Baltimore - Camden Yards: Retired Numbers - Cal Ripken (#8)
Cal Ripken, Jr's #8 was retired by the Baltimore Orioles in 2001. Ripken, nicknamed the Iron Man for his record 2,632 straight games played, spent his entire career wearing the uniform of his hometown team. The 19-time all star, 2-time American League MVP shortstop made his debut in 1981, played on the 1983 World Series Championship team, and retired in 2001. He finished his career with Finished his career with 3,184 career hits, 13th on the all-time list; 431 career homers, 30th all-time; and 3,001 games played, 8th most in baseball history and 4th in games with one club. In 2007, Ripken was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame as a first-time ballot inductee with the third highest voting percentage in history.
A series of 4-foot aluminum monuments depicting retired Orioles uniform numbers sits just outside the northern end of Eutaw Street and Gate H of Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Other retired numbers include Earl Weaver (#4), Brooks Robinson (#5), Frank Robinson (#20), Jim Palmer (#22), and Eddie Murray (#33).
Oriole Park at Camden Yards opened on April 6, 1992, replacing Memorial Stadium as the home field of the Baltimore Orioles of Major League Baseball. The success of HOK Sport's retro-style Camden Yards sparked a trend in other cities of constructing more traditional, fan-friendly ballparks in downtown locations. Built on land that once served as the rail yard for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad's Camden Station, the view from much of the park is dominated by the former B&O Warehouse behind the right-field wall.
Eutaw Street, between the stadium and the warehouse, is closed to vehicular traffic and open to ticketholders fans who can get watch the action from Standing Room Only areas, or visit the many shops and restaurants that line the thoroughfare, including Boog's BBQ. Many home run balls have landed on Eutaw Street, and the spots are marked with small baseball-shaped bronze plaques, including one for the only ball to ever hit the warehouse--a 445-foot shot by Ken Griffey Jr. on July 12, 1993 during the 1993 All Star Game Home Run Derby. The Orioles Hall of Fame plaques are located near the north end of Eutaw Street, and, also just outside Gate H is Susan Luery's statue of Babe Ruth, Babe's Dream.
In 2007, Oriole Park at Camden Yards was ranked #122 on the AIA 150 America's Favorite Architecture list.