Column: Normalcy returns as fans pack the stands at Globe Life Field
It’s crazy to think that it was only last September when Globe Life Field completed its inaugural campaign without any fans in the stands. I was there in the press box and it was an odd experience to watch as the Texas Rangers capped the regular season with a win over the Houston Astros.
Fast forward to this week and the same ballpark was rocking with fans for a two-game series against the San Francisco Giants.
It was a far stretch from the previous contest that featured simulated crowd noise, cardboard cutouts of fans and no aromas filling the air.
That changed with this trip as I walked around the concourse less than an hour before first pitch on Tuesday night and took in the various sights and sounds. But it’s safe to say the savory aromas are the best part of going to a game.
And that’s saying a lot in our current situation, as you would think wearing a mask would take away from that experience. But surprisingly, it didn’t.
Speaking of masks, I noticed a good majority of fans opted not to wear one. I know it’s difficult to require everyone to keep their faces covered at all times, but I expected to see a little more than I did.
That’s especially true as the paid attendance for Tuesday night was 24,938, while Wednesday’s matinee featured 25,803 fans.
However, there’s no way to tell how many fans are vaccinated. There could be many who have received their COVID-19 shot(s), but I didn’t see any way to prove that at the entrance.
It was still a great sight to see the ballpark packed with fans, especially of my favorite team, the Giants, who have MLB's best record at 38-23.
But I won’t talk too much about San Francisco, other than to say I enjoyed seeing a grand slam Tuesday night in the victory over the Rangers.
That homer took the energy right out of the crowd. That’s saying a lot, too, as the place was rocking up to that point.
I even had the treat of watching the wave break out earlier in the evening. I may not be a fan of it, but it was nice to see the crowd interaction.
That was also true for the random "let’s go" chants throughout the game. Some were enough to help motivate more fans to join, while others faded into the rafters.
But at the end of the day, it was great to see baseball bring us back to the world that we were used to before the pandemic.
We’re still not out of the woods, but it’s only a matter of time before this is all behind us and we’re experiencing sporting events like we did in the past.