LOS ANGELES – On March 26, it should’ve been time for Dodger baseball.
It would’ve been a return to the roar of the crowds, the familiar crack of a bat, and the comforting sounds of a beloved stadium.
That’s what it should've been, and yet instead of hearing PA announcer Todd Leitz's voice booming from the loudspeakers, what you'll hear on Opening Day in Dodger Stadium is only silence.
It's a silence that makes Leitz think.
“I’m worried we may not see any baseball this year and I also worry about my livelihood," he said candidly.
Because instead of working at the stadium, he’ll be at home on a day he looks forward to every year.
“Opening Day of Major League Baseball is a Rite of Spring. As the public address announcer, I have my role to play,” said Leitz.
March 26 was a day that was supposed to begin the Dodgers quest for a world championship. Instead, this ballpark and every other one will be empty. No fans. No players. No games.
MLB executives made the decision to postpone their season in light of growing concerns regarding the spread of the coronavirus. The league has yet to set a new date for the continuation of its season, creating a lot of uncertainty for Angelenos who count on baseball to keep their spirits up.
"That was a kind of cathartic feeling that things were going to be OK," Leitz said. "If baseball was happening then everything was going to be alright.”
While postponing Opening Day does give the stadium’s field crew more time to finish renovations, it still offers little solace for fans craving their favorite sport.
But perhaps there is one bright spot to all of this — The delay creating a time for quiet that might add just a little more meaning to one of America’s greatest traditions.
“We will get back there," he said. "And if we’re really lucky Vin Scully will step out to home plate and say ‘It’s time for Dodger baseball,’ and then we’ll know all is right with the world,” Leitz said.
Whenever that day comes.
In the meantime fans can tune into the MLB Network which will feature wall-to-wall coverage of classic baseball games past, including Clayton Kershaw's 2014 no-hitter. Or if you're missing the sounds of the stadium, you can get your own personalized message from Leitz on Cameo.