Only once prior to this season did we experience a baseball game played without fans: in April 2015, when the Orioles hosted the White Sox at Camden Yards amid protests following the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody.
You can watch that game in its entirety on MLB’s YouTube. Players, coaches, and members of the media generally described the fan-less experience as surreal. The crack of the bat and the sound of the ball hitting the catcher’s mitt were as clear as day. There was no low hum of the crowd obfuscating those otherwise forgotten sounds.
MLB teams have attempted to address issues with aesthetics as the 2020 regular season got under way on Thursday.