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WKSU, our public radio partners in Ohio and across the region and NPR are all continuing to work on stories on the latest developments with the coronavirus and COVID-19 so that we can keep you informed.

MLB During COVID-19: A Report From the Cleveland Indians Press Box

A photo of the Cleveland Indians pregame
SEAN FITZGERALD
/
WKSU
The Cleveland Indians take positions for pregame warmups during the pandemic.

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.

A photo of the view of home plate from the Cleveland Indians' press box on opening day.
Credit SEAN FITZGERALD / WKSU
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WKSU
The view of home plate from the Cleveland Indians' press box on opening day.

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.

A photo of the field when the Indians played the Cubs.
Credit SEAN FITZGERALD / WKSU
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WKSU
The field during a game when the Indians played the Chicago Cubs.

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.

Cleveland Indians coach at home plate as the team played the Royals
Credit SEAN FITZGERALD / WKSU
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WKSU
A Cleveland Indians coach is at home plate as the team plays the Kansas City Royals.

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.