Baltimore has a lot to offer and for Hopkins students, there is no shortage of things to do. Inner Harbor especially is always buzzing with new events and venues but one remains constant. Home to the Baltimore Orioles, Oriole Park at Camden Yards is a hotspot for many, and as summer begins to roll in, spending an afternoon watching a baseball game is a great way to relax and spend time with friends.
For a relatively new park, Camden Yards is one of few Major League Baseball (MLB) parks that went back to the old-school, retro style of old baseball stadiums. It never ceases to give lifelong baseball fans a sense of nostalgia. Here are my tips and tricks for first-time students or returners looking to catch a baseball game.
Driving a car to an Orioles game is a last resort. Baltimore has plenty of options for transportation so you shouldn’t have to drive your own vehicle. There is a light rail stop directly next to the park (Camden Yards) and another just down the street (Baltimore Convention Center). These connect to the Yellow and Blue Light Rail lines and the Penn-Camden shuttle.
Of course, another option is to walk or scooter. Take the JHMI from the Barnes and Noble down to Peabody Southbound and walk 30 minutes into Inner Harbor. After 6 p.m., you can also get a Blue Jay Shuttle to Inner Harbor and walk a couple of blocks to the stadium. If public transportation and walking don’t sound appealing, you can always Uber or Lyft.
As a veteran baseball fan, it’s no secret that the food at the parks is expensive. To really save money, you can bring in snacks and a drink. However, don’t pack a picnic — there are definitely still some restrictions in place, including no outside alcohol if you’re over 21. You can bring in one unopened nonalcoholic beverage no larger than 20 ounces, and any food you bring must be inside a clear one-gallon plastic bag.
There are also other options near the stadium that are a lot more affordable. Across the street, you can grab a bite at Pickles Pub or Sliders Bar and Grill. Both are local sports bars that you can stop by before or after the game. Pickles is known for its crab pretzel and Sliders has great wings, a classic sports bar appetizer.
This being said, f you really want the baseball experience, there is no shortage of food in the stadium. Here are my top three recommendations:
1. Boog’s Barbeque – Regardless of if you’re a first-timer or a returning fan, you cannot miss Boog’s Barbeque. It is located behind the center-field bleachers. Boog Powell, former Oriole, is a regular at his own stand where he greets and sells food to fans. It’s definitely worth the money to give this place a shot.
2. The Chipper — Located near section 68, this joint offers kettle-cooked chips tossed with a variety of options. My personal favorite is the crab chipper, an obvious Baltimore choice, but the pulled pork chips are a close second and there’s definitely enough in one serving to share.
3. CRAAAAAAAAAAAAB! — Pretty obvious what is offered here. Crab dip with chips, Old Bay fries with crab dip, crab pretzels, crab nachos, hot dogs with crab — the possibilities are endless. Note that you are paying for crab, so be prepared for the prices.
Tickets and Seats
The first option is the official MLB website.
Third-party websites are also a great way to get tickets. Ticket Network is a big-time ticket comparison site that lets you compare a bunch of different ticket brokers and find the best price for the game you want to go to. The website also has a feature that predicts ticket prices, advising you on whether you should buy your tickets now or later.
Some of the best value seats in Oriole Park on a night-in and night-out basis are lower reserved sections 55-65 and 7-17. They go for less than $20 for a standard game, which is significantly less compared to other seats in the stadium. I recommend sitting in section 55 if you can because you are practically in what would be considered an infield box seat in other stadiums. All of these seats are in the shade so it’ll provide some relief from the scorching sun in the summer months.
All in all, Hopkins students should take advantage of the accessible sports scene in the city and head over to Oriole Park for a fun afternoon of ball.