The Major League Baseball Season kicked off Thursday night and it was a welcome sight for those of us who enjoy the rights of America’s favorite pastime.

There are new rules for the 2020 baseball season including a shortened schedule of games and most glaring, no fans in the stands. It was weird Thursday night watching the Yankees take on the Washington Nationals in DC.

The PA announcer announced all the players as they lined up as usual on opening day, there was piped in crowd noise, the scoreboard was all lit up but there were no fans in the stands.

The New York Mets and The Los Angeles Dodgers have a solution that’s pretty unique. The Mets and Dodgers are using cardboard cutouts of actual fans that pay to have their smiling faces propped up in the stands. The Mets have rules, every picture must include some Mets gear or Met souvenir, you can’t wear any shirt with a non-team logo or have the cutout hold up any sign that has any advertising identification.

No social media references, tags, political statements or endorsements etc. You get the idea; it’s just the fan in Met’s Gear. The cost is $86.00 each and the proceeds go to The Mets Foundation, a charity.

The Dodgers are doing the same thing including you can take pictures of your dog and put them up in the dog park section of Dodger Stadium. Costs are more expensive and vary from $149 to $299 depending on the seat location you choose. The proceeds go to their Dodger Foundation a charity that helps the communities in Los Angeles. I checked out the Dodgers game last night and their cardboard cutouts looked great and at first looked like a real crowd.

Who knows how this bazaar season will shake out but I like seeing the cardboard cutouts and I like that baseball is back for another summer, albeit a shortened summer. Play Ball!