Saturday, June 30, 2012

All Hail the Earl of Baltimore!

President Reagan was the guest speaker at Fort McHenry on Flag Day, 1985.  He opened his remarks with greetings to the assembled dignitaries -- Mayor Schaefer, Governor Hughes, Senator Mathias, members of Congress -- but paused to acknowledge the real powerhouse in town. 

"Don Schaefer, I know you're the mayor," he said. "But I understand that just the other day the Earl of Baltimore returned to the city."

His quip got the biggest applause of the day, as well it should. The Great Communicator knew how to connect, and with this audience, it was through their own hero, the scrappy skipper retaking the helm of their beloved O's.

Today, the Earl of Baltimore is back again.  This time for the unveiling of his statue in the Garden of Greats, where he takes his place with Frank Robinson as the second of six Oriole Hall of Famers. 

The big mystery, of course, is how the Earl of Baltimore will be depicted in bronze.We all have our mental images of him, usually growling at someone in blue. 

Among his noteworthy distinctions is that of the first manager ever tossed from a World Series game, as he was here in 1969 against the Pirates.

Because the granite pedestal has room for only one statue, we have to believe there will be no tormented umpire to complete the tableau.  So it is somewhat a mystery how the sculptor will capture the Earl in a likeness we can relate to.

Perhaps it will depict him pursuing his other great passion, tending to the tomato patch beyond the outfield at Memorial Stadium. 

He grew some bumper crops out there.  Rumor has it he got special fertilizer from the elephants when the circus was in town.

True, our Earl of Baltimore is not exactly your Downton Abbey-esque aristocrat.  At 5'7", he didn't tower over his charges or wither them with a haughty air and lofty speeches. 

In fact, he was probably a reality TV personality even before there was reality TV.  We can only imagine what kind of "Hard Knocks" show he could have starred in.

But after 4:00 pm today, he will forever be 8 feet tall in the eyes of Baltimore and Oriole fans of the past, present and future.  Look forward to sharing it with you here.

4:45 pm, June 30th.

My dad had an apt description for days like this.  He'd say it's "hotter than the hinges of h*ll."  While it certainly feels like that now, it's no deterrent to the thousands here to pay homage to the Earl of Baltimore.

Long before the ceremonies began, fans crowded the picnic grounds, jockeying for good seats. 
Cheers went up for Eddie Murray, Cal Ripken, Jr. Jim Palmer, and Frank Robinson, who also attended.  You might be able to spot them on the left of the canopy.  You can see Earl, seated in the shade, just before the program began.

Of course, there were great anecdotes shared about Earl's relentless drive to win everything he competed in (even shuffleboard on cruises) and attention to detail and execution.  Naturally, his scuffles with the Boys in Blue came up more than once.

But his bronze likeness captures him in a more pensive mood.  One onlooker observed that he wasn't kicking anything.  Her husband rejoined that he expected to see him waving his hat or tearing up the rulebook.

But this is Earl Weaver, scholar of baseball.  One of the best minds there ever was for appreciating the fundamentals of the game and exhorting his players to achieve them.  And it fits perfectly in the setting.

Despite the heat, the stands are again full.  Yes, folks from Cleveland are here to support the Indians and they appreciate being a part of the tribute to Earl as well.  But the outpouring of enthusiasm for the Orioles is indeed heartwarming.

We have four more statues to unveil before the end of the season.  Each one has brought together old teammates, unforgettable memories, and an unquenchable thirst to relive the winning days of old.

The 20th Anniversary Year at Oriole Park has been magical so far.  Hard to believe it is almost half over.  But we know the best is yet to come.  Stay tuned.

Or better yet, join us for some of that Oriole Magic.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Our New Defensive Line

OK, it's tough to top Ray Lewis & Co. when the subject is hardworking defenses.  But they are not the only line protecting our valuable assets here.

As mentioned earlier, MSA is committed to making our 85 acre complex, located on the headwaters of the Middle Branch, a watershed protector through environmentally sensitive practices.  One of them involves landscaping.

This one-time problem area parallels Ostend Street on the south side of M&T.  In addition to being one of the main pedestrian approaches to the stadium on game days, it is also part of the westbound Gwynns Falls Trail.

The grate you see in the picture drains directly into the Middle Branch -- no filters, no stormwater pond.  After a heavy rain, a lot of nasty stuff ran off the asphalt and directly into the tributory.

This is what that section looked like before it was regraded and replanted.  Yes, turf looks nice.  But after an inch of rain, it saturates and becomes impervious, turning this swale into a flume.  The velocity of runoff from the lots caused the area around the drain to erode, making it as unsafe as it was unsightly.

Grass also requires regular irrigation, mowing and seasonal fertilizing -- all unfriendly practices in a watershed like ours.

Those ornamental grasses may not look up to the task of stopping the erosion and filtering the runnoff, but don't be fooled.  By the end of the summer they will have doubled or tripled in size.  More importantly, they will develop a vigorous root system to hold them in place and slow the flow into the drain.

The regraded swale is softer and more absorbent, capturing the nasty stuff the rainwater washes into the channel before it has a chance to pollute the Middle Branch.  Fragile as they look, these grasses and their growing medium are no shrinking violets when it comes to tackling petroleum products.

I'll take another picture right before football season to show how our new defensive line is doing. Before long, they should be the same size as their cousins protecting the rain garden from the elements.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

You'll Never Walk Alone

I was hoofing down Charles Street as usual on my way to work.  When the light changed at the intersection, the young man next to me looked admiringly in my direction and said "Nice kit!"

Now, lest you think that's an interesting pickup line, let me assure you (a) it's 40 years too late, and (b) he wasn't looking at the "Carlsberg." 

The word "kit" gave him away. This was a soccer fan.  Someone who recognized the vintage Liverpool uniform at a glance and knew not to call it a shirt.  It's a kit.

So as we stepped off the curb, I asked if he were going to the match (not game) next month.

Yes, he replied with great enthusiasm.  He'd bought his tickets a month ago.  In fact, he'd even purchased tickets to the open practice.

He'd never been to one of the international soccer matches at M&T Bank Stadium and was really looking forward to seeing how it would be transformed.

I explained how the pitch (not field) was created from natural turf trucked from a farm in Virginia and stitched together like a giant carpet several days before the match.  That gives the seams of the fescue time to knit so it doesn't buckle during play.

(And no, this doesn't even come close to the landscaping involved with Monster Truck or U-2.)

Ticket sales are going well for this Premier League friendly, in part because the "Reds" and the "Spurs" have followers all over the world.  Some have chartered buses from several states away for the trek to Baltimore.

There's something else worth noting about this match between these two top English (not British) teams:  as of the 2012-13 season, they will be outfitted by American sportswear manufacturers.

That's right -- the logo you see on the new red and gold kit at the right is Warrior, the same sports equipment manufacturer that has a lacrosse presence here in Baltimore.  Their corporate headquarters is in Michigan.

Under Armour, in Locust Point, won the contract for Tottenham.  Although many of the new EPL kits have been unveiled, Under Armour is being coy about the Tottenham design, choosing to debut it at the match in July.  So I won't ruin the surprise by posting any of the leaked versions.

Both teams were previously outfitted by German giants Adidas and Puma.  So the US is making inroads into the beautiful game in more ways than one.

I thought about Liverpool's theme song, "You'll never walk alone," as I opened the door to the Warehouse.  Soccer is the universal language, and every time I stroll the streets of Baltimore wearing a kit, there is someone to strike up a conversation about it.  A nice way to enjoy community.

Hope to see you at M&T Bank Stadium on July 28th.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Another Warehouse Winning Streak

It seems we were just congratulating Andretti Autosport for winning at Milwaukee Mile, an event they also promoted and managed. 

Ryan Hunter-Reay, the newest blogger at the Baltimore Sun, won his second straight IndyCar race on Saturday night. 

This rollicking and rain-soaked race in the cornfields of Iowa was a good night all the way around for the Andretti team.  Marco, who won the event last year, came in second.  For most of the race, Canadian James Hinchcliff was also in the pack with his teammates. Had he not hit a wall near the finish, it could have been a 1-2-3 for Andretti Autosport.

(Here's Marco on the right.  Please note the across his rear.)

Hunter-Reay joined the team in 2010 and now is just three points out of the series lead, behind Will Power, who won the Baltimore race last year.

No doubt the Andrettis are on a roll -- on the track, promoting their brand, and organizing their events into well-attended successes.

Be sure to follow Ryan's blog in the Sun and learn more about this exciting sport and their plans for Baltimore.

The Parkway Payday

Isn't that a beautiful sight?  A packed house three days in a row.  Not certain if there is more orange or red, but you certainly can't miss the green.

Our neighbors from the other side of the B-W Parkway have been visiting, and their very excited fans made the trek with them.  For many loyalists, (as during the Civil War, Maryland has supporters on both sides) Camden Yards is just as close or closer.  And it's part of the cause to support the home team on the road.

Although you might see a few empty seats in the stands, it's because many fans are enjoying the game from our recently renovated viewing areas.

Part of the pre-season sculpture garden project included lowering barriers in the bullpen picnic area.  This offers a much better view of the field (not to mention those warming up below.)  Some fans now linger here for half the game.

A similar modification took place on Flag Court, above the out-of-town scoreboard.  Previously, the shoulder high wall made the diamond difficult to see.  Now, with an unobstructed view of the action from right field, Flag Court has become a wander-around zone as well.

(If you're wondering about the weird angle, it's because I'm hanging out of our Board Room window for this shot.)

But the real crowd-pleaser (particularly among those out of town guests) is the rooftop dining/drinking patio over the batter's eye wall.

This lounge, with barstools, tables, drink rails and flat screen TVs, is like a reality version of your favorite sports bar.  It offers a wonderful view of the field -- particularly home plate, where the batters are watching you as watch them.

But the rivalry on the field is not the only thing that brought these Washingtonians north.

"A Taste of Two Cities," a food truck rally involving nearly 40 mobile restaurants, was staged at the nearby Westport Waterfront on Saturday.

If you are unfamiliar with food trucks, it is a gastronomical phenominum popular with urban hipsters who need their gourmet cuisine available at convenient curbsides. 

Baltimore was a little later to the food truck game than Washington, but the uneasy relationship between tax-paying establishments and their traffic dodging competitors has been formalized through the intervention of the Mayor, herself a food truck advocate.

So about 20 of the finest federal city foodmobiles rumbled north to the shores of the Middle Branch near the Camden Yards complex, for a showdown against their Patapsco counterparts. 
The interesting thing is how cleverly this meeting of the rival cities on a Saturday afternoon was incorporated into the one taking place on the nearby diamond that evening.  Food fans from both sides used the waterfront feast as part of the game day experience.  In fact, the light rail made the doubleheader even more appealling because Westport is just one stop short of the complex.  A lot of folks chose to park their cars early and shuttle between the two locations.

We can't help but wonder if among those Nats fans there may have lurked some nervous DC United boosters as well.  It's no secret that MSA was asked to do a second study of the Westport waterfront location for a soccer-specific stadium if the Red and Black relocate.  If they wanted to check it out, this was a good time to do so.

On Sunday afternoon, the O's came from behind in the 8th inning on Matt Weiter's two run homer and hung on for a 2-1 win.  The O's took two of three from the Nats for the weekend, but if you're really keeping score Baltimore took three out of four from Washington, because . . .

Baltimore won the food truck competition behind the steller performances of the Gypsy Queen Cafe and Miss Shirley's, AND the estimated 12,000 in attendance found one more waterfront location in Baltimore to enjoy a good time before a game at Camden Yards.

As for the Nats and the Federal City Foodies . . . . there's always next year !!!!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Angel's Eye View

This spectacular shot was taken just a nano second before the Blue Angels zoomed over the Warehouse.  It illustrates perfectly how close Camden Yards is to the Inner Harbor and downtown Baltimore.

Directly under the "Blue Angels" script you can see the Baltimore Convention Center, with its skywalk connection to the Hilton Baltimore Hotel (probably getting buzzed as this was taken.)

Wedged between the two back stabilizers is the 1st Mariner Arena.

That's Pratt Street running directly north under the "U.S."  This is the main drag of the Grand Prix of Baltimore track.  It's also part of the free Charm City Circulator Orange route, which takes you all the way to Harbor East.

Conway Street, which enters Camden Yard at the MARC/light rail stop, is under the F/A-18 Hornet's nose.  You can also see the white steeple of the historic Otterbein church.

Just above the gold extension on the wing you can see the masts of two tall ships along the dock.  The brick promenade and the Visitor's Center are just below it.  That's the Sheraton Hotel (also connected to the Convention Center) angled between the wing and the nose of the plane.

So thanks to the Blue Angels for the great show and giving us this aerial perspective of our neighborhood.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

An All-Star Audition

The O's are on fire this year, with some fine performances that merit an All-Star nod.  Since it's that time of the year, we think it appropriate to remind those Great Deciders that the Orioles aren't alone strutting their stuff in 2012.  So is the City of Baltimore.  Just as some high-flying Birds deserve All-Star recognition, so does their hometown.

As mentioned earlier, Tim Richardson of Press Box has a story about the O's interest in hosting the 2016 All-Star Game. 

Despite staging a very successful event in 1993, Baltimore is perceived by some as lacking the infrastructure and accommodations necessary for the elaborate week-long celebration and FanFest.

Which is why the timing of last week's Sailabration -- commemorating the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 -- could not have been more perfect.

One of the biggest maritime festivals ever produced took place in and around Baltimore from June 12-19.  Hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world came by.  They toured ships and learned from historic exhibits.  Many stayed for the fireworks bursting over the water and Blue Angels soaring over Fort McHenry.

They were able to drive or light rail to Camden Yards and shuttle to the attractions.  Over 121,000 took advantage of the free Charm City Circulator buses and water taxis that transported them between hotels, restaurants, museums, concerts, and other attractions.

Because Baltimore is so bicycle/pedestrian friendly, many chose to walk or pedal around the harbor and downtown.  Excellent signage, helpful volunteers, and social media alerts provided visitors with timely information about activities.

In fact, if Baltimore were auditioning for the role of All-Star host city, last week's Star Spangled Sailabration gave a show-stopping performance.  It demonstrated just how well our sports complex is incorporated into the rhythm of the historic seaport, how easy -- and safe -- it is to get around, and how much there is to do.

Because Camden Yards hosts many events which attract out-of-staters (including the soccer match coming up in a few weeks,) the Stadium Authority prepared some information to help these folks find a place to stay, determine how best to get here, and learn about the many dining/entertainment districts nearby.

As an All-Star host, Baltimore has even more to offer than in 1993.  There are 50,000 hotel rooms within 50 miles (or an hour's drive) of Camden Yards

Most are on public transportation routes or close to interstate highways with direct access to the complex.
The light rail that runs through the complex has been double-tracked and expanded since 1993.  It connects BWI airport and Penn Station with thousands of hotel rooms in between.  Intercity bus service is nearby, and commuter service to Washington DC is at Camden Station.

Since 1993, the Convention Center has doubled in size, and connected to a new luxury hotel overlooking Camden Yards. 

We also built M&T Bank Stadium, a short walk from the Warehouse down a tree-lined promenade. In addition to being one of the premiere facilities in the NFL, it's a popular venue for events and exhibits

All totalled, Camden Yards has about 1.5 million square feet of activity space within a four block radius.

Finally -- as the Star-Spangled Sailabration proved so well -- Baltimore has a wealth of entertainment and dining options in close proximity to the stadium complex (and many hotels.)  Using the Charm City Circulator maps, we identified them.

We can't claim that Camden Yards has inched any closer to the harbor in the 20 years since our last All-Star game, but it sure seems that way.  Since the Baltimore Grand Prix course encompassed both, it seemed we were almost connected.  (Particularly viewed at 180 mph.)

The Grand Prix is another example of a big (150,000+) multi-day event successfully staged in and around Camden Yards.  Others include Army-Navy football, NCAA lacrosse, and international soccer friendlies.

But within this magnificent setting is the dazzling gem that changed the way we enjoy the Major League baseball experience.  Oriole Park, the ballpark that brought the game back downtown, is even lovelier and more of an attraction than it was 20 years ago.  Much can be attributed to the way our neighborhood has grown up around us.  But ultimately, it is the way you feel when you're here.  Close to the game, close to the town, and part of the history. That's Oriole Park at Camden Yards --an All-Star for the ages.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Generating Jobs -- the Warehouse Way

Governor Martin O'Malley stopped by the Warehouse today for his favorite occasion.  No, not another O's victory (always cause for celebration,) but to announce the creation of 335 new health care service jobs.

Generating these jobs is our long-term teammate XL Health.  XL has been a Warehouse tenant since they were hatched in 1997. They've literally grown up with us.  And "grow" is the operative word here.

Their recent merger with insurance giant UnitedHealth Group will expand XLHealth’s chronic care management operations.  This allows them to bring new services to Maryland residents with Medicare coverage.

About 250 of the new employees will join the HouseCalls program, which provides in-home visits and health condition assessments to Medicare recipients.   XLHealth provides Medicare Advantage plans to more than 100,000 people -- in a segment of the population that is growing exponentially.

(Did you know someone turns 65 every 8 seconds? Scary thought for one who's been hearing the clock tick for awhile.)

XL is also committed to helping clients with chronic conditions and ongoing health needs. The remaining 85 new employees will work with the company’s pharmacist counseling program, which helps members of UnitedHealth Group’s Medicare Advantage program follow instructions for taking their medications.

Maryland values the biotech, health service, and life science sectors that provide so many career opportunities to our residents.  We are blessed with internationally recognized hospitals, medical schools, labs and research centers.  Health care service providers and benefit coordinators like XL Health-UnitedHealth Group are part of this cluster, and good corporate neighbors as well.

UnitedHealth Group CEO Stephen Hemsley unveiled their initiative with Port Discovery to prevent childhood obesity through exercise and wise nutitional choices.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and developing good health habits early in life is much better than seeking treatment after years of neglect.  Port Discovery is a place to make this learning experience fun.

So it was a good day for one of our favorite tenants, and for Maryland as well.  Congrats to XL and their new family, UnitedHealth Group.  You are making Maryland a much healthier place to live.

If you are interested in employment opportunities, go here:

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Catching the Spirt(s)

Our good friends at Press Box featured Sports Legends at Camden Station as their cover story this month.

Whether or not you believe in spectral sightings, the adventure of two sports fans camping out in historic Camden Station for the night is entertaining and educational.

Many visiting the sports museum (and they come from all over the world) are unaware of the tumultuous history surrounding the old railroad station.

The first blood of the Civil War was shed there as federal troops from Massachusetts marched through town bound for battle.  Irate citizens of Baltimore, who booed and jeered as they hoofed down Pratt Street, started throwing rocks when they reached Camden Station.  A riot ensued, shots were fired and casualties (including civilians) occurred on both sides.

Then there was the Great Railroad Strike of 1877, which occurred when the B&O reduced wages for railroad workers by 10%.  The strike actually started in Martinsburg, but the outrage soon hit Baltimore.  Federal troops and the Maryland National Guard were brought in to stop the destruction of Camden Station and the tracks stretching to the Gwynns Falls (just beyond M&T.)  Parts of the depot were burned, and equipment damaged.  There was at least one fatality and several casualties when the National Guard fired into the crowd.

Camden Station was also a makeshift morgue during the war, and where Abraham Lincoln's cortege stopped on its sad journey to Springfield. So it is understandable why ghost hunters might sense an interesting cast of characters.  Anyway, it's a fun read.

There's also an interesting story written by Tim Richardson about the Orioles' efforts to bring the 2016 All-Star Game to Baltimore for the 25th Anniversary season of Oriole Park.

This event would be a major economic boon to the region, and our opportunity to shine yet again.  We were very happy to hear the O's are pursing it. 

Keep your fingers crossed!

Monday, June 18, 2012

. . . .and Children of All Ages

It didn't take long for the crowds to assemble on Lots G-H when the US Navy ships opened for tours.  This picture was taken around 1:00 pm on Thursday, June 14.  The shuttle service to South Locust Point had just begun and the turnout was huge!!  (Big surprise -- several buses carrying tourists dropped their passengers before the shuttle even started.)

Fortunately, the Navy was prepared to entertain families while they waited.

Underneath I-395 were two odd-looking boats available for touring.  Painted in camoflauge and fitted with powerful engines, they were obviously used for close combat and shoreline targets.

I suppose I dated myself by asking if they were Swift Boats, but actually I wasn't too far off.

These vessels are part of the Coastal Riverine Force, which provides protection of waterways around maritime facilities, ports, and harbors in hostile territory.  This particular boat's most recent itinerary included Iraq.  (Not my idea of a pleasure cruise.)

These two boys couldn't be more curious or thrilled at the opportunity to look into the powerful scope and learn how it operated.  I couldn't help but get nostalgic thinking how much mine would have loved this experience when they were that age.

But after sharing the picture with my 25-year old, I got a surprise.

I guess you're never too old to get behind a really cool piece of equipment and see how it works.   And yes, he enjoyed it every bit as much as the youngsters did.

We haven't been told how many people descended upon Baltimore for the various Sailabration activities.  What we do know is that the stadium lots were at capacity for much of the weekend as folks parked here to shuttle to downtown, Fort McHenry, or South Locust Point.

We also know that we were able to contribute to the hands-on experience that delighted children of all ages by hosting the US Navy Coastal Riverine Force here on the complex.

A Big Warehouse Welcome!

To Race On, Andretti Sports Marketing, and the new Grand Prix of Baltimore.

According to a report in today's Baltimore Business Journal, they are moving into the 4th floor space previously occupied by Baltimore Racing Development.

Of course, I immediately scrambled down the steps with a bouquet of lavender to welcome them to the 'hood.  Unfortunately, they aren't there yet.  Understandable, considering the Andretti group just completed their triumphant resurrection of the IndyCar Fest at the Milwaukee Mile.

Not only did Michael Andretti save the race by stepping in as promoter after an unsuccessful showing last year caused it to be dropped from the schedule, but Ryan Hunter-Reay of his team also won on Saturday.

So it was a big weekend for the Andretti family and we can understand why they might be taking a bit of a breather before squealing into Baltimore.

Accounts about the reimagined Milwaukee Mile event and the special touches added by the promoters are encouraging for what could happen here.  Because that track is situated at the Wisconsin State Fairgrounds, there was great emphasis placed on the family-friendliness of the site and all the ancillary activities placed in the infield. 

Carnival rides, concerts, and much more affordable ticket prices helped augment attendance over last year and create an atmosphere different from other IndyCar venue.   Baltimore, with its downtown, harbor, and sports complex all part of the track, has even greater possibilities for unique entertainment options. 

We eagerly await the energy and ideas emanating from the 4th floor, and can't wait to personally welcome our newest teammates to the Warehouse family.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sailabrating at Camden Yards

Kudos to our teammates, the Orioles, who opened their hearts (and upper decks) to sailors from all over the world who docked in Baltimore yesterday.  What could be a better way to savor the ambiance of an American seaport than a game of baseball in a classic downtown stadium?

This young Danish sailor lost no time getting into the spirit with his camo O's cap and foam finger.

Part of the experience, of course, is sampling the local cuisine.  That means some ballpark grub for this other Nordic visitor, probably tasting Old Bay on fries for the first time at the Eutaw Grill.
A few of his shipmates had other priorities when it came to local flavor.  These two decided to embrace Natty Boh before hitting the food court.  They particularly liked the commemorative Camden Yards 20th anniversary cans. 

(Too bad they aren't available in Copenhagen.)

Oriole Park was not the only beneficiary of this maritime invasion.  Behold some Midshipmen from the US Naval Academy, on their summer cruise.  Since they have friends in the area, they arranged to meet at Turn Ten for some pre-gaming.  Note the "Beat Army" sweatshirt in the background.

These Mids captured a Canadian (something we had trouble with in 1812) on their way to Camden Yards.

The Midshipmen are on the USS San Antonio, docked at North Locust Point.  Their Canadian cohort is on a gray hull docked in Fell's Point.

And what's a landing without the Marines?  They are part of the USS San Antonio crew, too.  They stopped me to ask directions to Camden Yards as they passed the Pratt Street Pavillion.

The O's deserve special thanks for incorporating the 1812 Bicentennial into their opening ceremonies (as they also did on Opening Day.)

The colors were presented on the field by a ceremonial contingent from the US Coast Guard.

The National Anthem was performed by Blue Steel, a vocal ensemble from the US Air Force Academy Band.

And what would a celebration of our abortive attempts to invade Canada be without a representative from Montreal?

(And yes, he still misses the Expos and wishes they would return.  Particularly now that they're winning.)

There were plenty of other Canadians who came ashore to enjoy the game and a night in Baltimore.

No one gloated about the fact that they really won the War of 1812.  (Entirely possible they don't know yet.  I just learned a few weeks ago, after seeing a PBS special on the subject.)

The fellow in the dashing blue beret is part of the ship's medical corps.

Here's a delegation from the USS Donald Cook.

The Cook is a modern destroyer (not the John Brown variety) that is stationed in Norfolk.  Because the Cook is one of the smaller vessels, it is berthed in Fell's Point.  It will be open for tours today.

The sailors were having such a good time watching everything from Flag Court they were reluctant to take their seats.  Coming to the ballpark was a very special treat and they were savoring every moment.

Here are some other photos I took, in no special order.  These goodwill ambassadors represented their respective countries well.  And they seemed to be having a wonderful time in the process.

There is one more uniform worth noting that wasn't part of the Sailabration. 

Almost overlooked in the international flavor of the evening was the presence of a foreign power of a different sort -- the National League Pittsburgh Pirates.  And yes, their ranks were pretty well represented too.

This one made me smile in appreciation -- Roberto Clemente, Pirate Hall of Famer and humanitarian who lost his life on a relief mission to Nicarauga after a devastating earthquake.  He's still a hero to those who wear the black and gold, and it was nice to see.

Sailabration is an experience not to be missed.  Plan to visit Baltimore this weekend to visit the ships!  Their crews are eager to return the hospitality.