The COVID-19 pandemic has led to stadiums devoid of fan entry, with several teams setting up cardboard cutouts in the seats.
But at least one has had fans in attendance, though the players may not have known it.
A contingent of the ghosts of past Minnesota Twins players have traveled from Target Field to U.S. Guaranteed Cellular Comiskey Rate Field to watch the team’s opening series against the Chicago White Sox.
“Normally, we’re trying to get a view through the thousands of fans in the way,” said Bob Allison. “Even in the aisles, people going up the steps pass through us and get in the way. Now we don’t have to deal with that at all.”
Harmon Killebrew echoed this pleasure.
“We have free rein of the park. Even when it’s crowded no one knows we’re there anyway, but now we can go wherever we’d like without anything blocking our view,” he said.
Though the ghosts can go onto the field as they are undetected, they spend most of their time in the seats.
“It’s not the same, being unable to play,” Killebrew said. “Getting to watch is great. We still get the sights, the sounds, even the smells. But being on the field isn’t the same when you’re not wearing a glove or swinging a bat.”
That doesn’t mean old habits die hard.
“Kirby [Puckett] tried to catch one of [Max] Kepler’s home run balls,” Allison said. “It passed right through his torso. We all got a good laugh at that.”
As of this time, ghosts in attendance only include those who have spent time with the Twins. Ghosts of Senators were invited, but according to Allison, they have chosen to spend the opening weekend in Washington.
“They wanted to enjoy any celebrations going on since the Nationals won the Series last year,” he said. “Can’t blame them.”