Shortly after the announcement of his deal to buy Baltimore's baseball team in 1988, Eli S. Jacobs said: "I am now an Orioles fan."
To that, it can be added that Jacobs is an ardent fan of the team's new home field, Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Jacobs, 54, likes the park. A lot. He is a fan of the B&O warehouse, which looms behind the outfield fence; the fan-friendly seating bowl, with its close proximity to the field; and above all, the right-field "Tall Wall," a 25-foot high fence that should be temptation for generations of free-swinging power hitters.
The wall is a particular favorite, maybe because it was conceived by Jacobs himself.
He sees the wall as a throwback to another era of ballpark architecture, one that produced such classics as Fenway Park and Ebbets Field.
Jacobs declined to be interviewed for articles that appear in this ballpark special section. But he did respond to written questions, including one about the Tall Wall.
Referring to the history of such walls, he wrote: "One of the most striking elements about older parks was that the playing field often had an irregular geometry, and tall vertical walls and screens would compensate for short distances down the lines...
On Opening Day, the right-field wall officially will be unveiled. So will the rest of a classic ballpark that clearly rates high with the Orioles owner.