Eagle Archive: Baseball memories can send us a bit far afield from Carroll County

Local newspapers in 1895 carried a baseball column every week in the spring editions, according to research by historian and Maryland state Sen. Joe Getty.

Getty wrote about his research in the early 1990s for the Historical Society of Carroll County.

"Following the Civil War, the sport of baseball became increasingly popular in Carroll County. Large groups of spectators would gather at the local ball fields to watch their friends and neighbors take on the baseball clubs from nearby communities. The games not only provided entertainment but also competitive outlets for rivalries between Carroll County's towns and villages."

Many readers have shared that some of their best childhood memories centered on sports, especially baseball — whether it was pickup neighborhood baseball or attending local Little League or Babe Ruth League baseball games.

When I visited the Orioles spring training practice in Sarasota on Feb. 23, I enjoyed chatting with the team's director of public relations, Monica Barlow, from Ellicott City.

Our conversation quickly turned to Camden Yards

"It's the 20th anniversary season of Camden Yards," said Barlow. "You know it's considered to the 'the ball park that forever changed baseball.' (Now,) it's the 10th-oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball … and every ballpark since has been inspired by — or used (design) elements from — the Yard.

"We have a number of renovations (planned for Camden Yards) that we're excited about," Barlow said. "Most notably the six retired-number sculptures."

According to the Orioles website, Camden Yards became the official home of the Orioles on April 6, 1992.

After last week's column, some readers were curious about where the early Orioles teams played.

Before Camden Yards, many of us have fond memories of attending games in the old Memorial Stadium on 33rd Street.

Memorial Stadium was the home of the American League Orioles from April 15, 1954, to Oct. 6, 1991.

However, according to numerous sources, including ballparksofbaseball.com, "The Baltimore Orioles of the International League played the first game at Memorial Stadium on April 20, 1950."

When the Baltimore Orioles were a part of the "American Association League," from1882 to 1889, the team played at a stadium called "Oriole Park," which was located at 25th Street and Greenmount Avenue.

Between 1889 and 1950, the team played in a number of locations.

Beginning around 1916, the team played at a wooden stadium, Terrapin Park, at the corner of 29th Street and Greenmount Avenue, until it burned to the ground on July 3, 1944.

And, for a reader who specifically asked:

Yes, the former Federal League Baltimore Terrapins baseball team (1914-1915) was a primary party in the famous May 29, 1922, Supreme Court decision in the Federal Baseball Club v. National League suit.

In that suit, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. wrote the majority opinion … which determined that baseball was not subject to the Sherman Antitrust Act.

When he is not watching baseball, Kevin Dayhoff may be reached at kevindayhoff@gmail.com.

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