Chapter 10: Imagine a Baltimore without the Orioles

August 17, 2018 | Nestor Aparicio

I realized the grand economics of it all.

I think I told him that I didn’t know what to think — and I think we both ALREADY missed 33rd Street — but there was some anticipation and expectation about this fresh new palace and it was certainly something to see.

We spent the entire day together, just John and I. We walked down the third base line and saw how bad those box seats were down in the left field corner. We walked the club level all the way to The Warehouse wall, and realized there were seats there that were actually OUT of the ballpark and had a better view of the home of the Blast than home plate. The clubhouses looked like a country club. The signs were all “old-timer” looking. The nostalgia jumped out at you immediately.

I remember very vividly that we both pointed out that no one stood to benefit more than that Holiday Inn and its giant green sign in center field. That following Monday, when Rick Sutcliffe would toss that gem against the Indians, I actually did my show from the circular rooftop bar out on the outdoor deck looking into the stadium.

They called it the Bird’s Nest Café. I called it the Bird’s NESTOR Café.

I swear I can still feel the energy of that day — the air, the sounds, the electricity downtown!  I can still see from that ledge at the Holiday Inn into the stadium as it filled up.

It was like I was now living in a DIFFERENT CITY!

This wasn’t like the Baltimore I knew, this palace that everyone in the country was talking about.

But from the minute I walked into the bowl of that place with John Steadman, it felt very “foreign,” like that rich new home you always dreamed about having but then realized once you did the walk through and it was actually YOURS that the place is a just “house” and not really a “home.”

At least not YET, and that’s the way I felt in 1992.

And I’ve gotta be honest with you — even 14 years later I can’t say that I much disagree with my initial impressions. Sure the baseball has been mostly lousy since 1992, but I think most of my EXPERIENCES at Camden Yards have been equally as unfulfilling and unsatisfying like the first dates you have after you’ve had a long-term relationship.

It’s just not the same.

In baseball parlance (and can’t EVERYTHING be put into a baseball vernacular) for anyone who ever saw games at Memorial Stadium — and again, I’m sure