Let me say up front that I am *all for* fun or odd or interesting idiosyncrasies in MLB ballparks. It’s one of the unique things about professional baseball relative to the other sports. I do not want to legislate it out of the game!
Let me also say up front that when the oddities come as an organic part of the ballpark’s construction or as some kind of nod to the surrounding area or by way of simple construction necessity, then I think they’re great. But when they are mostly or wholly a contrivance? Like, an attempt to do something funky? Eh, that falls a little more flat.
Enter the Baltimore Orioles’ newly-announced plan to significantly move back and raise a portion of their left field wall at Camden Yards, which is notable in its own right, but probably not something I’d dump on. Instead, it’s the weird square nock in the wall that they are intentionally creating that gets me like wut. This is where the wall was, and where it’s moving to:
New dimensions in left field at #CamdenYards 2022. All @MLB pitchers especially @Orioles pitchers have to be excited about the wall moving back 26 feet and 13 foot height. @Sut_40 where was this 30 years ago @TheBigHurt_35 probably would have only hit 440 with 20 💣’s off us! 😂 pic.twitter.com/LI02tdv9Tn
— Ben McDonald (@realbenmcdonald) January 14, 2022
The area from the left-field corner up to the bullpens will move back (for the most part) about 26.5 feet, with the wall’s height increasing from 7’4” to 13 feet, based on the rendering above. #Orioles
— Nathan Ruiz (@NathanSRuiz) January 14, 2022
Maybe it’ll turn out to be interesting or comical (and safe), but it just seems unnecessary when there could be an angle there. Even the Cubs’ notorious wells in the corners at Wrigley Field – which came organically, by the way – have a little angle and curvature to them, and aren’t nearly as deep. This wall apparently will go from 333 feet at the foul pole to 384(!) feet at the deep part of the wall. That’s a whole lot of carved out space.
OK, but actually, the more I think about it, I have to admit: I want to see how it plays. Maybe it will indeed be fine. It’ll certainly accomplished the Orioles’ stated goal, which is to limit the homers to left (there have been 72 more homers at Camden Yards over the past few seasons than the next ballpark).
Construction is underway:
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