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Brockton Rox Play Home Opener Without Fans In Stands

BROCKTON (CBS) – Baseball has returned in Massachusetts. The Brockton Rox began play in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League Tuesday night.

For arriving ballplayers, it was temperature checks, but fans who snapped up tickets when they went on sale Monday encountered some confusion at the ballpark.

What happened was the Brockton Rox sold 100 tickets for their home opener against Nashua, believing they'd space them out and stay within the coronavirus Phase Three reopening requirement for gathering size. However, they didn't realize that players and staff count toward that total.

So come game time, a pro scout was the only person in the seats, while those hundred fans got a refund and the chance to watch the game from that separately licensed beer garden down the left field line.

Brockton Rox
Campanelli Stadium in Brockton (WBZ-TV)

Brockton Police were on hand to check numbers, spacing, and face coverings as live sporting events in Massachusetts ventured into the "new normal."

"It's just baseball," said Brockton Rox owner Chris English. "We want to give these kids a good opportunity this summer but we are cognizant of Brockton having been one of the hardest hit cities."

These players don't care about the empty stands because they're college kids and with the Cape Cod Baseball League shutdown, this might be their last chance to catch the eye of the major leagues.

"It's really unusual," said Bill Driscoll, whose son is a catcher on the Rox. "He missed his college season, so it's just great to be able to come out here and play a game, this is his first game in probably nine months."

His son -- and the Rox -- won't hear the roar of the crowd and won't see the "wave" but it's still an opportunity to keep playing the game they love and they don't want to whiff on it.

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