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Road Trip

Root, Root, Root for Three Home Teams

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

WHERE: Southeast Washington, Prince George's County and Baltimore.

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WHY: The Nationals' move, Babe Ruth's home base and peanuts in a bag.

HOW FAR: About 58 miles from start to finish.

The Washington area steps to the plate . . . and hits a triple! (The crowd goes wild!)

Between Washington and Baltimore, baseball fans can visit not one but three stadiums (and see their teams' home games), all within an hour's drive. The trifecta comprises Nationals Park, Prince George's Stadium and Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

The Washington Nationals will get their first official crack at bat in their new waterfront stadium March 30, when they play the Atlanta Braves in front of a sold-out crowd. The next day, the Baltimore Orioles will open their season (against the Tampa Bay Rays) at Camden Yards, which sits on the site of a tavern once owned by the parents of Baltimore native Babe Ruth. And starting April 3, you can catch the Bowie Baysox -- and maybe a foul ball -- at Prince George's Stadium.

Each stadium has its highlights. The Nationals' venue is, well, new and much ballyhooed. The home of the Baysox (a minor league affiliate of the Orioles) features family-friendly events, such as games where you can bring your dog (April 6) and meet the team (April 20).

The Orioles' park is close enough to the Federal Hill neighborhood (just over the Hanover Street Bridge) that gamegoers can grab a meal before or after the event. Head to Cross Street Market, whose original structure was built in 1845, the same year the New York Knickerbockers established the first set of baseball rules. Vendors sell produce, baked goods, chicken wings, etc. -- a feast more nutritious than peanuts and Cracker Jack.

-- Jada Bradley


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