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Official Review by Chris Slade, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
The Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League began in 2005. The league’s name was originally meant to honor the baseball legacy of Cal Ripken Sr., but later, the name was adapted to reflect both him and Cal Jr.
The Baltimore Redbirds are a youth baseball organization that has teams in various age levels. The organization's name was formerly the Maryland Redbirds.
The Cal Ripken League’s version of the Redbirds plays at Carlo Crispino Stadium at Calvert Hall College High School. The school is a Catholic high school for boys, located in Towson, Maryland, and was started in 1845. Famous alumni include filmmaker John Waters, A-Team actor Dwight Shultz and ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
A small permanent stand is located down the first base line. Prices are good, although there is not a large variety. Hot dogs are $2, with hamburgers and cheeseburgers priced at $3 and $4, respectively. Water and soda are a value at $1 each.
A small amount of souvenirs is available as well, including Redbirds t-shirts and hats.
The stadium is small and compact. This means that the fan noise will be pretty high. There is generally a very knowledgeable fan base.
The environment is family-friendly, and every home game features a ketchup-mustard race and dizzy bat race for the youngsters willing to participate. Youngsters are also encouraged to track down foul balls that leave the stadium and bring them up to the press box for a piece of candy.
The PA announcer does a very nice job, and keeps the fans engaged between innings with challenging baseball trivia questions.
The ballpark is located in the busy Towson area of Baltimore County. Towson University and Goucher College are located nearby.
Across the street from the field is a large big-box retail shopping center with many various options. A Corner Bakery restaurant (823 Goucher Blvd) is close and would be an ideal quick meal before the game.
Gino's at 8600 Lasalle Road is also very close by. This local legend has some good burgers and chicken options. Try the Gino's Giant.
If you wish to venture further, you are in luck as Towson is a semi-urban environment with a very large shopping mall and numerous restaurants in the area. Try the Charles Village Pub in the heart of downtown Towson for good food and drinks.
The crowds are similar to a northeastern college baseball stadium. The fans consist of mostly family and friends of the players on both teams. The Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League gets players from colleges throughout the country, so you may have some nice diversity at the ballpark.
Towson is the county seat of Baltimore County and always seems to be in the center of everything. It is at the crossroads of the busy Baltimore Beltway, Jones Falls Expressway and Harrisburg Expressway. I-95 is also relatively close by.
Calvert Hall College High School is also easy to find at the the busy intersection of Putty Hill Avenue and Goucher Boulevard. There should be plenty of free parking in the school's lots. If you use the lots off of Lasalle Road, near the baseball stadium, watch out for the signs designating foul territory.
Games are free, and so is the parking. The level of college ball on display makes this a great value for fans.
Walk the grounds of Calvert Hall to see how they abide by their mission of making their students "men of intellect, men of faith, and men of integrity."
A strong level of baseball for free makes a visit to a Baltimore Redbirds game a good way to spend a few innings.
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823 Goucher Blvd
Towson, MD 21286
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