Camden Station

The Most Memorable Moment of baseball history occurred in downtown Baltimore on September 5, 1995.

Cal Ripken, Jr., hit a homerun. He hit a homerun in the 2,131st game in which he had played. He had played in 2,131 consecutive games. (For the newbies, that’s a record of historic proporations, going back to the times when there was no internet.)

It was awesome. I cannot claim to have been inside to hear the crack of the bat. (I stood inside the stadium a month later, when Pope John Paul II occupied center field.)

In fact, when Cal broke Lou Gehrig’s record with style, I was standing outside the ballpark, along with a lot of other Bawlimorons. A small crowd was gathered at the old Camden railway station. Anyone who has been to an Orioles game has seen the railway station building, which stands beyond the right field wall.

Listen:

Did you know that countless northern regiments passed through this edifice between 1861 and 1865? Did you know that this very Camden Station, still standing proudly at the foot of Eutaw Street, provided the crucial link between the nation’s capital and the north?

Back in those days–way before Cal Ripken was even born–Baltimore did not have her august Pennsylvania Station. Instead, there were numerous smaller rail stations.

Baltimore lay under the heel of federal occupation, because many of the city’s people favored the South. A street riot occurred when one northern regiment marched along Pratt Street from the President Street Station to Camden Station.

4 thoughts on “Camden Station

  1. I was thinking of Cal Ripken and THAT game just the other day, just yesterday. (No I wasn’t there either.) Thinking again about his…always thereness. Godlike in a way that humanity won’t admit. Because it isn’t AWESOME. Until one day, all the days add up, and there it is. There HE is. As always. Like the Sun.

  2. The South will rise, again; save your Confederate dollars.

    That riot led to the creation of the Maryland State Police, because the Baltimore City Police were not effective in protect the troops.

    Want to have “fun?” Read the words of the Maryland Anthem (to this day):

    Maryland, My Maryland
    by James Ryder Randall

    The despot’s heel is on thy shore,
    Maryland!
    His torch is at thy temple door,
    Maryland!
    Avenge the patriotic gore
    That flecked the streets of Baltimore,
    And be the battle queen of yore,
    Maryland! My Maryland!

    II

    Hark to an exiled son’s appeal,
    Maryland!
    My Mother State! to thee I kneel,
    Maryland!
    For life or death, for woe or weal,
    Thy peerless chivalry reveal,
    And gird thy beauteous limbs with steel,
    Maryland! My Maryland!

    III

    Thou wilt not cower in the dust,
    Maryland!
    Thy beaming sword shall never rust,
    Maryland!
    Remember Carroll’s sacred trust,
    Remember Howard’s warlike thrust,-
    And all thy slumberers with the just,
    Maryland! My Maryland!

    IV

    Come! ’tis the red dawn of the day,
    Maryland!
    Come with thy panoplied array,
    Maryland!
    With Ringgold’s spirit for the fray,
    With Watson’s blood at Monterey,
    With fearless Lowe and dashing May,
    Maryland! My Maryland!

    V

    Come! for thy shield is bright and strong,
    Maryland!
    Come! for thy dalliance does thee wrong,
    Maryland!
    Come to thine own anointed throng,
    Stalking with Liberty along,
    And sing thy dauntless slogan song,
    Maryland! My Maryland!

    VI

    Dear Mother! burst the tyrant’s chain,
    Maryland!
    Virginia should not call in vain,
    Maryland!
    She meets her sisters on the plain-
    Sic semper! ’tis the proud refrain
    That baffles minions back amain,
    Maryland!
    Arise in majesty again,
    Maryland! My Maryland!

    VII

    I see the blush upon thy cheek,
    Maryland!
    For thou wast ever bravely meek,
    Maryland!
    But lo! there surges forth a shriek,
    From hill to hill, from creek to creek,
    Potomac calls to Chesapeake,
    Maryland! My Maryland!

    VIII

    Thou wilt not yield the Vandal toll,
    Maryland!
    Thou wilt not crook to his control,
    Maryland!
    Better the fire upon thee roll, Better the shot, the blade, the bowl,
    Than crucifixion of the Soul,
    Maryland! My Maryland!

    IX

    I hear the distant thunder-hum,
    Maryland!
    The Old Line bugle, fife, and drum,
    Maryland!
    She is not dead, nor deaf, nor dumb-
    Huzza! She spurns the Northern scum!
    She breathes! She burns! She’ll come! She’ll come!
    Maryland! My Maryland!

    LIH,

    joe

  3. We were blessed to be there that night. It’s funny that the part I remember the most, though, is the reluctant victory lap Cal took around the warning track afterwards. His teammates pushed him out of the dugout to do it. It was actually very moving.

  4. I lived in Baltimore at the time and got to watch the fireworks that night from my bedroom window! It was AWESOME!!!!! *SMILES* And to hear the screams from the fans!!!

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