Thursday, June 14, 2012
Sailabrating at Camden Yards
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.
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 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.
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.