KWTX Press Box: MLB game with no fans understandably abnormal
ARLINGTON, Texas (KWTX) - When Colorado Rockies outfielder Garrett Hampson robbed Texas Rangers lead-off hitter Shin-Soo Choo of a home run in the first inning, players in the Colorado dugout were easily audible from the working press area near the top of the stadium.
Even if a record-low number of fans were in the ballpark, the visitors’ reactions would never be that distinguishable.
The hand-clapping was discernable, hands slapped against the dugout padding were apparent, and the cheers were boisterous.
Thinking back to all the MLB games I’ve attended as a credentialed member of the press, the second-ever game at Globe Life Field was the strangest I had ever witnessed.
Some media members were turned away from attending Opening Day due to updated MLB limitations. But when I was approved for this game, even though the press area is usually relatively quiet, and media members were spaced six-feet apart from each other, I felt like I was all by myself watching the game.
In the past, when pitchers record strikeouts with nobody on base, the catcher usually fires the ball to a corner infielder so that everyone in the infield can stay engaged. Now, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the catcher returns the ball back to the pitcher to limit the amount of hands the baseball touches.
But the obvious baseball oddity -- no fans in the stands.
The Rangers’ game presentation staff did a spectacular job adding in crowd noise in the second game of Texas’ series with the Rockies. They also showed their sense of humor, at one point flashing a “Get Loud” graphic at a critical moment of the game.
Even though I was aware of the current atmosphere, when Joey Gallo mashed a foul ball into the upper deck, I was still waiting to hear some kind of realistic ‘ooh’ or ‘ahh’ reaction.
I never knew it could feel so weird watching a Major League Baseball game in person.
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