Many major league ballparks have been used as a setting for a movie or television show, such as Fenway Park (Field of Dreams, Fever Pitch), Yankee Stadium (For the Love of the Game), and Wrigley Field (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off). Although much newer than those listed, Oriole Park at Camden Yards has seen its fair share of time in the limelight. In fact, only Tiger Stadium, Shea Stadium, Dodger Stadium, and the previously listed have made more appearances on the big screen.
I’ve compiled a list of a number movies and television shows that have featured the Orioles/Camden Yards, as well as productions where a main character wore Orioles memorabilia. If I missed any of your favorites, leave them in the comments!
In the third season of the NBC sitcom, George, Elaine, and Kramer go to an Orioles-Yankees game. The three received the tickets from Jerry’s girlfriend, whose father is the Yankees’ accountant. Wearing an Orioles cap, Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is heckled by the opposing fans and told to remove her hat. Her lack of cooperation, as well as subsequent fight with George, gets her removed from the game.
An average man impersonating the President of the United States after the latter suffers a stroke, Dave Kovic (Kevin Kline) throws out the ceremonial first pitch at Camden Yards. Filmed in August of 1992, the crew filmed the scene in front of a sellout crowd just minutes before the start of a crucial matchup with the Tigers. Dave was the first movie to feature the picturesque stadium, as it opened earlier that year.
Major League II
Although the trilogy centered around the Cleveland Indians, none of the three films actually took place in Cleveland. In the second installment, Camden Yards replaced Milwaukee County Stadium as the home venue of the Indians. With the stadium's obvious features, filmmakers made sure every scoreboard read "Welcome to Cleveland Stadium". In another attempt to hide the ballpark's identity, the walls were covered in blue tarp.
Homicide: Life on the Street
Based on the book Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets, this HBO series followed a fictional version of the Baltimore Police Department’s Homicide Unit. In the series’ final season, detectives John Munch and Mike Kellerman are called to Camden Yards to investigate the murder of a Yankees fan, found dead in the stadium stairwell. With the help of a fan, the detectives solve the case before former closer Randy Myers converts one of his league-leading 45 saves that season.
In this 2002 movie, John Quincy Archibald (Denzel Washington) and his wife are watching their young son, Mikey, play little league ball. Archibald, wearing an orange Orioles pullover jersey, and his wife, wearing a hat featuring the orthinologically correct bird, watch Mikey beat out the throw for an infield single. Called safe, Mikey takes a turn for second as his teammate attempts to score, but he collapses shortly thereafter. Needing a heart transplant for his son, John Q. takes several hospital staff members and emergency room patients hostage after he learns his insurance will not cover his son's transplant.
Head of State
After being plucked from the unemployment line to serve as the minority presidential candidate, Mays Gillam (Chris Rock) overcomes long odds to win the election. One can imagine that his appearance at Camden Yards, where he tossed the ceremonial first pitch before a sellout crowd, went a long way in improving chances.
The West Wing
The second member of the Sheen family to film in Camden Yards, Martin Sheen tossed a ceremonial first pitch for the season finale of The West Wing. Sheen, who played President Josiah Bartlet in the popular NBC series, actually waited through a rain delay before to his cameo prior to an Orioles win over the Blue Jays. In addition to the weather delay, the crowd waited through Sheen's inaccuracies, as it took him four attempts to record a strike to then-catcher Javy Lopez.
Maryland may be known for crab cakes and football, but the Orioles played a small role in this hit film. Depressed in his apartment after the love of his life finds out about his wild lifestyle, John Beckwith (Owen Wilson) decided to watch his favorite baseball team. Listen closely and you'll hear that former right fielder Jay Gibbons just hit a go-ahead homerun against the White Sox. A bleacher report article has determined that the exact game that Wilson’s character was watching occurred on May 5, 2004, a 6-5 Orioles loss.
In an episode of the critically acclaimed HBO series The Wire, two of Baltimore’s finest police detectives, Jimmy McNulty and Bunk Moreland, take their sons to an Orioles game. McNulty closely watches his estranged wife, also at the game, as she’s dating a politician of interest to the detectives. Scenes from action between the Orioles and visiting White Sox are shown in between the season three monologue, most notably with Miguel Tejada recording a base hit before Brian Roberts is thrown out at the plate.
In this HBO comedy series, Vice President Selina Meyer (Louis-Dreyfus) hosts an Eat Healthy initiative event at Camden Yards after she was assigned by the president to tackle the country's obesity problem. Although most of the episode takes place in the stadium's suites, Meyer eventually makes her way down to the field to meet the team. Among those in attendance were former Oriole Jake Arrieta, current closer Tommy Hunter, and Hall of Famer Jim Palmer.
House of Cards
The inspiration for this list, this wildly-popular Netflix series features Vice President of the United States Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) throwing out a ceremonial first pitch at Camden Yards. The noted Orioles fan, who actually threw a real ceremonial first pitch against the Blue Jays a season ago, is first seen wearing a jacket featuring the cartoon bird in the tunnel to the team dugout as he is being introduced to the crowd. Former closer Jim Johnson and outfielder Nate McLouth meet Spacey’s character on the field, with Johnson expecting to receive the pitch as the stadium lights suddenly go out. For added realism, the crowd even yells "O" during the national anthem.
Note from Stacey: One addition to the list! Who doesn't love watching A Few Good Men for the 100th time (as one does) and seeing the Orioles on in the background of LT Kaffee's apartment? It was from this game, and the scene shown is when Randy Milligan doubled in Brady Anderson and Cal Ripken in the bottom of the ninth inning to win the game for the O's.