A few years ago, two men went to an Orioles game at Camden Yards. The game withstood a prolonged rain delay but was eventually postponed. Somehow, through hours of drink and delirium, our two heroes were locked in the gorgeous stadium by themselves during a torrential downpour. The story of what they did to pass the time under these circumstances — with photo evidence — is incredible and inspirational, the fantasy of just about every American man. But is it real?
This story was originally sent to writer Drew Magary but forwarded through a long chain of emails of indeterminate origin. The names of the individuals involved are not included. The actual date of the game isn't included. We've been trying to track down its origins, but to no avail. Now, you, I-Team, have the story and can help us find out if these merry, drunk Orioles fans did, in fact, live out our dreams, or if this tale has been doctored and fictionalized for greater enjoyment.
Please forward any and all clues to firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject "Camden Yards."
But for now, read on, enjoy, and investigate.
I've been a Baltimore Orioles fan for as long as I can remember, so when my sister moved to Baltimore for a new job, it was a great excuse for me to go visit her and get a few O's games in while I'm there. A few years back, one of my best friends decided to take the trip with me for a weekend series against the Minnesota Twins. Given that he had never been to Camden Yards before, we planned on going to all three games Friday through Sunday. Unfortunately we only made it to two games, but the story about the one we missed out on is even better.
All day Saturday had been overcast with scattered rain showers. In addition, the weathermen were forecasting constant rain showers that evening during the game which was supposed to start at 7pm. Being the diehard fans that we are, we decided, what the hell. Let's go to the game anyways and see what happens. We went to the stadium, purchased out tickets and found shelter in the left outfield lower level seats under the overhang. The game was delayed for a few hours, but we were content hanging out and drinking a few of the airplane bottles of rum we had snuck in. After about 45 minutes, the announcer came over the loudspeaker saying that the game had been postponed and would be made up at a later date.
At this point, most people had already left the stadium, but my buddy and I, realizing we still and a decent amount of liquor left, decided to chill in our seats until an usher came by and made us leave. After about 30 minutes, we realized that we were the only fans left in the stadium. After about an hour, we realized that we were the only people left in the ballpark. Immediately we realized that the ballpark was our playground. With a decent amount of liquid courage running though our bloodstreams we decided to leave our comfortable seats under the outfield canopy and go exploring. Feeling that we would immediately be caught as soon as we appeared near the outfield wall we were pretty cautious, but once we walked the entire left outfield, we felt pretty confident that we could get away with making a quick shimmy up the foul pole in left field [Ed. note: See photo above. Camden is indeed 333 feet to left.] . After that we decided to follow the left field foul line all the way in behind home plate.
At this point the heavens really opened and it started to pour. God must have been telling us something, because right in the middle of the field was the tarp covering the entire infield. To us, it looked like the world's largest slip ‘n' slide. After a few runs out onto the field we decided that we had had a great time and honestly, how could we top what we just did.
(Video by Emma Carmichael; music by Deadspin Family Orchestra)
Needing a few more drinks, we made our way towards the walking street in the ballpark, Eutaw St. Here is the world famous Boog's Barbeque Stand where during games you can get draft beer, barbeque, burgers and dogs. Being a bit thirsty and hungry we decided to rummage around and see what we could find. The coolers were locked, but we found cheese, hamburger buns, and semi-hot grill at our disposal and proceeded to make our fill of grilled cheese. While we're eating our grilled cheese, I decide to test the taps (all the handles have been removed) and to my surprise, cold frothy beer came pouring out. For about the next hour and a half we ate grilled cheese and drank draft Bud Light while it poured down rain.
After we had our fill we came to the realization that we were really and truly locked in. We started walking Eutaw St. to find an exit, but both gates were locked and none of the shops or offices that are in the warehouse was open. While making our 3rd trip down Eutaw St. looking for an exit, we heard a voice behind us yell, "Hey, what are you all still doing in here?!?" In our most convincing (and sober) voices we were able to convince the gentleman that we had fallen asleep in our seats to wake up to an empty ballpark. Somehow this schmuck bought our story and apologized profusely for our "inconvenience." He then walked us to the gate and sent us on our way.
As we exited the ballpark we both looked at each other and I said, "Not too bad for a rainout huh?"
So what do you think? Is it real or fake as a wooden leg?
UPDATE: We interview the two dudes.