The Baltimore Orioles’ hometown has been ranked as the fifth-best baseball town in North America by Fox Sports’ Dieter Kurtenbach.
The Baltimore Orioles fanbase has always been one of the best in baseball. And while football has often overshadowed baseball in Baltimore, often due to the Ravens frequent success and the Orioles frequent failure in the past, Fox Sports has recognized Baltimore as the fifth-best baseball town in North America.
Fox Sports writer Dieter Kurtenbach created a list of the 13 best baseball towns in North America that, by his own admission, is fairly subjective. He writes that determining the best baseball town is hard. You can do it by jersey sales, by atmosphere, by scarcity, by attendance, but they’re all too difficult to choose one category.
So for his process, he writes, “It’s an amalgamation of all of it, and it’s an inexact science at best. But as someone who has been to all but a small handful of Major League parks (the two Pennsylvania yards, Citi Field, and the new Braves’ suburban home) I feel marginally qualified (which is about as good as you can get) to amalgamate those things into an overall ranking.”
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For his entry on Baltimore, Kurtenbach writes, “Baltimore is not a big city, and being in Washington D.C.’s shadow doesn’t help much either. Even in a two-sport town, Orioles fans never turn off their fandom. And when the O’s are playing well — as they have for the past few years — you’re going to hear about it.”
And he’s right. If you’ve been to Camden Yards during some of the Orioles bigger games (especially in the playoffs), you’ve heard how loud that stadium can get. The Orioles success lately has shown Baltimore to be a true baseball town. Back when the team was the joke of the AL East, we’d often hear more New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox fans at Camden Yards than Orioles fans, but that’s not the case anymore.
As for who’s ahead of Baltimore, Boston clocks in at number four, Chicago at number three, San Francisco at number two, and St. Louis at number one.
Certainly Orioles fans will be understandably irked at the site of Boston being called a better baseball town than them, and I’m right there with them. Baseball dominates in Baltimore in a deep, passionate way that you don’t see as significantly in Boston.
Boston has the Celtics, the Bruins, and especially the Patriots. These teams are easily as popular, if not more popular, than the Red Sox among many Bostonians. While the Ravens often are nearly equal in popularity to the Orioles, Baltimore has a long history of being one of the best baseball towns in America, mostly because the city only has a baseball and a football team (with a basketball team quite a long time ago).
Regardless, it’s good to see Baltimore being recognized for the fantastic baseball town that it really is.