THURSDAY

For three college summers, I worked underground at Oriole Park at Camden Yards (pictured)—not as a Yankees scout or a Boog’s Barbecue tester, but as a money counter in a spot below the Warehouse known as the Event Center. When the O’s were in town, I’d head to the stadium right after batting practice, walking down Eutaw Street and slipping into the ARA Services employee entrance. Right after I punched the clock, I’d cash in my food allowance—Esskay hot dogs or a crab cake or two—which I considered a major perk of the job. Since I couldn’t watch the game, I’d switch on the radio and listen to John Miller broadcast his brand of O’s magic. I knew all the team’s sponsors’ slogans by heart: “Yummy, yummy, yummy, got Esskay in my tummy.” When the first inning ended, the moonlighting—and more often than not overweight—off-duty Baltimore city police officers who collected the money for ARA would saunter down from the stands with the first, say, $100,000 to count. By 2 or 3 a.m., my money-counting cohorts and I would have counted up to half a million dollars from hot dog, beer, and novelty sales. And over the course of nine innings, there were accusations of stealing, lying, and an extramarital affair or two. Washington Times sportswriter Thom Laverro dishes other dirt on the jewel of Baltimore in his book, Home of the Game: The Story of Camden Yards at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 15, at Barnes & Noble, 12089 Rockville Pike, Rockville. Free. (301) 881-0237. (Elissa Silverman)