The thump of the glove and the crack of the bat were audible in today’s White Sox-Orioles game with no attendance, but the lack of fans allowed new sounds, too: the rattling of the foul ball bouncing around the empty seats, the cheers and applause of teammates, the movement of phlegm as someone cleared their throat.
The baseball game without a crowd didn’t reach its full potential, however. There were no hitters plunked, no managers arguing with umpires, and no players chirping at each other. Viewers could have heard everything if anything happened, but nothing did.
Maybe the players were conscious of that. The game, which ended in an 8-2 Orioles win, moved quickly—a little over two hours—as if everyone wanted to get the hell out of there as soon as possible. Game recaps will use “eerie” and “surreal” to describe the scene. Let’s just go with “odd.”
Gary Thorne acknowledged the unique circumstances by switching to a golf broadcaster’s tone in one Adam Jones at-bat:
Hawk Harrelson took a moment during the game to be, well, Hawk Harrelson:
The game also lent itself to excellent gametime photos:
The press box was quite healthy:
Even though the seats were empty, fans and protesters still watched from outside the stadium’s gates:
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