The Baltimore Orioles are backing up the left field wall as far as 30 feet and making it taller by about 5 feet to make Oriole Park at Camden Yards easier on pitchers, according to reports.
The Baltimore Sun reported that construction this week to alter Camden Yards’ left-field dimensions to try to reduce the stadium’s propensity for home runs.
The Orioles sent an email to fans whose seats will be affected by the changes, according to an Associated Press report.
“For the start of the 2022 season, the distance from home plate to the left field wall will be pushed back as much as 30 feet, in varying increments at different points in the wall, and the height will raise approximately 5 feet,” the email said. “By pushing back the left field wall, we’ve created a playing field that is fair for both pitchers and hitters.”
Baltimore hit 122 home runs at home last year and 73 on the road, the AP reported. Orioles pitchers allowed 155 homers at home, compared to just 103 on the road.
“While Oriole Park will remain a hitter’s ballpark, it will no longer be an outlier among the parks,” the email to fans said.
Last year’s dimensions at Camden Yards were 333 feet to left and 364 to left-center. The fence was 7 feet high.
The changes will be the first to the size of the iconic ballpark’s playing area in two decades, the Sun reported. Major League Baseball approved the adjustments, which will cover the area from the left-field corner to the bullpens in the left-center field.
As of 2020, Camden Yards’ distance from home plate to the left-field corner was 333 feet, about average for the 30 major league stadiums, though its 364-foot distance to left-center was one of the league’s most reachable for batters, the Sun reported.
Oriole Park was one of only eight ballparks with a wall shorter than 8 feet in left and had the shortest wall in left-center field of any venue. The planned height of 12 feet for the left-field wall would make it tied for the sixth-tallest in the majors.