Chapter 10: Imagine a Baltimore without the Orioles

August 17, 2018 | Nestor Aparicio

I’m just geezing at 38 now — most would absolutely say with 100 percent conviction that “Camden Yards couldn’t hold 33rd Street’s jock!”

It would be like comparing the promise of a Jeffrey Hammonds to the production of a Frank Robinson.

Camden Yards held all the promise in the world — it was a five-tool stadium, it had everything — speed, power, average, glove and arm. But, in the end, the blue-collar, workaday grinding that a ham-and-egger like Memorial Stadium had kinda won you over with its moxie and its character and its charm.

It had that intangible quality that can’t be measured with a timepiece or a statistic or a number. It had a baseball intellect, a sixth-sense, and dare I say a “heartbeat.”

It had more “soul” than any place I’ve ever been.

Like the mantel high above 33rd Street said, “Time Will Not Dim The Glory of Their Deeds.”

Of course that was written for our American war veterans as the “Memorial” in “Memorial Stadium,” but it could hold just as true for any of us who saw any of our heroes make the memories that we would share with loved ones — father and sons,
mothers and daughters, friends and lovers, winning seasons and losing seasons, spring and fall, summer and winter.

From Johnny Unitas at first to Brooks Robinson to Bert Jones to Cal Ripken. From Lenny Moore to Frank Robinson to Lydell Mitchell to Eddie Murray. From Don Shula to the Earl of Baltimore — she was a grand old lady on 33rd Street!

Memorial Stadium — and all it’s tentacles, from Orioles to Colts, from TV to radio, from reading about in the newspaper to taking the No. 22 bus there from Bank