Whenever I have a destination in mind, or have to be at a certain stadium at a specific time for a game, I like to allow a lot of time on the way. That's because I want to stop at as many places as possible and learn as much as I can. Friday was no different.
I left Washington, Pa. early in the morning and stopped first in Morgantown, West Virginia, the home of West Virginia University and the Mountaineer Sports Complex. I always make a point to stop and see college campuses if they are on the way to the destination. Morgantown was eaily to get to, right of Interstate 79 just past the West Virginia-Pennsylvania border.
Before arriving in Morgantown, my friend and I came up with the idea to take a picture by the state welcome sign. The West Virginia sign on I-79 was at a sharp curve in the mountains on a busy interstate. It was a bit scary, but I was glad we did it. From that point on, we would stop at all state signs even if we were on the Interstate.
In Morgantown, we walked around the basketball arena to see the Jerry West Statue and also spent a few minutes at Milan Puskar Stadium, the home of the Mountaineer football team.
But after awhile, we left Morgantown and the Monongahela River and departed for Baltimore. But on the way to the former home of the Colts, we stopped at a western-Maryland rest stop where I was stunned to see a car with a license plate holder that said "BAUM: Clinton/Farmer City." I talked to the woman driving the car and she said she was from nearby Bellflower, Illinois and had bought the car in Clinton. I have never seen a Clinton car on the south side of Chicago let alone on vacation nearly 1,000 miles away.
At the same reststop, you can follow a path that acts as a bridge across the Interstate to Siliding Mountain, an interesting mountain that is on a slant. It was a great place to get pictures.
My friend and I met my father in Baltimore at 3:30 p.m. and after a short swim at the Sheraton, I made my way to the Orioles game against the Texas Rangers at Camden Yards.
On the way to the game, my father and I passed Baltimore's Inner Harbor, which seemed to be the nicest part of the city. We went to the top floor of the World Trade Center, which was only 30 stories tall, but provided a great view of all parts of the city. It looked nice from above, but it suffers from many problems a lot of big east coast cities suffer from, mainly the lack of fresh air and cleanliness.
I liked the Orioles' stadium. It was laid out as well as any in the league and the Warehouse provides a scenic backdrop for a good ballpark. The team is struggling, for sure and so is the fan base. Baltimore is only the second MLB stadium I've been to where half of the concession area is closed and roped off. The people were friendly though even though I was wearing a Colts jersey at the game.
The Orioles only had three hits in the game, but had a chance to tie it in the ninth so the game was pretty good. Texas pitcher C.J. Wilson nearly had a complete game shutout and Orioles manager Buck Showalter was thrown out in the eighth inning after two trips to the field to argue with an umpire.
My dad and I went to Shula's Steak House after the game which was attached to the Sheraton. Most of the stuff we wanted to do in Baltimore would come the next day, but I enjoyed my first glance of the city.