Did you hear that?
The sound echoed down Eighth Avenue in San Diego’s East Village.
It sounded like someone hitting a baseball. Hitting it hard.
Every few seconds. CRACK!
CRACK! It sounded like... baseball.
“I love baseball. I love the sound. I love the smell,” said Todd Futa.
Futa stood alone on a grassy hill wearing a brown hat, a t-shirt with “Tatis Jr.” on the front, and a Padres face mask.
His eyes were trained on the home plate inside Petco Park where some San Diego Padres were taking batting practice one day after Major League Baseball announced the season would finally begin in July.
Futa missed that sound.
“You knew it was coming,” he said inside the Park at the Park. He said he knew the coronavirus pandemic would delay or cancel the baseball season.
“When they did the actual shutdown. I was just lost,” said Robert Taylor. “My feelings were hurt.”
That sound brought Taylor back.
“Oh! The adrenaline, man! It was awesome!” he exclaimed.
Both men understood Major League Baseball’s season will look extremely different. There will be only 60 games, the designated hitter will be allowed in the National League, and extra innings will begin with a player on second. The games would also be played in empty ballparks. No fans for now.
Futa and Taylor didn’t mind.
“Whether there be fans or no fans, just that fact that baseball’s coming back, and we get that opportunity to watch,” Taylor said.
“I’ll watch every single game, even if I’m not here,” Futa said. “Brown is back!”
You can already hear it echoing through San Diego.