Where is America’s Pastime? Baseball fans feel a sense of emptiness over COVID-19

BTR Reporter Jason Cohen with Jacob deGrom
Schneps Media Jason Cohen

March 26 was supposed to be one of the most important days of the sporting year, but the coronavirus took that from us.

Opening day for baseball is unique, special and means much more than the first games of NFL, NHL or NBA.

But, for the first time in my life, opening day has been delayed and no one knows when it will be.

While the games can be long and tedious, baseball is and always will be America’s pastime. The commencement of the season is something people look forward to every year. There’s no feeling like opening day, it’s truly incredible.

I remember years ago when I returned from a trip to Israel on opening day and spent all day watching baseball with my brother and another time, the entire day with a close friend.

It’s a day where ballparks and bars are packed; people take off from work and school and family and friends spend time with one another.

New Yorkers were looking forward to seeing the Bronx Bombers begin their season with new ace Gerrit Cole and the Mets with CY Young winner Jacob deGrom.

Now, Yankee Stadium and Citi Field are empty. It’s a sad sight to see. It feels weird not having games on right now. Although, admittedly, non-baseball fans may find this difficult to understand.

But, not seeing ESPN, Fox and MLB Network flooded with games today was heartbreaking. Sports are always there when things go bad. After 9/11 people came to watch sports to recover from what took place. In fact, there was the memorable Mike Piazza home run in the time immediately after the national tragedy.

I really can’t remember in my 35 years a time when sports were put on indefinite hold. This country needs nine innings of pitching, hitting and a walk off home run.

Some of MLB’s best even shared their thoughts on missing the first game.

While the ratings have declined and it isn’t as popular as football, there will never be anything else like opening day of baseball. Hopefully the coronavirus recedes soon and allows players to return to the diamond.

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