SAN FRANCISCO - The long awaited baseball season is finally here.
And this time around, there's no more cardboard cutout fans or restricted seating as the darkest days of the pandemic appear to be over, at least for now.
The San Francisco Giants hosted their first home opening game at the Oracle Park at full capacity for the first time on Friday since March 2020. The game against the Miami Marlins started at 1:35 p.m. This is the first regular home opener in three years.
Jim Thordsen / Menlo Park
"It's great, it's very liberating," said Jim Thordsen of Menlo Park, who was at the park on Friday. "Hopefully it will stay that way all summer and we can watch a lot of baseball and we're really excited."
This will mark the second time the Marlins and Giants meet on Opening Day. In 2000, the Marlins won 6-4 in South Florida.
Meanwhile, the Oakland A's is in Philadelphia playing against the Phillies.
The season was pushed back a week due to the lockdown over contract negotiations.
But now, everything is nearly normal again. No proof of vaccine or negative COVID-19 test results are required and masks are only recommended, not mandated, indoors.
After a historic 107-win last season, fans are looking forward for another successful season ahead.
"I don't see why they couldn't get to the playoffs," Anthony Avila, bar manager of Woodbury, told KTVU on Thursday. "They got a lot of consistency and a lot of chemistry."
Restaurants and bars around the Oracle Park are thrilled about the thousands of fans who about to descend on their shops and restaurants.
Avila, whose bar is just few blocks away from the ballpark, is excited.
"It feels normal in that we're just checking IDs again," said Avila, "I'm almost nervous to say that normal is good."
KTVU's James Torrez contributed to this report.
Baseball gloves at Oracle Park.