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At least smallest crowd in Camden Yards history has star power

Apr 13, 2010, 12:49 AM EDT

phelps-100412.jpgRemember the excitement when Camden Yards opened its gates 19 years ago? It was a beautiful baseball cathedral, combining modern day amenities with old-school charm and ushering in a new era in baseball. Goodbye cookie-cutter, multi-purpose stadiums. Hello expensive, eye-catching, baseball-only parks. The trend swept through the sport, with the Minnesota Twins being the latest team to join the club.

While Camden Yards certainly maintains its charms, the team has not, and attendance is reflecting that. Despite having some exciting young talent and facing off against the Tampa Bay Rays, another team with plenty of exciting young talent, the Orioles drew only 9,129 customers to Monday night’s game.

It was the smallest crowd in Camden Yards history but at least it had some star power, as it included Olympic hero Michael Phelps (pictured right) and what I can only assume was an extravagant entourage. So they have that going for them, which is nice.

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  1. smokehouse - Apr 13, 2010 at 6:42 AM

    Wouldn’t it be nice if owners could be thrown out of baseball after they destroy a francise. A once great francise is now a joke and has been for years.

  2. skip7 - Apr 13, 2010 at 8:06 AM

    I remember some years ago the O’s fans had a ‘Free the Birds’ walk-out during a game because of the owner’s unwillingness to spend the money to field a competitive team. Nothing has changed, which is a shame, because it’s a great ballpark in a great city.

  3. Jack Meoffer - Apr 13, 2010 at 8:57 AM

    A Greek running a baseball team is like having a Korean run a Chinese restaurant.

  4. Eat a Peach - Apr 13, 2010 at 9:40 AM

    Is it just me or does Phelps look incredibly stoned?

  5. Jeff V. - Apr 13, 2010 at 9:46 AM

    It wasn’t due to an unwillingness to spend money, it had to do with his overall tenure as owner. Historically the O’s have spent under PA, just not spent well.
    Word is from folks at the game that actual attendence was closer to 7K.

  6. Frank D - Apr 13, 2010 at 10:58 AM

    Player talent is improving and signed to long term deals. Management is striving to get back to the old “Orioles Way” by developing young talent in the minors. OWNERSHIP is a train wreck – ever since Peter Angelos and his sons got involved this franchise it has hit the skids. If they want to draw more than 10,000 fans to a game they should have Owner Depreciation Night. we would all but a ticket to see Peter Angelos launched from the hot dog launcher into the stands.

  7. historiador 1951 - Apr 13, 2010 at 10:59 AM

    Good all days are gone from Baltimore Orioles. I remember back in the seventies when this organization was very proud, flying high and was the envy of major league baseball. I grow up in Puerto Rico and we will listen to their games when it was broadcast back to the island as game of the week by cbs radio under bob canell golden voice. When I got to the big league as an announcer (in spanish language) I used to take pride talking about this entire organization, it’s break my heart to read about the attendance and how the operation of it has become one of the lower in the majors. If the owner realy love this team, then he should do something about it, but if he see it as business then he should sell the team to someone who care and see it as a baseball team and brings back the pride of yesterday.

  8. greg from toronto - Apr 13, 2010 at 11:06 AM

    i didn’t know baltimore and toronto still had major league baseball teams? LOL

  9. Mike - Apr 13, 2010 at 11:17 AM

    Does anyone really care that Mike Phelps was at a baseball game?!?!? And as history shows he is probably drunk or high

  10. Gary - Apr 13, 2010 at 11:54 AM

    Maybe the Angelos’ could move them to Montreal since the Nationals are in the area now. They probably could get more fans for a while. LOL

  11. Porky Lopez is Omega - Apr 13, 2010 at 12:01 PM

    Fortunes of all teams wax and wane with the passage of time. The Oriles were a great team once and can become a great team again. Sounds like they are heading in the right direction with a bunch or young talent all playing together now to ensure success in the future. For a reference see the Rockies circa the past 5 years.
    Go O’s!
    Capture phrase ‘grant butwell’ which may become my new usuer name.

  12. Paul - Apr 13, 2010 at 12:09 PM

    I drove by the stadium on my way home, attendance is getting so bad even the sidewalk vendors don’t setup anymore.

  13. Joe - Apr 13, 2010 at 12:12 PM

    There used to be a running joke in Baltimore about how the Orioles would start the season with a bang and slowly but shorly fizzle out by mid to late season… Now the joke is that we can’t even do that!
    I’m telling you ever since we left Memorial Stadium this team has gotten worse and worse. Don’t piss off dead people… especially when they died for our country!

  14. CGOhio - Apr 13, 2010 at 12:14 PM

    I agree that it would be nice to be able to get rid of owners who run a team into the ground – there’s a lot of them out there and not just in baseball. Anyone who follows Cleveland sports will agree, too.
    As for Michael Phelps – get off his case. He just looks like a guy having fun at a ball game. Nobody can prove he’s either drunk or high – and if you can’t prove it, it’s just slander. AND – he’s at a ball game – he’s not competing. He does have a life outside of the swimming pool, you know.

  15. Eagle 1 - Apr 13, 2010 at 12:35 PM

    Hey Phelps – You’re not some rapper from the city – You’re a swimmer from the burbs – Put your hat on the right way – You look like an idiot.

  16. YANKS420243 - Apr 13, 2010 at 1:00 PM


  17. Stay Gold - Apr 13, 2010 at 1:03 PM

    Brooks is probably spinning in his grave. Wait — Brooks is still alive?

  18. Ranger - Apr 13, 2010 at 1:11 PM

    Baseball is a dying sport, so attendance is going to continue to drop. I’m surprised they are still paying such high contracts.

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