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Where railroads once rolled: Oriole Park at Camden Yards

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Baseball season is about to begin at baseball stadiums across the country. Whether you are a Baltimore Orioles fan or not, you have to appreciate the stadium where they play their home games: Oriole Park at Camden Yards. It was the baseball stadium that revolutionized all stadiums across the country, and history was made there where Cal Ripken broke the record for the most consecutive games played in Major League Baseball. As millions of fans attend the games here every season, the real history began long before the plans for this ballpark were even drawn up.
The name ‘Camden Yards’ originated from the fact that a railroad yard once existed where the ballpark now stands. In 1856, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad constructed a railroad terminal that would be closer to downtown Baltimore than the original terminal. (The original terminal is now the B&O Railroad Museum.) Since its completion, Camden Yards became a major hub for railroads. During the Civil War, both Union and Confederate troops passed through this station to points north and south. Abraham Lincoln passed through this station en route to Gettysburg to give his famous Gettysburg Address, and his funeral train passed through here years later. The first electrification of a steam train took place here in 1895. It was also used by the Washington-Baltimore-Annapolis Railroad and, in 1912, hosted the Democratic National Convention.
Today, only the main passenger station and warehouse remain. The station is used only as a commuter and light rail station which still makes it the most continually used train station in the United States. The passenger station now houses the Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards and Geppi’s Entertainment Museum. The warehouse is part of the stadium itself hosting a Orioles store and a pub. So, next time you are at the game to see history being made, take the time to remember the history that once was. Go to www.orioles.com to see how you can take a tour of this facility.

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