Tom Wright ORIOLE PARK PROFILE Ironworker

March 29, 1992

In 25 years as an ironworker, Tom Wright has labored on his share of impressive projects: the Peach Bottom nuclear power facility, the Harbor Tunnel, the Bay Bridge.

"Just buildings," Wright said.

But Oriole Park at Camden Yards? "I've really got a feeling about this place."

For a year, Wright has been all over the ballpark: installing gates, handrails, a spiral staircase in Orioles owner Eli Jacobs' box, racks for the field lights, supports for the steel letters that announce the stadium's name.

He was on the site when there was no infield, no outfield, just old city street beds where ballplayers soon will roam. "We've actually seen the place take shape."

Wright, a member of Iron Workers Local 16 AFL-CIO, brought a camera to the job every day. "I've got pictures. I've got hundreds of pictures" -- panoramas of the city taken from atop the light towers, close-ups of details, "little things the average person wouldn't even notice." Things no one but the workers could ever see.

And he's developed a new appreciation for Baltimore's ballclub.

Until this job, he said, "I wouldn't say I was a real fan. Everybody takes them for granted. But this year is different. "I've really gotten into this thing with the Orioles."

For the last few weeks, the crews have been working 12-hour days and seven-day weeks to get ready for Opening Day.

"Everybody there has seen it come together from nothing. Everybody there has a lot of pride in it."

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