Many Baltimore Orioles fans have grumbled about the invasion of New York Yankee and Boston Red Sox fans when the teams visit Camden Yards. The fans at Peroutka & Peroutka P.A. are trying to do something about that.
The Pasadena firm bought out chunks of lower-deck sections in the outfield for both of the Orioles’ games with the Yankees last week. The O’s fans that purchased tickets were given orange T-shirts bearing the name of this grassroots movement — Take Back Our Yard.
“Take back one section at a time,” said Phil Reeder. “That’s our rallying cry.”
Reeder, an account representative at the debt collection agency, hatched the idea with Steve Peroutka, a name partner at the firm, over dinner a few weeks ago. Peroutka mentioned how his wife was tired of seeing hundreds, if not thousands, of Yankee fans at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
“You felt like unwanted guests in your own stadium,” Peroutka said. “We wanted to get the chance to root among Orioles’ fans.”
So Reeder used a contact in the Orioles’ ticket office to purchase nearly 300 seats for Wednesday’s game and more than 200 for Thursday’s. The tickets were resold to fans for $25, or half of their face value, and Reeder said the allotments for both games sold out.
“It was just a great, great night,” said Peroutka, who went to both games.
Reeder spread the word through local radio appearances and a Facebook page. Take Back Our Yard had only one requirement for participants: an allegiance to the orange-and-black.
“These tickets were purchased for resale to Oriole fans only,” states Rule No. 1 on the group’s website. “Please do not buy unless you are an Oriole fan. Do not sell or give away your tickets to non-Orioles fans.”
Reeder stayed in the left-centerfield section for all of Wednesday night’s “heartbreaking” loss in 15 innings and Thursday’s rain-delayed, 13-2 shellacking. The Yankees fans nearby “behaved pretty well,” he said.
“They didn’t drown us out,” he added.
Those participating were invited to a pregame party both nights at the nearby Sports Legend Museum. People were already asking him when Take Back Our Yard would happen again.
The tentative answer, Reeder said Friday, is Aug. 26 when the Yankees are back in town. The plans are to buy 400 tickets. Next year, the group behind the movement wants to attend more games.
“We’ll certainly get on it earlier next year and buy a bigger section,” he said.
Reeder and Peroutka hope the firm’s effort will inspire other Baltimore-area businesses.
“Hopefully other companies will join us and Yankee fans won’t feel at home anymore,” Reeder said.