Opinion/Commentary

United In Baseball

Memorial Stadium’s general admission seats brought people together in the ’60s, despite racial strife

By Raymond Daniel Burke

Oct. 8, 1966, is for me, a day thick with enduring and vivid memories. It was a Saturday, the day of the first World Series game ever played in Baltimore, and I doubt that an autumn sun ever shined so brightly or felt so inviting as the one that fell that day on the baseball faithful of this town. We were nothing less than collectively giddy. In the most improbable fashion, the Orioles had beaten the favored Dodgers in the series’ first two games in Los Angeles, defeating the defending champions and their two Hall of Fame-bound pitchers on successive afternoons earlier that week.

For game three at Memorial Stadium, my brother and I had scored tickets in what typically was the general admission area of left field. A unique blend of Baltimore came together here, above the high green outfield wall, to share backless bench seats on a first-come, first-served basis. It was a relaxed place, and often one of the most racially and ethnically integrated spots in the city, providing a venue for personal observations on baseball and on life. (more…)