The game between the White Sox and Orioles will be observed, just not by paying fans.
After the Orioles announced that Wednesday’s game would be closed to the public due to security concerns stemming from this week’s violence in Baltimore, the Orioles prepared for a full press box, with 92 seats for the writing press assigned to media members and outlets.
Scouts and an undisclosed number of employees also are allowed to attend, according to an Orioles spokesman.
Grounds crew members worked on the field as usual about four hours before the game, but the videoboard and scoreboard showed blank black screens. The dry erase board in the press box sporting the day’s lineups already had an attendance of zero written in marker.
It is believed to be the first major-league game ever to be closed to the public, according to a Baseball Hall of Fame representative and an MLB historian. But the game will be televised by the teams’ local TV outlets.
The team didn’t want to divert police and military resources away from potential trouble spots.
t will look weird, to be sure, with nothing but more than 45,000 seats surrounding a major-league field, two teams, four umpires, a couple of coaching staffs and scouts. Media will be present in the press box, most of them silent — except for broadcasters such as Ken Harrelson and Steve Stone, the Sox’ TV broadcast team.
As quiet as it will be, it’s not out of the question that players will hear Harrelson making a call, especially if it’s that patented “You can put it on the board, yes!” he’s known for.
“We’re right behind home plate, so I imagine some of them will hear some things,’’ Harrelson said. “With that little circle we’re backed in now, it’s like a megaphone going out.”
Harrelson has never called a game in an empty stadium. Nobody ever has, for that matter, not in major-league baseball. After having the games on Monday and Tuesday postponed because of rioting in Baltimore, MLB and the Orioles, citing safety reasons, decided to play the last game of the series at 1:05 p.m., in daylight hours instead of at night. The game will be televised in the Chicago area on Channel 50.
* Dan Connolly at The Baltimore Sun…
I drove through the city to the park and it was eerie. People were walking around the downtown streets, but there was very little traffic. It seemed like a Sunday morning, until I pulled into the warehouse lot and there were three Humvees filled with soldiers driving out of the lot.
It’s going to be a very strange day.
* More from the Sun…
Baltimore continues to recover from Monday night’s riots, and on Wednesday, some normalcy may be restored.
City school students will return to class, the Orioles will play, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is holding a free concert.
Police arrested 10 people a variety of charges, including looting and disorderly conduct, including seven for breaking the newly instituted citywide curfew after it began at 10 p.m. Tuesday, Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts said. A group faced off with police in West Baltimore. […]
The post-curfew arrests were in addition to the 235 during the riots Tuesday that prompted Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to announce the weeklong curfew and Gov. Larry Hogan to declare a state of emergency and request the U.S. National Guard to assist in policing the city.
Let’s keep it civil in comments, please.