Usually before an
It's part of the natural rhythm to a ballgame at
As protests and outbursts of violence continue to roil Baltimore after the death of
"It's definitely going to be unchartered territory," Orioles Manager Buck Showalter said.
The Orioles had already postponed the first two games of the series and relocated its weekend series against the
But officials worried about the safety of the fans and clashes between fans and protesters. Camden Yards sits near the nexus of Baltimore's
The unrest has at times spread toward the ballpark. On Saturday, the mayor asked the Orioles to keep fans in the stadium following a game as protesters blocked an adjacent intersection. Officials hoped to avoid a similar situation.
"We were just trying to respond to the wishes of the public officials and protect the integrity of the schedule," said Dan Duquette, the Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations.
This is believed to be the first time a major-league game has been played without paying spectators, according to MLB historian John Thorn. Minor-league games have been played in empty stadiums before, and fans aren't essential.
But the Orioles still must decide upon changes, big and small, not usually an issue at a typical game.
Of primary concern is the transportation of the players, umpires and other staffers to and from the stadium. And there are the smaller questions that could make for an eerie setting.
Will someone sing the national anthem? Will the public-address system make announcements or play walk-up music? What about the seventh-inning stretch and John Denver's country anthem? Does the scoreboard stay on? The Orioles did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
MASN announced it will air the game as regularly scheduled.
Closed-door games are more familiar in Europe to avoid riots and clashes between fans or to punish fan bases for incidents such as widespread racism.
Baseball has responded to similar situations with postponements. In 1967, the
In Los Angeles, as riots erupted after the