In honor of Oriole Park at Camden Yards' 20th anniversary, members of the Times' staff selected the ballpark's 20 best, whether it be baseball moments, games or the few playoff series' played there. The top of the list has one clear theme - Cal Ripken.
1 Cal Ripken's 2,131st consecutive game (Sept. 6, 1995).
This was a moment that transcended the Orioles franchise and the city of Baltimore.
Ripken's record-breaking streak was celebrated by the entire nation and all of baseball in more ways than the nightly number change on the B&O Warehouse and the multitude of tributes thrown his way.
Ripken was one of the majors' most beloved stars and the night he broke Lou Gehrig's supposedly unbreakable consecutive-games record is the lingering memory of an accomplished career.
What made it so special wasn't any pre-arranged ceremony. It was the moments after the game became official. Ripken, emerged from the dugout multiple times to wave to the crowd, kiss his wife and hug his kids, and then begin his unforgettable 22-minute lap around the Yard, when even the ESPN broadcasters went silent to appreciate the shortstop shaking hands with seemingly every fan seated in the front few rows.
It's an instance which is still regularly seen in baseball montages and on the Camden Yards video board. His back-to-back homers with Bobby Bonilla an inning earlier were just gravy.
2 Cal Ripken's 2,130th consecutive game (Sept. 5, 1995).
After a strike that wiped out the 1994 World Series, in the midst of a lousy first (and only) season under manager Phil Regan, Orioles fans crammed into their seats early, ready for Ripken to become forever linked with Gehrig.
And cheer they did, for some five minutes once the game became official. They cheered even louder when he homered the next inning, as Baltimore proceeded to rout the Angels 8-0. That was the greatest moment in the history of Camden Yards to that point, though it would be surpassed 24 hours later.
3 First Opening Day at Camden Yards (April 6, 1992).
At the time, it was the grand opening of the new jewel of baseball, as Memorial Stadium's replacement was heralded for its retro feel and for halting a trend of cookie-cutter stadiums.
The design has been copied over and over since, and on this day, it was celebrated with the first of many sold-out Opening Day crowds.
Although Rick Sutcliffe seized the moment, he sure didn't savor it as the Orioles beat the Cleveland Indians 2-0 in just 2 hours, 2 minutes thanks to a fast-paced shutout from the right-hander.
It remained the shortest game at Camden Yards until June 5, 1998, when the Orioles played a 1:53 contest against the Atlanta Braves.