The crack of the bat. The swish of the net. The rattle of the boards. “One Shining Moment.”
Many of the sounds of spring will be missing for the next few weeks, at least, as the US tries to slow the spread of COVID-19.
On Thursday, a day after the NBA suspended its season, Major League Baseball, NHL and MLS followed suit.
College basketball players were pulled off the court at conference tournaments, which were abruptly called off. Then, a few hours later, the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments were gone too.
There will be no college wrestling champions crowned in U.S. Bank Stadium, no hometown triumph for undefeated Gable Steveson. There will be no hockey champions, lacrosse champions, track champions or baseball champions in the NCAA either, as spring sports too were swept up in the abundance of caution. You will not see if the Gophers’ softball team can return to the Women’s College World Series.
You won’t hear “Play ball!” at Target Field for awhile, with opening day pushed back at least two weeks. The Loons, who were to open at home on Sunday, won’t run on to the pitch at Allianz Field until, perhaps, mid-April. The NWHL will not be give out the Isobel Cup on Friday as planned, and the Stanley Cup may be awarded in July.
Hardly any sport was left untouched by the shutdown. Golf? The Players Championship was stopped after one round. NASCAR? No fans. Boston Marathon? Possibly postponed for the first time in 124 years. The Minnesota State High School League will limit attendance at tournament games starting Friday.
The cascade of cancellations ended athletes’ careers by news release, without a walk off to a standing ovation. Cross-country skier Caitlin Gregg had planned to compete in her final World Cup race a block from her home when the circuit came to Minneapolis next week. But there will be no race.
Gymnast Maggie Nichols of Little Canada, a senior at Oklahoma, expected to compete in front of family and friends Saturday when her Sooners team visited the U. There will be no homecoming. The sold-out event, a first for Gophers’ women’s gymnastics, was canceled. And with no postseason meets ahead, Nichols’ storied career, which included the last two all-around national titles, was over — without a sound.
Click below for all of the day's stories, as sports continued to go dark.