Baseball with hundreds of fans is back in Massachusetts, but not at Fenway Park or one of the minor league fields.
At least 200 people turned out Saturday evening for the Worcester Bravehearts inaugural game, a home run derby, at Doyle Field in Leominster.
The Bravehearts, part of the Futures League, prepared a COVID-19 plan for the 2020 season.
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“I’m pumped because this is what the summer’s all about,” Bravehearts catcher Jack Gardner said ahead of Saturday’s game against the New Britain Bees.
Gardner said he was thrilled and surprised when he found out there would be a 2020 season after all, even though the team isn’t playing its 19 home games in front of 2,700 people at Holy Cross.
“It’s not actually our home but it’s our home away from home,” Gardner said of Doyle Field.
Saturday's game drew families and fans of all ages, many of whom were masked or had masks with them.
“Most people have had their masks on and people seem to be keeping their distances,” said Meghan Rodier, a mom at the game with her two kids and husband.
“It’s working out really well,” she added, explaining that her family, from Oxford, are longtime fans of the Bravehearts.
The Bravehearts won Saturday's game 9-8.