SARASOTA, Fla. (WJZ) — Orioles fans are flocking to Sarasota, Florida to see their team in Spring Training.

It has been a year since fans were last allowed into the ballpark due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, there is limited attendance to allow for social distancing.

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Some fans had to pay more than $300 to get in.


“It’s such a wonderful experience,” Jeanie Hong, an Orioles fan, said. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We’re so excited.”

There were fans in attendance young, and young at heart. Harold Klein, 97, was in attendance with his 75-year-old son.

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“Makes me feel younger to see baseball again,” Klein said.

Orioles players said they’re happy to see fans in the ballpark again.

“I am looking forward to having people in the stands,” Orioles RHP Hunter Harvey said. “Something about it. It gets you going, it fires you up. It gets the adrenaline going even more.”

“It’s going to be a lot more exciting, at least seeing my family there, too,” Orioles outfielder Ryan Mountcastle said. “Hopefully they can come out to a couple of games.”

There is still no player-fan interaction and autographs are not allowed.

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.