Orioles Opening Day has arrived, and its the 25th Anniversary of Opening Day At Camden Yards. To mark this milestone, WJZ is counting down the 25 most memorable moments at Orioles Park at Camden Yards.
#1 — Cal Ripken Breaks Lou Gehrig’s Record For Consecutive Games Played
September 6th, 1995, and the numbers on the warehouse say it all. 21-31, as Cal Ripken breaks Lou Gehrig’s record for consecutive games played. The ovation started when the game became official in the bottom of the fifth inning and it didn’t stop for more than ten minutes. Cal waved to the crowd and waved to his parents, and the crowd kept cheering and chanting.
Finally, Cal’s teammates pushed him out of the dugout and cal began running around the stadium shaking hands and exchange smiles with thousands of orioles fans. It’s a moment none of us will ever forget.
#2 — First Regular Season Game At Camden Yards
April 6, 1992 marked the first regular season game at Camden Yards, where President George H.W. Bush threw out the first pitch.
The first run in OPACY history was scored by the Orioles in the 5th inning. Chris Hoiles drove in Sam Horn with a ground-rule double. The star of the show, however, was Orioles pitcher Rick Sutcliffe. He pitched a shutout as the O’s won, 2-0. Sutcliffe struck out six, but the most amazing stat of the game was that it took just 2 hours and 2 minutes.
#3 — Cal Ties Lou Gehrig For 2130
September 5, 1995 was a legendary night for Cal Ripken. It was the night Cal tied the great Lou Gehrig’s record for consecutive games played. 21-30.
The game became official in the bottom of the fifth and that’s when Camden Yards erupted with a series of ovations for the Iron Man. The crowd stood a cheered for more than five minutes, and then Cal gave them another moment they would never forget.
His sixth-inning home run was something out of a Hollywood script, as Cal put the perfect ending to a memorable night. The O’s won that night 8-0.
#4 — An Orioles Hall of Famer Reaches a Major Milestone
On October 6th, 1996, Eddie Murray comes into the game against Detroit one home run shy of 500. The crowd waited through a rain delay of more than two hours and in the seventh inning they witnessed history.
#5– Playoff Thriller
Camden Yards was a sea of orange on October 3, 2014 for Game 2 of the Division Series with the Detroit Tigers. The O’s were down 6-4 in the 8th when an unlikely hero came up to bat.
Delmon Young’s double had the Yard shaking as the Orioles took a 7-6 lead. They went on to win the game and then wrapped the up the series two days later in Detroit.
#6 — Clinching The AL East
On September 16, 2014, the Orioles clinched the American League East, defeating the Toronto Blue Jays 8-2 and setting off a wild celebration at Camden Yards.
The players streamed out of the dugout as they enjoyed the team’s first division championship in 17 years.
The crowd of more than 35,000 stayed long after the final out to soak up the moment and cheer on the O’s.
Champagne was sprayed in the locker room as Buck and the birds brought a division title to Baltimore.
#7 — A Playoff Series Clincher
October 5, 1997, game four of the Orioles-Mariners division series. Cal Ripkin, came through with an R.B.I. single and that gave the Orioles an early 2-0 lead and the pitchers did the rest. Randy Meyers, closed it out in the 9th. The Orioles won the series and won the game 3-1 and clinched the series in front of a ruckus crowd. The Orioles lost in heartbreaking fashion to Cleveland in the league’s championship series.
#8 — All-Star Controversy
On July 13, 1993, the All-Stars came out to play at Camden Yards, but one didn’t get to played.
Boos rained down on American League manager Cito Gaston as Orioles pitcher Mike Mussina warmed up in the bullpen in the 9th inning but never got in the game.
The Blue Jays skipper chose to keep his own pitcher Duane Ward in for the final out in the American League’s 9-3 win. The fans and Mussina were frustrated, and Gaston became a villain in Baltimore and his decision fueled the Orioles-Blue Jays rivalry.
#9 — Biggest Comeback In Camden Yards History
On June 30, 2009, the last place Orioles trailed the first place Red Sox 10-1 in the 7th inning. But then some Orioles magic happened. The birds scored five times in the 7th and then five more times in the 8th. Nick Markakis gave the Orioles the lead with an extra base hit to left center. Brian Robers scored the go-ahead run. George Sherill came in to pitch the 9th, and locked down the incredible 11-10 Orioles win.
#10 — Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow
Opening Day 2003,The Orioles and Indians started under sunny skies as Eddie Murray threw out the first pitch. But then everything changed in the third inning as a snow squall came across Camden Yards. The snow made it nearly impossible to see especially for Orioles outfielder Jay Gibbons. The fly-ball lost in the snow led to an Indians run and also a 13-minute snow delay. The skies eventually cleared and the Orioles won the game in the bottom of the 13th inning when Gary Matthews drove home the winning run to end the four-hour marathon.
#11 — The Day The Streak Ended
On September 20, 1998, Cal Ripken’s name was replaced by Ryan Minor’s in the Orioles starting lineup. The Iron Man Cal Ripken chose the Sunday night game against the Yankees to sit out and end his record consecutive games streak at 2,632. The crowd gave Cal a standing ovation in the first inning. He came out of the dugout and acknowledged them. Afterwards, he said sitting out was no fun.
#12 — Dealing Blow To Rival
On September 28, 2011, Robert Andino’s game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth helped knock the Red Sox out of the playoffs on the last day of the regular season. The Orioles beat Boston five times in September to contribute to the Red Sox’s historic collapse.
#13 — High-Scoring Thriller
This nail-biter took place on May 6, 1996. The Orioles led 7-2 after three innings, but the Mariners rallied to take a 13-10 lead in the 9th. But Chris Hoiles had the final say. His game-ending grand slam capped a 14-13 win. The victory was part of the Orioles’s 88-win season and their return to the playoffs after a 13-year absence.
#14 — Camden Yards Brawl
Probably the wildest scene in Camden Yards history was on June 6, 1993. The Mariners’ Bill Haselman charges Mike Mussina after getting hit in the seventh inning. It started a 20-minutee free-for-all which involved more than 60 players. Mariners pitcher Chris Bosio, who threw behind several Orioles earlier in the game, suffered a broken collarbone in the fracas. Four Mariners were ejected along with three Orioles. Order was eventually restored, and the Orioles went on to win the game 5-to-2.
Watch the clip from MLB here.
#15 — Outdoor Mass
This is the only non-baseball event on our list. It took place on October 8, 1995. Pope John Paul II held an outdoor Mass at Camden Yards as part of his visit to Baltimore. About 50,000 faithful were in attendance. The Pope’s altar was on the outfield grass in center field as he delivered his homily in English and Spanish.
#16 — Saying Goodbye To A Legend
On October 7, 2001, Cal Ripken Jr. took the field for the final time. President Bill Clinton was at the game. There was a special pregame ceremony, and a standing ovation for his final at-bat, followed by a “we want Cal” chant as the game ended. After 3,001 games as an Oriole, Cal’s hall of fame career came to an end.
#17 — Scary Moment After Liner
On May 15, 1998, Orioles ace Mike Mussina took a line drive off his head. Indians catcher Sandy Alomar hit the ball. It was a very scary sight, but Mussina never lost consciousness and was rushed to the hospital. He had a broke nose, but he would return to pitch later that season.
#18 — A Game Without Fans
On April 15, 2015, the Orioles and White Sox played a game at Camden Yards with empty stands. Two games of the series had already been cancelled because of the unrest in the city following the death of F
#19 — Worst Loss In Franchise History
On August 22, 2007, the Orioles were actually leading the Texas Rangers 3-0 before the Rangers went on to score 30, yes 30, runs. To make matters worse, it was the first game of a doubleheader. The O’s lost the second game, too, by a score of 9-7.
#20 — The Almost No-Hitter
One of the greatest pitching performances by an Oriole at Camden Yards came on May 30, 1997. Mike Mussina almost pitched a perfect game, retiring 25 straight Cleveland indians. Then Sandy Alomar got a single. Mussina retired the final two hitters, for an impressive “one-hitter” game. The Orioles won the game 3-0.
#21 — Amazing Catch
One of the greatest catches ever at Camden Yards was by a member of the visiting team, the Angels. On June 27, 2012, JJ Hardy sent a fly ball deep to center field. Mike Trout got there in time, leaping about 4 feet above the wall to rob Hardy of the home run. The birds could have used that run, too — they lost that day by a score of 13 to 1.
#22 — O’s Play Cuba National Team
A one-of-a-kind exhibition game was played at Orioles Park on May 3, 1999. It was the second of two exhibition games between the teams. The O’s also played in Cuba in March of that year. The Birds won in Cuba, but the Cubans beat them 12-6 in the OPACY game, in front of 47,000 fans.
#23 — Hollywood Moments
Our great ballpark has been seen in numerous TV shows and movies. From The West Wing, where Martin Sheen threw out the first pitch — to House of Cards, where Kevin Spacey did the honors. It’s also been featured in Veep, featuring Julia Louis-Dreyfus. It even stood in for the Cleveland Indians stadium in Major League II.
#24 — Only No-Hitter in OPACY History
The only no-hitter in the history of Camden Yards was thrown by an opponent. Hideo Nomo of the Boston Red Sox shut down the Orioles on April 4, 2001. It was just the second game of the season. The Sox beat the Orioles 3-0 in the first and only no-hitter (so far) at OPACY.
#25 — Turn Ahead The Clock
The so-called “Turn Ahead The Clock Game” was played on July 25, 1999. The Orioles wore all black “futuristic” uniforms. Albert Belle hit three home runs, and Ripken drove home the game winner in the 11th, as the O’s beat the Indians 8-7.