Patient fans wait out 5-hour rain delay for Royals vs. Orioles

BALTIMORE (AP) — Fans who showed up for a Wednesday afternoon baseball game at Camden Yards ended up waiting until early evening before the first pitch was finally thrown.

There are rain delays, and then there are rain deeeeeelaaaaays that last about as long as a doubleheader.

The Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Royals, as well as a couple thousand patient fans, endured a five-hour wait before the game got under way.

This was Kansas City's lone scheduled visit to Baltimore this year, which provided both teams plenty of incentive to play the finale of a three-game series instead of making it up months from now.

Shortly before the scheduled 1:05 p.m. start, the Orioles put up a message on the scoreboard that read, “The start of today's game is being delayed by inclement weather. ... We will keep you advised of an expected start time as soon as possible.”

So, the fans waited. And waited. And they waited some more as the rain kept coming.

Three hours in, 27-year-old Jessica Pearce said, "I really wish they'd tell us something. I don't mind sitting around for a while, but this is really too long.”

Pearce, who was sitting against a wall on the concourse with an alcoholic drink in hand, added, “I don't have anything else to do, so I'll stick it out.”

Three-plus hours proved too long for Bill and Toni Ulrich, who much earlier consumed all the food and drink they brought for an afternoon at the ballpark.

“It's just as cold and wet as when we got here,” Toni said. “We're done. We're out of here. It's not worth it.”

The Orioles didn't promise fans tickets to another game if they left. That's why some fans hung around, even after several of the concession stands shut down and the ballpark DJ began playing songs that had been heard earlier in the day.

“You can't leave and come back in with the same ticket, and they haven't said anything about rain checks or tickets to another game,” said 25-year-old George Shalloway, who was sitting with a friend on a staircase leading to the upper deck.

“I wish they would have called it earlier,” Shalloway said. “We've taken a lot of laps around the stadium, but now we're pretty bored.”

Had the game been postponed, the teams could have met on Sept. 23, an off day for both teams. The Royals play in nearby Washington on the 24th, and the Orioles have a homestand that ends on the 22nd before playing in New York against the Yankees.

As it turned out, they won't need to make up this game in September, and those fans who stuck around until 6:05 p.m. got to sit in any open seat.

It's also worth noting that this lengthy rain delay fell well short of the major league record of 7 hours, 23 minutes. The Rangers and White Sox never did get started on Aug. 12, 1990, in Chicago.