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Oriole Park's first team returns home, players from 1992 Orioles club back in Baltimore to celebrate

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Posted at 5:30 PM, Aug 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-18 18:29:29-04

Oriole Park at Camden Yards is known as the ballpark that forever changed baseball.  On Friday some of the men who ushered in a new era in baseball’s history returned home.

“This place, the design of it, it felt like baseball had been played here before, said Orioles legend Cal Ripken Jr. about Oriole Park. “It didn’t take long to really get comfortable that this was our home.”

And it has been for a quarter century. You could say it’s officially Camden Yards weekend in Baltimore. The Orioles are celebrating their ballpark’s 25th anniversary with several members of that inaugural 1992 team back at Oriole Park.

“It doesn’t seem long ago. 25 years, certainly not,” said former Orioles outfielder Brady Anderson. 

“That looks really good still for 25 years,” said former Orioles infielder Billy Ripken as he stared out at the field.

“It hasn’t changed much. It was a great place to play when we were here. It’s still a great place for a ballgame,” added former Orioles pitcher Mike Mussina.

“They come in with Camden Yards which just blew up. And every stadium after Camden Yards was designed because of Camden Yards,” said former Orioles outfielder Mike Devereaux.

 

Some of what made it unique then and still does now are the sight lines, the angles, and of course the iconic warehouse.

 

“This ballpark, brand new, almost felt like a throw back.  Back to the era of the Fenway Parks but with all the modern amenities,” said Cal Ripken. “So I think that we realized it was nice and everybody that came in to play here loved it.”

So did Rick Sutcliffe, who tossed a complete game shutout victory to open the stadium.

“As nice as it was for us and the clubhouse being bigger, I still to this day have not found a better ballpark for the fan,” said Sutcliffe.

That’s one thing that almost all of the former O’s talked about as they gathered inside the warehouse. They talked about the fans and playing in front of a sold out crowd night after night after night.

“We knew every day we played here, we’re coming to play in front of a full crowd and that’s an incredible feeling,” said Devereaux.

To help honor the 25th anniversary of the ballpark, all fans attending Friday’s game will receive a commemorative poster.  

Saturday night all fans will get a mini replica of Oriole Park at Camden Yards.  Before Saturday’s game there will be a home run derby featuring Brady Anderson, Mike Devereaux, Chris Hoiles, Sam Horn and Joe Orsulak.

As for the current team, they’re back after a ten-game west coast road trip. They open up an important three-game series with the Los Angeles Angels on Friday. The O’s enter the set three games behind L.A. for the second wild card spot.

Follow Shawn Stepner on Twitter @StepnerABC2 and Facebook