The World Series champion Washington Nationals faced off against the New York Yankees last night to empty stands and, later, thunderstorms that caused a two-hour rain delay for a belated Opening Day. Despite the excitement of the baseball’s return, the intersecting crises of our current moment were inescapable.
Before the game, both teams kneeled before the National Anthem in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Anthony Fauci, clad in a Nats jersey and mask, threw out the ceremonial first pitch (which landed an appropriate social distance from home plate). Ahead of the game, star first baseman Ryan Zimmerman opted out of the season due to concerns about Covid-19 and left-fielder Juan Soto tested positive for the virus the morning of. Though spectators weren’t allowed into the park, fans watched the game from nearby rooftop bars and apartment buildings.
Washingtonian photographer Evy Mages was there to capture moments of a night that characterized our strange new reality.