It's About Damn Time We Start Getting Back To North Dakota Normal!

What a beautiful night...for baseball.  Northwoods League baseball is back.  The Bismarck Larks held their season opener Monday night and it couldn't have been more perfect.  By perfect, I mean that the wind wasn't blowing 90 miles per hour, there was barely a breeze and it was glorious.  The only velocity that rivaled the winds that we have been experiencing lately was on the pitcher's radar gun.

While the weather was perfect, the attendance wasn't.  Not because people wouldn't have liked to attend, but because of "The New Normal".  Opening night for the Larks is usually a festive affair with about 1900 people packing into Municipal Ballpark for lots of fun, food, beverages, baseball and entertainment, but instead of a sellout crowd the Bismarck Larks and Mandan Flickertails kicked off the season in front of 500 or so "Socially Distanced" fans.

One of the things that were noticeably different to me were the pre-game announcements, including health and safety tips for keeping fans, staff and players safe from COVID-19:

  • Players are subjected to temperature checks before each game.
  • There is no physical interaction (autographs, etc.) between fans and players.
  • Bathrooms are closed and cleaned once during the game.
  • Fans were spread out and separated by rows to maintain social distancing.
  • During introductions, players lined up the length of the baselines and shared no-contact high fives with teammates

Note the last bullet point.  Remember who brought back the "Air High Five" first.  By the way, it was a great game with the Bismarck Larks defeating the Mandan Flickertails 6-5.

So as we settle in to a Summer of "Socially Distanced" Bismarck Larks vs the Mandan Flickertails vs the Bismarck Bull Moose or crowding onto the sandbars or even our favorite watering hole's patio, It's About Damn Time We Start Getting Back To North Dakota Normal!