High perch is not catbird seat

April 04, 1992|By David Michael Ettlin | David Michael Ettlin,Staff Writer

The playing field is a novelty -- a variety of shapes along the outfield fences, differing distances to the foul poles, walls that fielders could leap and then land in someone's lap.

But up in the seats, in the higher reaches of the Baltimore Orioles' $100 million-plus brick-and-steel nest, it ain't so great -- in this fan's view.

Take the stairways, please! A steep climb, it seemed, compared to the gradual rise of the ramps at Memorial Stadium. And you might be a little out of breath after running downstairs again because there weren't enough programs in the limited concession facilities upstairs.

Take the escalator, please! It goes straight to the "club level" -- and there's an usher at the doorway to make sure you have the right ticket. So you are directed down the corridor, into a maze of turns, looking for stairways to not-so-cheap-seat heaven ($8, upper reserved, Section 346, Row D, Seat 15).

There was an elevator, but it didn't seem to be running.

Actually, row D didn't sound so bad when I bought the tickets by telephone. But you've got to count, and climb, beyond Double-A through Double-M before you get to Single-A.

The seats have lots more leg room. But the rise from row to row is more gradual than at Memorial Stadium, and the heads of the fans tended to obstruct the view.

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