I miss sports a lot, and if you are reading our sports website, odds are high you miss sports, too. I miss buzzer-beaters in basketball games, world-class goals in soccer games, and considering the point of the normal sports calendar we are in, I really miss baseball teams hitting moonshot home runs that constantly leave me in awe of how a human being can mash a baseball hundreds of feet into the air and have it land in the outstretched palm of some random guy who just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
Unfortunately, we do not have that in the United States right now as part of a preventative measure to try and slow the spread of COVID-19. What we do have, however, are some sports leagues in other corners of the world, and fortunately for us, they are playing real, live games. An example of this came via the Chinese Professional Baseball League in Taiwan, where Chu Yu-Hsien of the Rakuten Monkeys hit a walk-off dinger against the Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions.
A walk-off homer just isn't the same when there's no one there to see it.
— Yahoo Sports MLB (@MLByahoosports) April 15, 2020
Getting the obvious out of the way here, it is very strange to see this sort of thing happen in a venue that does not have fans, something that Dr. Anthony Fauci said we will need to see in the United States if we are going to get sports any time soon. The mannequins in the stands and the piped-in noise are a nice touch, even if they are going to take some time to get used to — also it’s very funny that despite having no actual fans the TV broadcast still cuts to the mannequin crowd reaction as the guy rounds the bases.
Having said that, holy crap! It’s a live baseball game ending with someone hitting a baseball to the moon to win! This is like standing under a waterfall after spending a month in the desert, man. And what a homer this was! The pitcher missed his spot completely and left a meatball over the middle of the plate, and the batter made him pay, turning on the pitch and dropping it right into the seats that are usually occupied by fans who decide at the last minute they wanted to go check out a ballgame.
It stinks, but we’re not getting live sports on our shores for a while. It’ll be tough for fans, sure, but fortunately, we have other ways to consume baseball, and basketball, and football, and everything else that we miss. At the very least, I have never been so invested in a walk-off that did not involve my team.