MLB During COVID-19: A Report From the Cleveland Indians Press Box
Major League Baseball decided that no fans would be allowed to spectate at games this season, and only the teams' staff and the media would be let in. I ended up being one of the lucky few to be inside the Cleveland Indians press box so far during this COVID-19 pandemic.
Before I could enter Progressive Field, I was asked a set of health questions, had my temperature taken, and went through security. Then I walked inside and up a ramp to the press box.
The pregame music blared throughout the stadium, and balls launched off the barrels of wooden bats.
Before the game started, a prerecorded national anthem with various performers played on the main videoboard.
Then, it was finally time to play ball.
The sounds of on-field conversations and umpire calls made their way up to the press box, and the public address announcer called out batters' names as they stepped up to the plate.
The fake crowd noise seemed bizarre at first as I settled into the new normal for the year, and the applause was a lot less energetic, even when Cleveland scored.
In the end, baseball is back in Cleveland and the rest of the country. And all I know is that I’m happy to be witnessing history.