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“God Bless America” Played at Empty Ballpark to Honor MLB’s Opening Day
AP Photo/Orlando Ramirez

Right now, if life were anything close to normal, MLB fans would be on cloud nine. They would put on their lucky caps and jerseys, head to the ballpark, and enjoy all of the great stadium food there is to offer at the concession stand. Opening Day is one of the coolest traditions in all of sports, but the coronavirus pandemic has all of us sitting at home and wondering when it will ever happen.

COVID-19 has everyone stressing and missing sports, but the San Diego Padres put together an awesome plan to make everything feel normal, if only for a few minutes.

In honor of Opening Day, the Padres partnered with Phil’s BBQ to provide lunch for UCSD Healthcare and San Diego Blood Bank employees and volunteers. They also played “God Bless America” at 1:10 p.m. — the scheduled time for first pitch of their Opening Day game against the Colorado Rockies — as a “symbol of solidarity with our resilient country and all of you during this time of crisis.”

As expected, it was very powerful.

“God Bless America” at Padres 2020 Opening Day

Having an empty stadium when you know it should be Opening Day must have been a helpless feeling for the Padres front office, but they made the most of it at an empty Petco Park in California.

Padres Executive Chairman Ron Fowler and Peter Seidler even wrote a letter to the Friar Faithful.

“We are all facing a very difficult and challenging time. Our hearts go out to those who have been impacted by this crisis. We stand with our federal, state and local authorities as they lead us through this time and encourage everyone to heed the direction we are receiving from those leaders. We also have profound respect and appreciation for our health care workers, first responders and all those who are volunteering to help our community during this time.”

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The effects of the coronavirus outbreak are large, especially in New York right now, and this is only the beginning. There are a lot of people struggling, and social distancing guidelines have us out of our normal routines and workouts.

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Perhaps the playing of “God Bless America” at an empty ballpark will bring a little bit of joy and hope during a time of uncertainty.

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Brett Regan About the author:
With over 10 years of sports writing experience, Brett has covered some of the top local, regional, and national sporting events in the Heartland for both print and digital platforms. He is a graduate of Kansas State University and resides in Austin, Texas.
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