READING, Pa. – After an off-season unlike any other, fans could barely wait for the first pitch at FirstEnergy Stadium.
"It was kind of boring when we didn't have any baseball to watch," said Annie, a young fan from Pottstown.
"We've missed it greatly," said Dave, Annie's father. "We're a baseball family."
For some, FirstEnergy Stadium is a mecca — a landmark for America's favorite pastime.
"I like the vintage feel here," said Noah from Hershey. "It was built in the 1950s so it's cool to have a throwback to to the '50s."
It's a return to normalcy after the Minor League Baseball season was nixed last year because of COVID-19.
"It's great," said Jack, of Pottstown. "The experience is … you can't get it anywhere else. It's amazing."
The R-Phils didn't waste any time getting on the board with a lead off a first inning home run, but the Erie SeaWolves ultimately cruised to a 12-4 win.
Despite the loss for the R-Phils and limited capacity and safety protocols being in place, the atmosphere inside the stadium was one of unmistakable energy.
"It's really refreshing to be back out especially after last year was nothing," said Paul, a fan from Hershey. "To be out here on a beautiful night at this stadium, at this game, is great, perfect."
It's the 70th season at the ballpark, and if you couldn't make it to the opener, you can still get in on the action. The R-Phils will be hosting the SeaWolves for the rest of the week and over the weekend.
"We love the atmosphere here," added Dave. "We love it even more than the majors coming out here because you can get closer to the players, the action, and just feel more of the game."