TAMPA, Fla. – The unrest in Baltimore has affected the world of professional baseball. Friday night, the Baltimore Orioles played their home series against the Rays at Tropicana Field instead of in their park in Baltimore. The Orioles have definitely been out of their element this week. On Wednesday, they played in an empty stadium because of security concerns. The players and fans, however, tell WINK News they’re keeping a positive attitude.
Both teams today strived to make this game as impartial as possible. After all, the game was supposed to be on Baltimore’s home turf. The Orioles took the field first, and they wore their home jerseys instead of their traditional away jerseys.
“It’s just weird that we have to wear our white uniforms instead of our away uniforms,” said Orioles starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez, “but we’re here to work and do our stuff and do everything as best as possible.”
Tickets were only $15, and although mostly Rays fans filled the seats, many Orioles fans came to show support.
“I’m just rooting for the orioles all the way,” Carl Paul, an Orioles fan, told WINK News, “It’s unfortunate what’s going on but we’re grateful to be here.”
The Rays fans we spoke to were also thrilled for a chance to see another game in Tampa.
Shirley Cuevas-Winslow said, “We had to jump at the opportunity. It’s crazy. Where can you ever go see a pro team playing in their home stadium, even though it’s not a home game, for 15 bucks?”
Through all the protests, a fan-less major league ballpark game for the first time in history and having to move their home game to Florida, the Baltimore players have felt supported.
“You know, it was cool when we played the other day,” Orioles pitcher Kevin Gausman said, “even though there weren’t any fans allowed there were fans outside the stadium screaming for us,” he continued, “and I think even some people rented rooms at the Hilton right across the street so we can see them out on the balcony.”
The Orioles-Rays series continues Saturday, May 2 in Tampa. Tickets cost just $18.