Dear Stadium Doctor:
This question has been puzzling me and my 13-game plafriends at the stadium (excuse me . . . ballpark) for some time.
We sit in the upper deck just to the first-base side of home plate. As we gaze out over the Baltimore skyline, we see the top of the University of Maryland Hospital. So we see lots of MedEvac helicopters come and go.
My question: What do the letters "U u r R" near the top of the building mean?
Dear Bonnie Newton:
A heartfelt thank you for your question, which tests Stadium Doctor's knowledge in an entirely new academic field: buildings visible from, but technically not a part of, the new ballpark in the Camden Yards neighborhood.
When my usual sources, including Nate Snell, a former Orioles relief pitcher, failed me, I cleverly put in a call to the University of Maryland. Paydirt! In a conversation with a high-level official, I was told the letters that appear meaningless, in fact, are meaningless. The university is thinking about painting a sign on the top of that building, the Bressler Research Building. The capital and lower-case letters you see are being tested for size and legibility.
*Dear Stadium Doctor:
Recently, I attended a game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, during which there was a rain delay. I walked down the upper deck concourse and noticed the walking surface became very slippery. I almost fell twice.
Is there anything they can do to the concourse to keep people from falling and maybe hurting themselves?
Dear Gregory Lent:
Thanks for your question, which I am happy to answer eve though it is sort of on the serious side and, as you know, this nationally acclaimed newspaper feature is not.
I have exciting news. The floors won't be slippery much longer.
Starting this month, the ballpark concourses will be getting a new, extremely unslick surface. It will happen in two stages. First, the concrete floors will be shot blasted, which is a sophisticated flooring procedure I gladly would explain except I don't have any clue about it. Let's just say they scuff things up a little bit. Then work crews will apply a space-age floor sealer that seals everything in place, if you'll forgive the highly technical explanation.
The work should be completed by the end of the season or before the first Oriole Park playoff game, whichever comes first. And it won't be cheap. Estimated bill to the Maryland Stadium Authority: $100,000.