Twins fans cheer on team from afar as players takes field for opening day amid a pandemic

(FOX 9)

Friday was the day Minnesota baseball fans were waiting for. For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic put their season on pause, the Minnesota Twins will step on a baseball diamond.

But, the pandemic has changed how fans will experience the game and forced them and the teams to get creative.

Trent Witz and his 10-year-old son have missed playing baseball, almost as much as watching it.

"It's tough to not have the other kids around to play with," explained Witz. "Dad’s only so fun sometimes."

This opening day brings extra challenges for those devoted to the diamond.

As we’ve known, fans won’t be in the stands for the condensed season. Plus, closer to home, there are not many restaurants and bars hosting viewing parties amid current pandemic restrictions. On top of that, Friday's triple-digit heat index is forcing more fans indoors.

"I’ll be watching on tv from the comfort of my home," said Barbara Thomas-Smith.

Barbara and her family plan to do the same, sporting their Twins gear all day while also looking forward to their favorite ballpark cravings.

Everything from beer and hotdogs to nachos and peanuts on Friday's menu. Meanwhile, Tom Palm moved his TV to the patio where hopefully neighbors will hear him cheering.

White Sox fans in Twins territory are also pumped for the return of pro baseball too. After braving much cooler opening day conditions in Chicago 13 times, Jeremy Homan would have been in Chi-Town this year if fans were allowed.

"It’s just exciting for baseball to be back," Homan said. "It brings a sense of normalcy back to society with sports coming back."

In a year when everything is anything but normal, all the fans we talked to are looking forward to embracing the distraction sports often offers.

"We can tune out and watch a sports game and tune the rest of the stuff out right now," said Homan. "The school decision, it’s just something that can take your mind off the whole world right now."