Posted on: December 19, 2011 1:10 pm
By Matt Snyder
Believe it or not, Oriole Park at Camden Yards is about to enter its 20th season. It was the park that changed everything, moving away from the cookie-cutter astroturf parks (Riverfront Stadium, Busch Stadium, Three Rivers Stadium, Veteran's Stadium, etc.) and back to a retro look. In honor of the 20th anniversary, the Orioles are making several improvements to the stadium -- and also erecting six statues.
The Orioles announced in a press release that "larger than life sculptures" of six Orioles greats will be progressively unveiled during the course of the 2012 season in the bullpen picnic grove, which will also be getting massive upgrades and "additional landscaping as part of a plan to turn the area into a ballpark oasis."
The six statues? They will depict Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, Cal Ripken Jr., Jim Palmer, Eddie Murray and, of course, Earl Weaver.
“We are excited and proud to honor the six greatest Orioles of all time,” said director of communications Greg Bader. “These legends will now have a more visible presence inside the ballpark, just as they are honored with retired number statues outside the gates. As we celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Oriole Park at Camden Yards, it seems especially appropriate to pay tribute to the past while looking forward to a bright future for the Orioles.”
Each of the six statues will be unveiled during a 2012 home game, with the Orioles greats on hand for their respective unveiling.
The Orioles also announced that there will be a new bar and seating area on top of the batter's eye in center field, an area previously inaccessible to fans. Several other improvements to concessions, concourse area and sight-line improvement will be done as well.
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Posted on: July 9, 2010 6:25 pm
Edited on: July 9, 2010 7:13 pm
Before the All-Star Game "counted," Pete Rose proved it mattered.
Or, at least, it did matter to Rose. But every game mattered to Rose. In the 1970 All-Star Game, he showed the rest of the country, if they didn't know already, that he'd do anything to win.
In what has become an essential part of Rose lore, he ran over Indians catcher Ray Fosse to score the winning run in the 12th inning of the 1970 game. (Box score)
The game was not only hosted by Rose's Reds, but also in his hometown of Cincinnati, where to this day, he is more remembered for 4,192 than his later gambling scandal.
Played July 14, 1970, it was just the 12th game at the new Riverfront Stadium. The Reds were Red, but they were yet Big or a Machine. In fact, Joe Morgan was in the game as an Astro, not a Red.
It was in the middle of a seven-game winning streak by the National League, and it appeared the AL would finally get a win, as Catfish Hunter entered the game with a 4-1 lead in the ninth and facing Dick Dietz, Bud Harrelson and Cito Gaston to seal the victory -- none of the trio would join Hunter in Cooperstown, and it's likely nobody expected them to do so.
Dietz, though, led off with a homer, followed by a single by Harrelson. After Gaston popped up, Morgan singled to right and that was it for Hunter, replaced by Fritz Peterson, who immediately gave up a single to Willie McCovey, scoring Harrelson and putting the tying run on third.
That was it for Peterson, replaced by Mel Stottlemyre, in to face pinch-hitter Roberto Clemente. Clemente lined out to center, but Morgan scored. Rose had a chance to win it, but struck out, sending the game to extra innings.
Rose wouldn't waste his second chance, singling to center with two outs in the 12th, advancing to second on Billy Grabarkewitz's single.
The next batter, Jim Hickman, singled to center and third-base coach Leo Durocher waved Rose home.
Rose was rounding third and saw Amos Otis fielding the ball and in a good to position to beat him with a throw home.
As he got closer to the plate, Rose leaned forward, ready to dive head-first into the plate, but Fosse had the plate blocked and Rose did what Rose would always do -- anything necessary to score.
With a full head of steam, Rose ducked his left shoulder into Fosse before the ball arrived, sending Fosse backward as the ball rolled harmlessly away.
In the difference between then and now, even the American League manager defended Rose.
"That's definitely the only way to play," Earl Weaver said. "You play to win. You don't compromise."
Pete Rose always played to win and never compromised, even in an exhibition.
-- C. Trent Rosecrans
More All-Star memories -- 2002: The Tie; 1999: The Kid steals the show; 1949: First integrated edition; 1941: Teddy Ballagame's walk-off homer
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