Play ball! 13 photos from Opening Day as Cubs fans make long-awaited return to Wrigley Field

The sight of fans back at Wrigley Field is a beautiful one.

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The Wrigley Field marquee before the Chicago Cubs face the Pittsburgh Pirates on Opening Day 2021.

The Wrigley Field marquee before the Chicago Cubs face the Pittsburgh Pirates on Opening Day 2021.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

For the first time in nearly two years, thousands of Cubs fans returned to the friendly confines to take in the unbeatable sights and sounds of a sunny day at Wrigley Field. Don’t let the mid-30s temperatures distract you: It’s Opening Day in Chicago, and it is indeed glorious.

Fans bundled in jackets with faces covered by masks took to the Wrigleyville streets Thursday to celebrate the first major sporting event to allow fans in the stands since the start of the pandemic last year.

One fan had a sign cheering the fact that he’s attending his first game with a mask on. Another sign said what fans around the country are thinking as the season starts: “Thank God baseball is back.”

Here’s a look at the sights at and around Wrigley Field as the Cubs welcome fans back home:

A group of Cubs fans, including Roberto Ramos, 56, of Norwood Park, wearing full team attire and a bright blue face mask, walk outside Wrigley Field on Opening Day.

A group of Cubs fans, including Roberto Ramos, 56, of Norwood Park, wearing full team attire and a bright blue face mask, walk outside Wrigley Field on Opening Day.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Carla Piunti, 50, of Chicago Heights, smiles as she prepares to enter Wrigley Field before the Chicago Cubs Opening Day game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Carla Piunti, 50, of Chicago Heights, smiles as she prepares to enter Wrigley Field before the Chicago Cubs Opening Day game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

An usher waits for fans to enter Wrigley Field before the Chicago Cubs Opening Day game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

An usher waits for fans to enter Wrigley Field before the Chicago Cubs Opening Day game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

William Gonzalez, 40, of Gage Park, wears a Cubs-themed luchador mask outside Wrigley Field on Opening Day 2021.

William Gonzalez, 40, of Gage Park, wears a Cubs-themed luchador mask outside Wrigley Field on Opening Day 2021.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

People walk their dogs outside Wrigley Field before the Chicago Cubs Opening Day game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

People walk their dogs outside Wrigley Field before the Chicago Cubs Opening Day game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Amy Zeiher, 34, drove to Chicago from New Jersey for the Chicago Cubs Opening Day game at Wrigley Field.

Amy Zeiher, 34, drove to Chicago from New Jersey for the Chicago Cubs Opening Day game at Wrigley Field.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

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Wrigley Field employees work inside of the stadium before fans arrive on Opening Day.

Shafkat Anowar/AP Photo

Ivan Aroyo, 25, of Cicero, poses for a photo outside Wrigley Field before the Chicago Cubs Opening Day game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Ivan Aroyo, 25, of Cicero, poses for a photo outside Wrigley Field before the Chicago Cubs Opening Day game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Greg Cooper, 58, of Springfield, holds a sign that says “First masked game 4-1-21” outside Wrigley Field on Opening Day.

Greg Cooper, 58, of Springfield, holds a sign that says “First masked game 4-1-21” outside Wrigley Field on Opening Day.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Fans enter Wrigley Field before the Chicago Cubs Opening Day game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Fans enter Wrigley Field before the Chicago Cubs Opening Day game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Fans enter Wrigley Field before the Chicago Cubs Opening Day game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Fans enter Wrigley Field before the Chicago Cubs Opening Day game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Fans take selfies outside Wrigley Field before the Chicago Cubs Opening Day game.

Fans take selfies outside Wrigley Field before the Chicago Cubs Opening Day game.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Fans wait to get into Wrigley Field before the Chicago Cubs take on the Pittsburgh Pirates on Opening Day 2021.

Fans wait to get into Wrigley Field before the Chicago Cubs take on the Pittsburgh Pirates on Opening Day 2021.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

The Cubs also gave us a taste Thursday morning of what it looks like inside the stadium:

This story will be updated with additional photography.

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