Baseball has been a favorite sport among many households in America since it’s historic beginnings on June 19, 1846, when the New York Nine beat the Knickerbockers in the first officially recorded game of “America’s Pastime.” Many people grow up with fond memories of eating a hot dog and drinking soda with their friends or family at a Major League Baseball game, anxiously awaiting to catch a foul ball as it comes whizzing by them. It is commonplace for a stadium to be as packed as a colosseum, fans cheering at the top of their lungs for their favorite team, united against the umpire when the star player is struck out, and of course, who could forget the magic of the fireworks shows afterwards? Well, in the meantime, these fond memories for some will have to be just that for now: memories.
The road of 2020 is paved with so much uncertainty, and the MLB has had no exceptions in this. Particularly, along with the threats of the pandemic, the next season of our beloved game was faced with the chaotic debates between the League and the Player’s Association. Both sides of the fight agree that they want to play the fullest and safest season possible, but team owners have several concessions that they want met, since profits will be down at the end of the season with no fans coming in person to the games. Demands were rejected on both sides, and the chaos of it all has not yet been fully resolved, but some creative solutions have come forth.
One such solution is many stadiums are offering the opportunity for fans to purchase a seat which they will place a cardboard cutout image of you in during the games. This innovative idea gives fans the opportunity to contribute to their favorite teams and be a part of the experience from home, while at the same time teams are able to conduct their season in the safest way possible for everyone, players and fans alike. The Seattle Mariners were one of the first teams to jump on this bandwagon with much success, and many teams have followed suit with similar results. Some have even decided to put their own spin on things, such as the Minnesota Twins, who decided to make their cutouts giant faces instead of life-sized images.
There are no immediate plans to cancel the rest of the games for the year; however, there have been reports of coronavirus outbreaks among some of the teams’ players, particularly among the players of the Miami Marlins, where a good amount of the team has tested positive. These outbreaks cast a looming shadow over the immediate future of the league, but at the current time, no more action has been taken in regards to officially canceling the season or delaying future games.
Despite all the uncertainty that has arisen, the MLB has been fortunate enough to continue their games into the 2020 season and they are currently still playing, despite not being able to play with fans in-person and all the debating between the league and the player association. Questions still remain as to whether these outbreaks will halt the MLB, but in the meantime, America’s Pastime does not appear to be leaving.