BALTIMORE, Md. (WDVM) – The Baltimore Orioles are making changes to the left-field wall at Camden Yards with the intention of making the ballpark more balanced for both hitters and pitchers.
The left-field wall, which previously sat at 333 feet back from the left-field line, is being pushed back 26 ½ feet, and is being heightened from 7 feet, to 13 feet.
“We think that this will improve the playing conditions and style of play in this part of the park and be beneficial towards us and the type of competition that occurs here going forward,” said Orioles Executive Vice President and General Manager, Mike Elias on Friday.
Since it’s opening in 1992, no other ballpark in Major League Baseball has surrendered more homeruns than Oriole Park at Camden Yards (5911), and suffering at it’s expense have been Orioles pitchers, who have allowed the most home runs over the past three seasons, even setting a new MLB record in 2019 for most home runs allowed in a single season (305.)
“We are very hopeful of what the effects will be towards bringing this park towards neutrality,” said Elias. “It’s still going to remain very much a ‘hitters park,’ but our expectation is that this will bring the conditions more towards the league norm so that we’re not seeing such extreme outcomes on fly balls to this part of the park as has been the case here over the past couple of years.”
The Orioles are also hopeful that with these alterations to the playing surface, it will help attract pitchers in free agency who typically shy away from coming to Baltimore with Camden Yards notoriously being a hitters park.
“It’s definitely a significant factor in our move to do this. The conditions here have been very extreme towards the very most extreme in the league. It’s not a secret. It’s been the case for decades, and part of having a winning program is the ability to recruit free agent pitchers, and that has been a historical challenge for this franchise.”
Nathan Ruiz, Orioles beat reporter for the Baltimore Sun, makes an interesting note with announcement of left-field alterations:
The alterations are underway and construction is expected to be compete for opening day.