And we’d pick up where we left off

My iPhone photo of the Baltimore mascots

My iPhone photo of the Baltimore mascots

I’m a day behind so bear with me.   And, actually, this is part one of two – this one covering Saturday before we got to the game.  🙂

Saturday was pretty fantastic.  The weather was nice, we all got up relatively early and we decided to head to Camden for the ballpark tour.

Problem was, we didn’t buy tickets for the tour ahead of time and at 11am on Saturday we found out that they were sold out for the weekend.  Instead of being bummed about this, we decided to go to the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Sports Legends Museums.  For all the trips I’ve taken to Baltimore, I’ve never visited either museum.

If you enjoy sports and find yourself in Baltimore, I highly suggest you visit, at the very least, the Sports Legends museum.  The Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum is interesting but I didn’t feel like we saw anything there that we haven’t seen somewhere else (aside from being in the home of his birth).  If you have to visit one or the other I’d choose the Sports Legends museum.  Lots to see and learn about Baltimore sports and it’s put together really well.

But the highlight of the Sports museum was that we got to sit in with Joe Castiglione and listen to him speak for about an hour.  Aside from his radio work, I’ve never heard Castig speak and I was really impressed.  His stories were funny and informative and he seems to have a genuine affection for not only baseball but the individual players.  He shared how sad the clubhouse was after everyone found out Justin Masterson got traded and told us how he was teaching  some of the bullpen pitchers English while he was trying to learn Spanish and Japanese.  He also told us that Nomar Garciaparra has a genetic disorder that affects his calves. He said that Nomar’s father has it and his sister as well.  And he also said that he’s convinced Nomar is retiring after this season.

As an aside I need to say that the majority of the people in Baltimore seem to be quite friendly and thoughtful.  From the bartenders to the security folk to the people working at Camden Yard – people have been, mostly, nothing but wonderful to us.

Castig was great with the fans.  It was set up as a Q&A and then he signed autographs and posed for pics.  I didn’t get an autograph but I did stick around to listen to him and say hey.  He made time for each fan (making the day of  a teenage girl who said Jacoby was her favorite player by telling her that she looked like his girlfriend Kelsey) and represented himself wonderfully.

We spent hours around that area even though we didn’t get to do the tour and before even getting into the park to see a game this weekend I decided that I was definitely coming back to Baltimore not only to see more baseball but I’d like to come down here in the off-season as well.

But this weekend I was here for baseball…and after a day of reliving Baltimore sports history I was ready to watch the Red Sox and get back to my Boston roots!

Part II to come after the road trip home on Monday!

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