The Farewell: Some Final Thoughts

October 07, 1991

"Ballparks come and go, but the memories are what can't be taken away. It is the years that mean more than the days and the people who make the park. My biggest memory is winning my 20th game here in 1980. It seemed like everything else important happened on the road."

Scott McGregor

Pitcher, 1976-88

*

"It was an event that will never be duplicated. This means a lot to the older guys. The tradition is what should remain here. The kids on the team will establish their own at the new place, laying their own foundation. I'm surprised by how very few players have changed. Some of them looked better than they did 15 years ago. Luis Aparicio, I didn't even recognize. My most vivid memory is of Earl [Weaver] standing in the runway, prancing up and down, smoking cigarette after cigarette while Don Stanhouse tried to get out of a predicament. He'd be swearing, totally wrapped up and when Stanhouse got out of it he'd say, 'I knew he would all the time.' "

John Lowenstein

Outfielder, 1979-85

*

"I'm not what you call sentimental. I hate to see this place closed because there are a bundle of memories for me. The thing that stands out is the scrimmage we had here my first year [1956] for the Police Boys Clubs. When I first walked out, 48,000 people were in the stands for a scrimmage. It was really something."

John Unitas

Colts quarterback, 1956-72

*

"I think this was awesome. I never thought we'd get all these people together like this. Some you will never see again and so many of them legends. I'm really not sad about it ending. The stadium is only the vehicle. In five years, everybody will love the new stadium."

Bill Swaggerty

Pitcher, 1983-86

*

"I'm not at all sad about today. Every time you come back here you have a better experience. In a way, I'm sorry to see the stadium go. But I just saw the new one and it looks like a great place to play. It fits right in. But then when I got on the field it turned very emotional. I guess it hit me all at once."

Kiko Garcia

Infielder, 1976-80

*

"This has been a great place for the city, the fans and everybody who played here. No place lasts forever. All places move forward. Getting all these guys together is the greatest thing in the world. What the Orioles did here was super."

Tim Stoddard

Pitcher, 1978-83

*

"It's like having a Cadillac and moving up to a Lexus. You ring out the old and bring in the new. The new park is fantastic, state of the art, and I think free agents will be more inclined to sign with the Orioles. There are some great memories here, legendary times and players and games. It was good to celebrate it, but it's time to move on. Still, there was a lot of emotion on that field. I got choked up a lot. I only played here for six years. I can only imagine what guys like Brooks [Robinson], Frank [Robinson] and [Jim] Palmer felt."

Bobby Grich

Second baseman, 1970-76

*

"I think it's sad that it's over here, but you can't stop progress. Personally, I have a lot to remember and I was looking around wondering, 'What's wrong with this place?' The 1966 World Series will be my fondest memory of Memorial Stadium. We were such underdogs, and we won four straight. The fans just erupted. It was the first legitimate recognition of the Orioles."

Dave McNally

Pitcher, 1962-74

*

"Everybody has so many memories of here. It's sad to see old places go, but time heals all that -- this is 1991. But I'll always remember that first season [1954] because we [the Browns] came from St. Louis, and we had always played second fiddle to the Cardinals. We had a packed stadium and parades, and we finally felt big league when we got here."

Bob Turley

Pitcher, 1954

*

"I came up in this stadium, and I think it's still in beautiful shape. my country, Nicaragua, we wish we could have anything close to this -- and we don't have it. You have to wonder why [a new stadium's been built] when this park meant a lot to so many people. My heart is still an Oriole's, and I'm sorry to see the stadium go. The show after the game was unbelievable. The Expos were kind to let me come. They knew it meant a lot to me to be here. It was here I felt an atmosphere and closeness to the fans here that doesn't happen in this generation anymore."

Dennis Martinez

Pitcher, 1976-86

*

"This day was like a big family reunion. Seeing the field brought back a lot of memories. I helped close down Crosley Field and now this. You have to be sad. Every game to me here was special and exciting. Seeing a lot of those guys from 1979, when we clinched and nobody thought we could pull it off, brought back a lot of memories."

Lee May

First baseman-DH, 1975-80

*

"This was the greatest thrill I ever had in my life. Nobody in baseball ever did anything like this. I hope I can return to play an old-timers' game in the new stadium."

Bob Boyd

First baseman, 1956-60

*

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.