Hard to believe, but this year is the 20th birthday of one of modern Baltimore’s most important edifices—Camden Yards—and associate editor Jess Blumberg celebrates with a retrospective on the ball park, interviewing everyone from Cal Ripken Jr. and Brady Anderson to architect Joe Spear and conservative pundit and über fan George Will. Since I’m so close to the team, the editors asked me to choose my own five favorite memories of Camden Yards. No problem!
September 6, 1995: Ripken breaks Gehrig’s record and does a lap around the field to a song I suggested, Whitney Houston’s “One Moment in Time.” September 28, 2011: Orioles score 2 in the bottom of the ninth to eliminate the Red Sox from the playoffs, capped by Robert Andino’s run-scoring, game-winning single to left. May 17, 1996: Chris Hoiles hits a 2-out, 3- and 2-count grand slam walk-off homer to beat Seattle 14-13, becoming only the 20th player in MLB history to do so. June 30, 2009: With the Orioles trailing the Red Sox 10-1 going into the bottom of the seventh, they score 5 in the seventh and 5 in the eighth to win 11-10 for our biggest comeback ever. July 12, 1993: A day before Camden Yards hosts the All-Star game, in the Home Run contest, not only does Ken Griffey Jr. become the only player ever to reach the warehouse, but Juan Gonzalez hits the façade of the third deck, where the speed-gun results are displayed after each pitch.
So what did I miss?
On a personal note, I wanted to update you on my daughter Breanna’s success in a budding acting career. She is in the cast of a reality/sitcom entitled Hotflash and Company—along with Richard Sher, Barbie DeSantis (also the writer), and the 98-year-old father of WJZ reporter Ron Matz, Herbert “Hunky” Matz. It was filmed here, directed by Baltimore actor David Deboy, and premieres April 1 at 1 p.m. at the Mallet Restaurant in Fallston, where we expect a good crowd of cast members and local celebrities. Okay, maybe it’s not yet the stuff Oscars are made of, but it’s a great start for Breanna. So, look out, Hollywood!
And on a yet more personal note, I am marking the second anniversary this month of the death of my older brother and best friend, Cosimo Michael “Toodie” Geppi Jr. Toodie has a son, Stevie, 41, who despite a lifelong neuropsychotic disorder, commemorated the date with a four-verse poem that I thought was remarkable. I share the final lines:
Money doesn’t compare to God’s
The boy’s reward is Peace, Love,
So to all those part of the devil’s clique
Cosimo is in control!—he steers
this sturdy ship.