Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Growing a Garden of Greats

Every garden starts with a plan, and before that -- a vision.

Here is the O's resident visionary, Janet Marie Smith, explaining to MSA Chairman John Morton III how the Bullpen Picnic Area was to be transformed into a statuary garden honoring Orioles Hall of Famers.

While the model in the foreground offered a glimpse of the concept, it was a little difficult to see past the bulldozers, gravel, and dust at this point from the Warehouse window.

At this point in construction, all you seem to think is "They'll NEVER get this done by Opening Day."

But we always do -- on time, on budget --even if it means round the clock shifts until the last minute.

In this 20th year of Oriole Park, one of the many opportunities to celebrate the O's of yore will be the dedication of statues to the six heroes who entered the Hall of Fame wearing the orange and black.

The statues will be unveiled, one a month, in the order the players were enshrined.

Last Saturday was Frank Robinson's turn. He's seen here with a pre-game crowd of about 500 after the unveiling. His statue depicts him following a long fly ball as it soars into far left field. 

One of the many nice things about the Garden of Greats is that, like Eutaw Street, the mini park is accessible to the public.  The regraded plaza offers a splendid view of the field, which is worth seeing even when there is no game in progress.

We have five more dedications this season, honoring Brooks, Earl, Jim, Eddie and Cal, Jr.  Miniatures of the statues will be distributed to all fans attending the games.

So come see how our garden grows this summer.  It is a wonderful opportunity to relive past heriocs, reminisce about good times on 33rd Street, and build cherished memories of Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

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