A New York Yankees fan’s Opening Day fun without Opening Day

It was a day of celebration and lament for baseball.

Now my title may be misleading, technically “fun” would be going to a Major League Baseball ballpark on Opening Day and actually watching a game, or, in the alternative, watching from the sofa with a cold one nearby.  Real fun would be if that game were in Yankee Stadium and I was parked in a seat behind home plate.

“Fun” as we know it in this world in crisis is barely a consideration; however, the human spirit is indomitable and will not be kept down.  March 26th came and with it came thoughts of Opening Day 2020.

Players and fans showed their support for the stay-at-home initiatives ordered to keep the coronavirus from spreading at a breakneck pace.

Gleyber Torres posted on Instagram “We miss New York, we miss baseball..we’ll be back soon #OpeningDayAtHome.”

And on Twitter, there was a campaign, started by Jomboy Media to celebrate Opening Day with the hashtags, #JerseysOn, #CapsOn, #OpeningDayOnline and #OpeningDayatHome.

On Facebook, fans posted selfies in jerseys, t-shirts, caps, with friends and family, at home and at the stadium.

It was a day of celebration and lament for baseball.  Fans turned out on social media to rep their teams and to do what they always do late in March or the first days of April and that is celebrate baseball.

Unfortunately, the coronavirus prevented Opening Day, so I celebrated by watching the March 12th Spring Training game between the Yankees and the Nationals, the last game played before the shutdown.  I wanted to be as close to live action as I could get.  It was, however, unsatisfying and no substitute for what I imagined would have been a stellar Opening Day for Gerrit Cole and the Yankees at Camden Yards.

There weren’t any cheers, chicken buckets, or beers, just me on the sofa on a Thursday afternoon wishing for the return normal, wishing for the return of baseball.  The fun, what could be found, was in the interaction with other fans on social media feeling likewise lost and sad but feeling lighter, even uplifted, by sharing these feelings with others and by celebrating together, though far apart, the irreplaceable something that baseball brings to our lives.

Author: Chris Northrop

Freelance baseball writer - let's start the Yankees' conversation!

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