Even with the enticement of a free Keith Urban concert (googles Keith Urban, realizes he’s a thing), the crowds in Baltimore weren’t quite what they could have been last night.
With the Ravens playing their first game since winning the Super Bowl nearly a continent away, the homestanding Orioles welcomed 17,383 fans to Camden Yards, for a game between a team scrambling for a wild card berth and the last-place Chicago White Sox.
For context, the Orioles’ previous weeknight series, against the Tampa Bay Rays on Aug. 19-21, drew an average of 26,508 per game. And the free concert drew 42,500.
Meanwhile, the Ravens’ homecoming was delayed, thematically and specifically, as lightning caused a half-hour wait and the Broncos thrashed them in the opener.
The baseball game in Baltimore was played in a crisp two hours and 34 minutes after a 7:05 p.m. start, meaning you could have watched the whole thing and caught the Ravens before halftime. At that point, the Orioles had just won 3-1 and the Ravens were still in the game.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter wasn’t ready to joust with football coaches again, he was simply ready to get his team going.
“We’re just trying to get to their level consistently like [the Ravens have] been consistent. That’s what we want to be,’’ Showalter said, via Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun. “To critique the fans or our fellow Baltimoreans on what they consider worthy of their time on a given night, I’m not going to critique that. I’m just excited that anybody decides to come here.”
The crowds might pick up tonight, with Baltimorans attentions undivided. And the lords of baseball can gloat amongst themselves, having finally won an arm-wrestling contest with their big brothers in football.