Several hundred miles away, fans began arriving at an empty ballpark. The gates were locked, seemingly abandoned. A large sign over the main gate said “SORRY, ALL GAMES CANCELLED DUE TO STRIKE.” The sign looked like it had been used before.
The fans who were hoping to see a Fourth of July Indians game and fireworks afterward instead lined up in front of a lone employee giving out refunds from a booth near Gate A. Their disappointment was manifested in several kicked-in trash cans on the perimeter of the stadium.
Not all the fans left after turning in their tickets, however. Many were adamantly prepared to celebrate the Fourth of July as they had originally planned, with or without a ball game. Despite news of the strike, people continued to arrive, parking within a pitched ball of the stadium. Barbecues sprang up in the parking lot, and everything from hot dogs and hamburgers to three-foot heroes to beer was being served to anyone who wandered by. The parties had been planned in advance – it was going to take more than a players strike to put a damper on the holiday festivities – and everyone seemed happy to share.
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