Solomon: Cheers! Baseball is back and so much better with fans

They couldn’t wait to get in, lining up a few hours before the first pitch, knowing the gates would open two hours before game time.

While it wasn’t a typical home opener — with stadium seating capped at 50 percent capacity, traffic around Minute Maid Park manageable and the crowd outside the stadium smaller — there was excitement in the air.

It had been a long time.

On Texas Sports Nation: Smith: Roar of the crowd finally returning to Minute Maid Park

A “Play Ball” video featured an eclectic H-Town grouping of hip-hop artists Bun B, Trae tha Truth and Paul Wall, along with Mayor Sylvester Turner, Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale and Olympic gymnast Simone Biles.

Just a few minutes after DeSz’s strong rendition of the national anthem — amazingly, no state mandate was required — a fan seated in the club level just to the left of home plate caught a foul ball off the bat of Oakland’s Matt Olson.

The resulting cheer was loud, exaggerated for such an ordinary play.

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It had been 527 days since fans were able to watch another fan grab a foul ball at Minute Maid.

My, how we have missed the ordinary.

The roof was open on a comfortable night, and 21,765 people got to see the Astros play baseball.

So they cheered. Everything.

They even tried to do “the wave,” which failed miserably. Turns out social distancing is…

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