To give you a proper illustration of Camden Yards, we’re going to discuss…the Sistine Chapel. Trust me, this will make sense.
If you haven’t seen the Sistine Chapel (I have not), you might expect the ceiling to be this big, beautiful flat space. You might imagine Michelangelo in 1502 preparing to create a masterpiece on the massive canvas.
But in reality, this is what the ceiling looks like.
It’s a nightmare. There are buttresses, columns, arches, domes, grottos. This wasn’t a blank canvas, it was a cluttered mess. And that’s what makes it so amazing. Instead of complaining about the obstacles before him, Michelangelo used them to make the painting even better. In each grotto he painted a different Bible character. He put angels on top of the columns. In each panel down the center he painted a different scene from the creation story with God creating man in the very center. In short, he made this.
Now…come with me to 1989. This time imagine you’re the architect hired to build this new ballpark. As they were looking at the site of the park they were looking at a major obstacle.
What a pain! Blocking off an entire side of the park was a humongous old warehouse building. That complicated everything – and worse off the building was a historical site making it a royal mess to try and tear down.
They built the warehouse as part of the ballpark in a way that made the whole thing even better. The view of the warehouse wall is unique and beautiful. For years sluggers have been trying to be the first home run hitter to hit the warehouse wall. They built bars and restaurants into the warehouse. In fact, instead of walking through cavernous hallways to get around to your seat, fans get to walk along the street right alongside the warehouse.
So like the Sistine Chapel, in the face of an obstacle, they found creative divinity.