SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — Major League Baseball stadiums sat empty Thursday on what would have been Opening Day amid the gravity of the fight against the coronavirus, and an unofficial national celebration came and went.

“It’s an unusually sad day,” said Giants fan Charles Hardy. “Opening Day is very important. I would say it’s a religious holiday.”

Something of a religious holiday for baseball fans like Hardy, Opening Day is now another reminder of what Americans have given up in the collective effort to save lives.

“Without baseball and without sports in general, the Warriors for instance, it’s one more hole that we have to fill,” Hardy said.

Want to play some recreational baseball, just to get outside? That is, of course, forbidden by city order. Even if you just wanted to commiserate over the lack of baseball, the city’s classic haunts are out of the question for the foreseeable future.

But the absence of Opening Day also brought reminders that in the absence of team sports, San Francisco is not lacking for shared purpose.

“We would be doing all sorts of offshoots, from those parties, and it would be a different story in San Francisco,” said Mags Teskey, president of Taste Catering. “But here we are.”

Taste is the kind of business that would be serving up Opening Day parties. Instead, they have hired back some of their staff and re-purposed the entire operation.

“We are delivering the meals to needy people,” Teskey said. “We mobilize to send out 1,000 meals yesterday, thousand meals today, 1,000 meals tomorrow, and so on and so forth. Until our resources run out.”

“And the longer this goes on the more will find ourselves a time on our hands, and we can find other ways to help people,” Hardy said. “I know my partner is cooking some food and taking that to friends and things like that.”

So while the ballpark is quiet, there is certainly plenty to do–the serious business of teamwork, if you will. Until that is resolved, baseball, and the friends we share it with, will have to wait.

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