State officials marked Oriole Park’s 25th anniversary yesterday by reopening the lower levels of Camden Station to visitors for the first time in 18 months for a party.
About 200 people gathered inside the historic train station to reminisce about the 1992 stadium and the impact it has had on Baltimore.
The Maryland Stadium Authority, which operates the Camden Yards sports complex, threw the party. In attendance were Gov. Larry Hogan, Mayor Catherine Pugh, former Baltimore mayors Sheila Dixon and Kurt Schmoke, stadium authority chairman Tom Kelso, former MSA chairmen John Morton and Herb Belgrad, University of Maryland Medical Center senior vice president Mark Wasserman, Greater Baltimore Committee president and CEO Donald Fry and many other civic leaders.
The space at 301 W. Camden Street was formerly occupied by the Sports Legends Museum, which closed abruptly in October of 2015. Geppi’s Entertainment Museum is housed in the station’s upper two levels.
The stadium authority has been attempting to find a new tenant for the Sports Legends space, which was decorated for the party and appeared to be in move-in condition. A slide show presented photos of Oriole Park over the years. Several developers were also in attendance, including Sam Himmelrich, Pat Turner and Arsh Mirmiran.
Both Hogan and Pugh singled out the same man for an award, Belgrad, the first chairman of the stadium authority. Belgrad said the ballpark was a team effort, and he praised former Gov. William Donald Schaefer for having the vision to put the team together.
Hogan recalled highlights on the field, including the day Cal Ripken Jr. broke Lou Gehrig’s record and played in his 2131st consecutive game. Hogan said he was impressed by this year’s Orioles, who had just won the Opening Day game in 11 innings.
“After looking at them today,” Hogan said of the team, “I think we’re going to see them playing in October.”
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