The Baltimore Orioles announced yesterday that they’re extending their spring training schedule by one game. This final game won’t count towards “Grapefruit League standings” of course, however the Birds have scheduled what to me amounts to a glorified intersquad scrimmage. On their way up to Baltimore after breaking camp, they’ll stop at Harbor Park in Norfolk, VA to face their triple-A affiliate Norfolk Tides.
Again, to me this is similar to an intersquad scrimmage, as it’s the big league team against the triple-A team. The game will be on Friday, March 31st with first pitch slated for 3 PM. How much a role it will play in final cuts is unclear, however needless to say it’s a game that’s now on the schedule. Tickets will go onsale at 10 AM on March 4th at norfolktides.com.
Bearing that in mind, I would highly recommend that any Orioles fan consider taking a trip and going to this game. First off, Hampton Roads, VA is a really cool and really nice area. My sister went to school in nearby Newport News, and I always enjoyed going down to visit when she was down there in college.Harbor Park is also a great ballpark in which to watch a game, with the James River passing directly behind the right field grandstand.
In that sense the Orioles uniformly have great facilities in their organization. We know the merits of Oriole Park at Camden Yards and Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota. However at each stage in the organization Orioles players find themsevlves playing in great facilities such as Harry Grove Stadium in Frederick, Prince Georges County Stadium in Bowie, and Harbor Park in Norfolk.
The O’s have played their triple-A team on two other occasions at Harbor Park. They also hosted the Washington Nationals in Grapefruit League action at the facility twice, most recently in 2009. And to piggyback on what I said above, it you happen to frequent Virginia Beach in the summer, make a point at stopping in Norfolk for a game. According to my sister, the Tides do promotions such as Turn Back the clock Night, whereby hot dogs are sold for $.25. I mean, can you really beat that?!