to see it as just a big plot of dirt. It shouldn't - Baltimore has one of the crown jewels of the retro downtown ballparks in Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Oddly, I've never seen a game there. I'm going to Baltimore in a few weeks to speak as a visiting artist at UMBC - maybe I can catch a game while there and create a new connection to help more peacefully fill in that plot of dirt. [an updated note: according to the comments in that blog, apparently the dirt has already been filled in and there is now a YMCA and senior housing there.]
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