NILES – “It’s like going back to normal.”
A crowd waited outside Eastwood Field on Saturday night as they waited for the doors to open to the Scrappers’ first game since the pandemic restrictions were lifted.
The team played its third home game of the season since becoming one of the Major League Baseball Draft League teams instead of a subsidiary of the Cleveland Indians. The squad is made up of prospects looking to increase their standing in the MLB Draft.
With kids donning swimsuits, teens throwing balls and people ordering beers and hot orders of fried food and hot dogs passed out among enthusiastic, maskless fans, the scene finally looked familiar after more than a year. reduced or canceled sporting events, said John Brown of Warren, who works as a bailiff.
“We finally feel like we’re back to normal. Like someone snapped their fingers and everything had changed, even in the last week, ”Brown said.
In the first two home games (a third rained), people mainly wore masks, keeping their distance and the crowd size was reduced, Brown said. But most of the participants on Saturday were maskless and interacting closely, typical of a baseball game.
“It’s a whole different vibe,” Brown said.
Summer isn’t the same without baseball, Brown said.
” It’s summer. Beautiful summer nights, having fun with friends and family… I love it. It’s in my DNA, something that you pass down from generation to generation, ”said Brown.
Warren’s Tyler and Nikki Davis brought their sons Landon, 5, and Logan, 4, to the game, which was their first since Logan was a baby.
“We had a lot of fun the last time around, two years ago,” said Nikki Davis.
During the shutdown, it was difficult to keep the kids busy with so many activities shutting down, but the family found ways to keep the kids entertained, she said.
Grandpa Tom Crean brought grandson Cayden Crean to visit Scrappy before the match started. The little boy was shining in an oversized swimsuit, smacking his fingers with the mascot.
A group of boys, aged 10 to 12, from Kent also traveled to Eastwood Field for the game, delighted to go out on a hot Saturday night after more than a year of being told ‘no’. They had gloves and a ball in hand.