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Stadium highway sign caught off base


What's in a name?

When it comes to the new stadium, a whole lot.

When last we heard from the set of "Clash of the Titan Egos" (subtitled, How to Name a Baseball Stadium and Keep the Governor and the Oriole Owner Happy) a dispute over the stadium's sobriquet was resolved with an October compromise.

Baseball fans will recall that Gov. William Donald Schaefer wanted Camden Yards. Team owner Eli S. Jacobs preferred Oriole Park.

The Maryland Stadium Authority wielded a preposition to settle the dispute. The lengthy winner: Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

So what do the new signs say on northbound Interstate 395 leading to the Russell Street exit?

"Camden Yards Stadium."

It seems the two signs erected last week were ordered 18 months ago by the Baltimore Department of Transportation as ** part of a contract to widen the interstate. That was long before the $105.4 million, state-financed ballpark was officially named.

Nevertheless, embarrassed city officials decided this week to cover over the offending C- and Y- words, even though permanent signs with nearly the correct name are scheduled to be erected next month.

"It's definite that something needs to be done," says Vanessa C. Pyatt, a spokeswoman for the city transportation department. "It doesn't make sense to cause additional confusion. I don't think it's being too sensitive under the circumstances."

The new signs will have "Oriole Park" on one line and "Camden Yards" just below it, with no "at" in between, she says.

However, two new train stations under construction, one for the Maryland Rail Commuter system (MARC) and another for the new Central Light Rail Line, will have Camden in their names but not Oriole Park.

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