Pandemic-Obstructed Views

Pandemic-Obstructed Views

September 23, 2020

Baseball fans have found ways to watch live baseball in person this season despite not being allowed in the stands.

Credit…Ben Solomon for The New York Times

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By Tyler Kepner

The strangest thing happened when the Yankees played in Philadelphia in early August: Their manager, Aaron Boone, complained about fans — at a game with no fans in the seats. Out beyond the center-field gates, on 10th Street, some die-hards had gathered for a distant peek at the action, equipped with air horns to disrupt Yankees pitchers.

Even in the grip of a pandemic, it’s hard to keep all fans from enjoying a quintessential American pastime: taking in a ballgame in the summer. The coronavirus chopped baseball’s season from 162 games per team and 68 million tickets sold to 60 games per team with zero tickets sold. But in many cities, enterprising fans have found vantage points to sneak a free look.

In some cities, like Chicago and Los Angeles, this has been possible for decades, with nearby rooftops or hillsides providing unobstructed views of the diamond. Elsewhere, fans are cramming onto the tops of parking garages or apartment patios for a glimpse of live major league action. And if you’re intent on catching a home run ball, there’s always McCovey Cove in San Francisco Bay, a perfect spot for kayakers to chase down any long ball that drops into the water.

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