Major League Baseball's Opening Night was weird. I watched something I had never seen before.

I saw the first game of a regular baseball season with nobody in the stadium. Like it was a pickup game at the park, except the players in this game are making millions. The second game had cutouts. It was very awkward at first, but I ended up liking it better than empty seats.  It was less distracting. All that aside, Opening Day for the Twins is going to be strange. 

Here's what was missing:

  • Real crowd noise. Stadiums pumped in artificial crowd noise through the speakers. 
  • Cutaway camera shots of a family sharing a moment of being at the ballpark together. 
  • Fans reaching out, or running, for foul balls or home runs. 
  • Vendors walking up and down the stairs yelling, “Ice cold beer!” or “Peanuts!"
  • Camera shots of the play by play announcers interviewing a guest for an inning or goofing around and having (sometimes awkward) fun.

I found myself actually missing those things. Things I never thought I would. That led to moments where it all seemed wrong, almost.

I was thinking, “This isn’t how baseball is supposed to be,” or any sport for that matter. It was those moments that made me aware of how much the game is about and for the fans. 

But through all of those thoughts and feelings, I realized that - I didn’t care. I was finally watching baseball. I was watching the great American past time. And given that we haven't had any sports for many months, I was watching baseball - and that's all that mattered. 

There have been many things about the COVID coronavirus pandemic that have made me appreciate things that I usually took for granted. 

Watching Major League Baseball's first game for the 2020 - on July 23rd - was one of them

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