by Tony Bianchini
On Wednesday, April 29, the Baltimore Orioles played the Chicago White Sox at home in front of no fans. This was the first game in MLB history that was played in front of no fans. The MLB made the decision of closing the game to the public after conditions in Baltimore worsened due to riots. The game was moved up in the day to 2:05 PM to accommodate the 10pm curfew in Baltimore. Fans who had already purchased tickets to the game could exchange their tickets for any remaining home games at Camden Yards. The Orioles ended up winning the game 8-2.
“Sometimes in Cuba I played with no crowd in an empty stadium; it will be normal for us,” stated White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu.
The game was still broadcasted on TV so that the Oriole faithful could still cheer their team on. Being in an empty stadium meant that the announcers didn’t have to try and speak over the roar of the the crowd; so they chose to announce some of the game like golf announcers and whispered the play by play.
“It was kind of like being back in the instructional league in Arizona where there was always a lack of fans,” explained Orioles manager Buck Showalter.
If you were there however you would feel like it was a normal game. Each player was still announced and had walk up music, they also played “Thank god I’m a Country Boy” and “Take Me Out to the Ballpark” in the 7th inning as usual.
The fans have declared May 11th “Re-opening Day” because there hasn’t been a home game at Camden Yards for two weeks.