Take me out to the ballgame in a pandemic
today at 10:38 am
Live baseball is back!!! Sorta!!
I kind of remember what it was like to see a major league baseball game in person. It wasn’t all that long ago. Sometime in 2019 was when I was last inside Wrigley Field. Two years flies right by….except in a pandemic.
Fans weren’t allowed inside the park during the abbreviated 2020 season. So it was somewhat exciting to hear that we were being allowed back in for this season . It was also somewhat scary. Those two emotions are not mutually exclusive…at least not in this situation.
In Chicago, the amount of people allowed inside the parks is twenty percent of the capacity. That equals about 8,000. To be honest, I didn’t want to be a part of those eight thousand. I wasn’t ready and I wasn’t sure it was safe. Plus, it’s still April and that means the weather is likely to be somewhere between a little chilly and artic cold. You add those together and the sum doesn’t equal fun.
But then, I get an invitation to go to a game. Cubs-Brewers last Saturday. My brother, his son, his grandson and moi. Family day at Wrigley. This foursome has done this trip once before. It was a bad trip, man. It was in October of 2017. The Cubs faced the Dodgers in game five of the league championship series. Kîke Hernandez hit three home runs, the Dodgers scored about fifty runs and they eliminated the Cubs from the playoffs. That was the end of the Cubs championship run. In fact, they haven’t won a postseason game since then. But sure, let’s give it another try. What could go wrong…in a pandemic?
When I’ve watched games on television, one thing I had noticed is that a lot of the fans were not wearing masks. Hmmmm….this went against the rules of all major league ballparks. The live show was pretty much the same thing. Look…I understand how hard it is to wear a mask for three to four hours. It ain’t easy, but you know the rules going in…abide by them.
There was one nice thing about being at the park during a pandemic. Your group gets its own little pod. Instead of being cramped in like cattle in a freight train car, you’re sitting with your own small group and only them. No one else was in our row. It would have been a comfortable afternoon if it wasn’t forty degrees in the shade.
The only time I was nervous was after the game when it seemed all eight thousand of us left through the same exit. If you’re going to go through extreme measures to make sure people are safe during the game, go the extra mile to make sure they’re safe when they leave. Maybe that way they’ll live to be able to come back?
Since last Saturday’s game, life during the pandemic is opening up even more. The Bulls and Blackhawks will be letting a limited amount of fans attend their final games of this season, at the United Center. Concert venues are getting ready to open up later this summer. Chicago area festivals seem to be on, too. It’s only a matter of time until the number of fans allowed at baseball games is increased. I can’t predict the number, but my guess is we’ll see it in the fifty percent range before this season ends. Hmmmm….if I had my doubts about being with eight thousand people, I’m thinking twenty thousand folks packed together will keep me away….even if they all have vaccination passports and wearing masks.
Oh yeah, back to the actual game. The Cubs had won four straight games. They were only one game behind the Milwaukee for first place in the division. They had even scored fifteen runs the day before in a blowout of the Brewers. Things were looking good for our team…..
Final score: Milwaukee 4- Cubs 3
They went on to lose the series finale the next day, followed by three more losses in Atlanta. They’re now sitting in last place. I’m not saying that the four of us jinxed them as we did in that playoff game against the Dodgers, but I’m not saying we didn’t. Maybe it should be some time before we attend a game together again, pandemic or not?
Related Post: The Chicago Cubs don’t make it easy to be a fan
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