Sox, Cubs open delayed season in fan-free ballparks

Cardboard cutouts and piped-in crowd noise were the order of the day as both teams finally began the regular season at home.

SHARE Sox, Cubs open delayed season in fan-free ballparks
Guaranteed Rate Field sits empty during the Chicago White Sox opening day game against the Minnesota Twins, Friday evening, July 24, 2020.

Guaranteed Rate Field sits empty during the Chicago White Sox opening day game against the Minnesota Twins, Friday evening, July 24, 2020.

Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

In some places outside Wrigley Field Friday, it looked like a typical Friday night with the Chicago Cubs playing on the road, as fans lined up to get into bars to watch the game.

But the team was right there, in a fan-free Wrigley Field. Same for the White Sox, playing at home in a nearly-empty Guaranteed Rate Field, with a few fans gathered in the parking lot, creating a greatly scaled-down tailgate.

That’s what it’s like when Major League Baseball starts a delayed season amid a global pandemic.

There were festivities, but no fireworks, as the White Sox took the field. At Wrigley, there were a few fans, off in the distance, on the rooftops overlooking the ballpark.

Fans walk by closed gates at Wrigley Field shortly before the start of the opening day game between the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers, Friday evening, July 24, 2020.

Fans walk by closed gates at Wrigley Field shortly before the start of the opening day game between the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers, Friday evening, July 24, 2020.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Fans walk by closed gates at Wrigley Field shortly before the start of the opening day game between the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers, Friday evening, July 24, 2020.

Fans walk by closed gates at Wrigley Field shortly before the start of the opening day game between the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers, Friday evening, July 24, 2020.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Guaranteed Rate Field’s parking lot sits empty during the Chicago White Sox opening day game against the Minnesota Twins, Friday evening, July 24, 2020.

Guaranteed Rate Field’s parking lot sits empty during the Chicago White Sox opening day game against the Minnesota Twins, Friday evening, July 24, 2020.

Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Ronnie “Woo Woo” Wickers points to the marquee as he walks by Wrigley Field shortly before the start of the opening day game between the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers, Friday evening, July 24, 2020.

Ronnie “Woo Woo” Wickers points to the marquee as he walks by Wrigley Field shortly before the start of the opening day game between the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers, Friday evening, July 24, 2020.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Fans of the Chicago White Sox tailgate outside of Guaranteed Rate Field during the opening day game against the Minnesota Twins, Friday evening, July 24, 2020.

Fans of the Chicago White Sox tailgate outside of Guaranteed Rate Field during the opening day game against the Minnesota Twins, Friday evening, July 24, 2020.

Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

The Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers stand for the national anthem before an opening day baseball game Friday, July, 24, 2020, in Chicago.

The Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers stand for the national anthem before an opening day baseball game Friday, July, 24, 2020, in Chicago.

AP Photos

People wait in line to get into Deuce’s Major League Bar, 3505 N. Clark St., to watch the opening day game between the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers, Friday evening, July 24, 2020.

People wait in line to get into Deuce’s Major League Bar, 3505 N. Clark St., to watch the opening day game between the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers, Friday evening, July 24, 2020.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Fans drive by Wrigley Field shortly before the start of the opening day game between the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers, Friday evening, July 24, 2020.

Fans drive by Wrigley Field shortly before the start of the opening day game between the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers, Friday evening, July 24, 2020.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Fans of the Chicago White Sox tailgate outside of Guaranteed Rate Field during the opening day game against the Minnesota Twins, Friday evening, July 24, 2020.

Fans of the Chicago White Sox tailgate outside of Guaranteed Rate Field during the opening day game against the Minnesota Twins, Friday evening, July 24, 2020.

Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Fans walk by closed gates at Wrigley Field shortly before the start of the opening day game between the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers, Friday evening, July 24, 2020.

Fans walk by closed gates at Wrigley Field shortly before the start of the opening day game between the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers, Friday evening, July 24, 2020.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Guaranteed Rate Field sits empty during the Chicago White Sox opening day game against the Minnesota Twins, Friday evening, July 24, 2020.

Guaranteed Rate Field sits empty during the Chicago White Sox opening day game against the Minnesota Twins, Friday evening, July 24, 2020.

Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Lou, a 2-year-old pitbull, is dressed up in a Chicago Cubs jersey as she is walked around outside Wrigley Field shortly before the start of the opening day game against the Milwaukee Brewers, Friday evening, July 24, 2020.

Lou, a 2-year-old pitbull, is dressed up in a Chicago Cubs jersey as she is walked around outside Wrigley Field shortly before the start of the opening day game against the Milwaukee Brewers, Friday evening, July 24, 2020.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Cut outs of fans who donated to Chicago White Sox charities are put in seats at Guaranteed Rate Field during the opening day game against the Minnesota Twins, Friday evening, July 24, 2020.

Cut outs of fans who donated to Chicago White Sox charities are put in seats at Guaranteed Rate Field during the opening day game against the Minnesota Twins, Friday evening, July 24, 2020.

Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Fans take selfies outside Wrigley Field shortly before the start of the opening day game between the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers, Friday evening, July 24, 2020.

Fans take selfies outside Wrigley Field shortly before the start of the opening day game between the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers, Friday evening, July 24, 2020.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Players with the Chicago White Sox and the Minnesota Twins hold up a black ribbon in support of Black Lives Matter during the opening day game at Guaranteed Rate Field, Friday evening, July 24, 2020.

Players with the Chicago White Sox and the Minnesota Twins hold up a black ribbon in support of Black Lives Matter during the opening day game at Guaranteed Rate Field, Friday evening, July 24, 2020.

Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Fans of the Chicago White Sox tailgate outside of Guaranteed Rate Field during the opening day game against the Minnesota Twins, Friday evening, July 24, 2020.

Fans of the Chicago White Sox tailgate outside of Guaranteed Rate Field during the opening day game against the Minnesota Twins, Friday evening, July 24, 2020.

Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Empty seats are viewed during the first inning of an opening day baseball game between the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers, Friday, July, 24, 2020, in Chicago.

Empty seats are viewed during the first inning of an opening day baseball game between the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers, Friday, July, 24, 2020, in Chicago.

AP Photos

Fans watch from the rooftops an opening day baseball game between the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers, Friday, July, 24, 2020, in Chicago.

Fans watch from the rooftops an opening day baseball game between the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers, Friday, July, 24, 2020, in Chicago.

AP Photos

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester, right, watches an opening day baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers from the bleachers during the first inning, Friday, July, 24, 2020, in Chicago.

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester, right, watches an opening day baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers from the bleachers during the first inning, Friday, July, 24, 2020, in Chicago.

AP Photos

Chicago White Sox outfielder Eloy Jiménez, left, and outfielder Luis Robert, center, kneel, while outfielder Nicky Delmonico, right, stands during the National Anthem at the opening day game at Guaranteed Rate Field, Friday evening, July 24, 2020.

Chicago White Sox outfielder Eloy Jiménez, left, and outfielder Luis Robert, center, kneel, while outfielder Nicky Delmonico, right, stands during the National Anthem at the opening day game at Guaranteed Rate Field, Friday evening, July 24, 2020.

Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

A fan wearing a luchador mask walks by Wrigley Field shortly before the start of the opening day game between the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers, Friday evening, July 24, 2020.

A fan wearing a luchador mask walks by Wrigley Field shortly before the start of the opening day game between the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers, Friday evening, July 24, 2020.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

The Cubby Bear serves people hot dogs and beer from the bar and restaurant’s doorway as guests aren’t allowed inside amid fears of the coronavirus pandemic as the Chicago Cubs take on the Milwaukee Brewers during the opening day game at Wrigley Field, Friday evening, July 24, 2020.

The Cubby Bear serves people hot dogs and beer from the bar and restaurant’s doorway as guests aren’t allowed inside amid fears of the coronavirus pandemic as the Chicago Cubs take on the Milwaukee Brewers during the opening day game at Wrigley Field, Friday evening, July 24, 2020.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Fans take selfies outside Wrigley Field shortly before the start of the opening day game between the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers, Friday evening, July 24, 2020.

Fans take selfies outside Wrigley Field shortly before the start of the opening day game between the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers, Friday evening, July 24, 2020.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Empty seats are seen at Wrigley Field before the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on July 24, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. The 2020 season had been postponed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Empty seats are seen at Wrigley Field before the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on July 24, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. The 2020 season had been postponed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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