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2012: A Year of Baseball Anniversaries

By Paul Swaney -- April 03, 2012 11:07 AM EDT

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It has been well-publicized that 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the opening of Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox. However, this season also marks two other significant milestones for MLB stadiums, the 50th anniversary of Dodger Stadium and the 20th anniversary of Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

The documentary produced by National Geographic entitled, "Inside Fenway Park: An Icon at 100," is an absolute must see for any baseball fan, and certainly for any fan of the Red Sox. The film, narrated by Matt Damon, takes viewers inside the inner-workings of the historic ballpark, and gives a great account of the entire story of the park.

Not to be forgotten this year is Dodger Stadium, the third oldest current ballpark in Major League Baseball. Dodger Stadium was built over a three year span from 1959-1962. The team played in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum during construction. The Dodgers won one World Series while playing at the Coliseum, but have won four more titles since moving into Dodger Stadium. They clinched the title at Dodger Stadium in 1963.

There have been eight World Series held at Dodger Stadium, and the Dodgers all-time home record is 14-6. Interestingly, the team went undefeated at Dodger Stadium during their four World Series winning years (10-0), and have a record at home of 4-6 in years where they eventually lost the World Series (1966, 1974, 1977, and 1978).

Oriole Park at Camden Yards is known less for its history of post season games, and more as the ballpark that ushered in the modern era of "retro" parks. The home of the Orioles is downtown, and very walkable from the Inner Harbor. It fits beautifully into its downtown setting, and remains one of the finest ballparks in Major League Baseball, despite the Orioles not making a playoff appearance since 1997.

The most famous game in the history of the ballpark was Cal Ripken's 2,131st consecutive game played, which occurred in 1995, breaking Lou Gehrig's "unbreakable" record. Ripken made his way around the entire ballpark, high-fiving fans, and really made the setting as much a part of the celebration as the accomplishment itself.

Many fans are making pilgrimages to Fenway Park this season in honor of the 100th season of baseball, but don't forget about the two other ballparks when making your plans this spring and summer.

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