Opening Day is finally here! For all the talk about Baltimore being a football city (which is another topic unto itself), Baltimore sure does love its Opening Days. I took a run downtown this morning and as usual, the city is decked out for Opening Day. At 8:00 AM the Marriot on Eutaw Street was already setting up some sort of spread complete with Opening Day banner. Pratt Street Ale House has the black and orange baloons out. Before 9 AM, you could already see fans getting ready. I passed more than a few during my run and a group of about a dozen or so people were camped outside the ticket booth at OPACY in an attempt to get last minute seats.
The game has been "sold out" for weeks, with standing-room-only tickets popping up every so often on Ticket Master. Sutbhub only has 107 tickets left as of 9:45 and about a third of those are standing room only (starting at $62!). If you want a "real seat" (and by "real seat" I mean "mostly scattered Upper Reserve seats") it will cost you at least $119 if not far more. It would be nice if the O's had this kind of demand all summer long, but its at least nice to know that the possibility is there.
As for me, this will be my third Opening Day in a row. It took me a while to finally get to my first Opening Day. Camden Yards opened when I was eight, so from that time up throug the end of high school, tickets at OPACY were a hot commodity in general and Opening Day tickets were even more difficult to come by. I thought about going a couple of times when I was at Loyola, but it always seemed like too much work and by the time I seriously got down to looking for tickets, they were all but gone. Instead I would usually go with friends to the second game of the season. After college, the issue was less about getting tickets to the game and more about getting out of work. As a new employee in a public accounting firm, it was difficult trying to explain to my bosses that I was going to be taking off an entire day two weeks or less before the individual tax filing deadline to go to a baseball game. It wasn't until a couple of years ago, when I had been at the firm for about four years, that I felt bold enough to skip out in the afternoon for Opening Day. Even then, I dragged myself out of bed at 3 AM, got into the office around 4 AM, and still put in a 9 hour day before leaving at 1 PM for the game.
This year I am actually off of work for Good Friday (thanks Jesus) which is a far cry from prior Opening Days. Of course, not everything is perfect. I went out for my run a little before 8 AM. When I run, I only take a small stop watch, the elctronic key to get into my apartment building, and the key to unlock the deadbolt on the door. I like to run unfettered, you know? I don't want a big iPhone and 10 keys weighing down my pockets. I got back around 9, went to open the door, and discovered that Tim had locked the knob itself (which we never do . . . it is always just the deadbolt). I was locked out. So I am bringing this Opening Day blog post to you live from the Resident's Lounge in our apartment building as I wait for Tim to get through with his meeting to let me in. It's always something, I guess.
Anyway, I'll be heading out around noon for a pregame meal with Tim and our dad, and then its down to the Yard for the first time this season. Expect some live tweeting (@OriolesObserver) and an "At the Yard" game report to follow in the next few days. Tim and I will be out every game this weekend, Monday for Brian Matusz's season debut, and the series finale against the Yankees on Wednesday. There is a lot we want to cover in the first homestand, including reviews of some of the new concessions, as well as any other new features at the park we feel the need to touch on. Also look for our first attempt at scoring a game on the really cool looking iScore Baseball app for the iPad. The app allows you to track pitch location and a bunch of another cool stuff, then upload it to share with everyone, so we might try to do that at different times throughout the season as a way of providing an "alternative" score card of the game from a live fans' perspecitve.
Hope everyone enjoys Opening Day in whatever way they can and let's go O's!