The crack of the bat, the roar of the crowd, the smell of popcorn and peanuts. Those are some of the things most people conjure up when you mention America’s “favorite past time.”
But not yesterday, at least not in Camden Yards in Baltimore. In what had to be strangest MLB game ever played, the Baltimore Orioles faced off against the Chicago White Sox, witnessed by no one except for news media and security personnel.
Because just for that game, the concessions were closed, the seats were empty, and there wasn’t a hot dog to be had due to public safety concerns surrounding the riotous unrest just outside the stadium’s gates.
Talk about memorabilia?! Everything that happened in Camden Yards on April 29, 2015 was in its own way history making. Both the winners and the losers actually can celebrate one very certain fact; they played in the only game ever in the history of MLB that no spectators were allowed to attend.
I have to believe that every Baseball Card company on the planet was on hand for this once in a lifetime event. Every player, every ball, every bat, every piece of equipment; all of it can now claim a piece of MLB history. I can see it now, in thirty years, a whole bunch of grandpas will be telling their grandchildren that, through no fault of their own, they were there, got a hit, made a crucial play, or were maybe just freaked out by the dead silence of the empty park.
Look at it this way. Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Bo Jackson, Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Lou Gehrig, Honus Wagner, Whitey Ford, Ozzie Smith, or even Bob Uecker; all of them and many more are famous for one thing or the other inside and outside of MLB, but none of them ever played a game in the silence of an empty stadium. And I dare say that more than likely, no other professional ball players ever will again.
By the way, in an otherwise unremarkable game, the Orioles defended their home turf by a score of 8-2.