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Memorial Stadium: A Documentary in Progress

By Charles Cohen and Joseph Mathew | Posted 2/13/2007 5:02:45 PM

When we first went to Memorial Stadium in October with the hopes of capturing the final gathering of a generation of characters who made this place roar without a scoreboard prompt, it was a given that the one-time home to the Classic Colts and the Powerhouse Orioles was doomed. The only debate was whether the stadium would endure the indignity of the common wrecking ball or the spectacle of implosion.

Even under such a dismal cloud, the mood among those who lined up around the stadium to buy a seat for a hundred bucks or a brick for $25 wasn't grim. In fact, the sense of elation, and even privilege, among those who rummaged through the dusty bowl of stacked seats and weeds became more of a last rites ritual. A grandfather and grandson knelt to dig up a piece of the end zone. An expecting father left his wife at the hospital to pick up an old stadium seat.

No one knew that Baltimore was about to embark on a wild political ride that pitted do-gooders against nostalgic preservationists; old guard politicians like ex-Governor William Donald Schaefer against the brash new Mayor Martin O'Malley. Do neighborhood associations backed by a church group looking to build senior housing and a YMCA have more clout than a gumshoe community activist with 1,200 signatures on a petition hoping to save the stadium? Apparently so.

More than 50 hours of footage later, we believe we have an unique cross cut view of a city wrestling with its identity. Hopefully with some luck and funding this mix of characters, sports, social phenomena and politics will make it to a movie screen nearest you.

Those interested in the Memorial Stadium Project can contact Urban Eye Productions, 410-325-2551. or go to the Memorial Stadium website.

Special thanks to the Babe Ruth Museum

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