Roland Hemond's Memorial Stadium office was spooky. The walls were bare. The desk drawers were empty. The place where the Orioles general manager dreams up those multiplayer trades looked like the storeroom at Thom McAn's -- wall-to-wall cardboard boxes.
Few people could have looked into this office and seen something beautiful. But Scott Indorf did.
"That's great," Indorf said, looking fondly at every cardboard carton. He smiled a genuine smile. He seemed excited.
Indorf is not simply a fan of boxes. He is the person in charge of bTC moving the Orioles front office from Memorial Stadium to its new headquarters in the B&O Warehouse at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
For more than a year, Indorf, the team's assistant director of stadium services, has been evaluating moving companies, plotting moving strategies and even publishing an in-house newsletter filled with information about the transition.
That planning soon will be put to the test. Barring a last-minute hitch, the team expects to spend next weekend moving out of the old offices and into the new ballpark.
Expect to see moving vans pulled up to Memorial Stadium on Friday night and Saturday morning. But don't expect them to be from Mayflower, the official van lines of the Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts. For their move (downtown), the Orioles are using Von Paris Moving & Storage Co., a local firm.
The Orioles' moving schedule does not allot a lot of time for
dawdling. The moving vans should be arriving at the warehouse offices on Saturday. The next morning, office workers will be in to start unpacking and to try to achieve the improbable -- get the offices ready to open, as usual, Monday morning.
If there are glitches, they probably won't be because Indorf ignored details. He has appointed "move coordinators" in each Orioles department (Trivia question: Who is the umpires' room ,, coordinator? Answer: Ernie Tyler). There will be orientations for employees to help them figure out important stuff like how to get to work.
"People are excited about going into the new facility, but there's also anxiety," Indorf said. "There are so many questions: What is the best way to get to work? How do you park? When can I pick up my keys?"
One of the biggest jobs is nearly over. Indorf said the Orioles will have filled about 1,200 packing boxes before the trucks leave for the warehouse. That does not include furniture. The team is taking every piece from their Memorial Stadium offices, but expects to supplement that with new items.
Everything appears to be on schedule at the other end of the move, as well. Last week, workmen were putting down carpeting on the second and third floors (where most of the team's offices will be located). The Orioles expect that several elevators in the warehouse will be operating, too, which should help when filing cabinets come off the trucks.
The Orioles' move is just one of the notable events at the ballpark this week. The schedule also includes the erection of the sign above the home-plate entrance. Starting Monday, the ++ letters spelling out "Oriole Park" will be erected. During the next 10 days, "Camden Yards" will be added, followed by "at."