The New York Yankeesâ€™ first game of the 2021 spring training calendar didnâ€™t exactly go as planned, as they lost 6-4 to the Toronto Blue Jays. Mike King started and didnâ€™t have a particularly good afternoon, but itâ€™s still very early and these stats donâ€™t matter too much. Itâ€™s all about preparation for when the real action begins.
However, that doesnâ€™t mean that the Yankees and other teams arenâ€™t happy to see fans in the stands, especially after having to play last year with empty stadiums and cutoffs.
Yankeesâ€™ infielder DJ LeMahieu had already stated how important it was to have fans in the stands, and now, star right fielder Aaron Judge is echoing those feelings. After all, the fans provide a unique atmosphere to the whole show.
The Yankees missed fans in the stands
â€œIt felt great,â€ Judge said to the Yankees’ official page. â€œA couple of fans were yelling to play catch; Iâ€™ve missed having those moments. I had to just save it until my one last toss and let them keep the ball. With all of the rules weâ€™ve got going on, I canâ€™t be spreading [anything]. I tried to be smart about that.â€
Per the Yankeesâ€™ site, Sunday was the Yankeesâ€™ first game with fans since March 12, 2020, a span of 353 days. According to the team, the official paid attendance was 2,637, â€œand within the walls of the home clubhouse, there was increased excitement as the minutes ticked down to the pregame ceremonies and right-hander Michael Kingâ€™s first pitch.â€
Prior to the game, Judge recalls telling Gleyber Torres and DJ LeMahieu: â€œMan, I kind of have little butterflies, getting back for my first at-bat.â€
â€œWe felt really great. Weâ€™re happy to see fans in the stands right now. I feel like the first day in school, being back. Itâ€™s amazing. I think fans in the stands help us to have more motivation and to be more focused on the game,â€ Judge explained.