By Alexandria Hoff

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It wasn’t the storybook opening night the Phillies were hoping for but the four-month wait for baseball is finally over.

Echoes of the national anthem signaled for the handful of Phillies fans gripping the stadium gates keeping them out that baseball has indeed come home.

“I want to hear the national anthem and know that it started and then I’ll head home and watch the rest of the game,” fan Joanne Marvel said.

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To compare the scene in South Philadelphia to last year’s home opener would be unfair, as the fans we saw overjoyed by the addition of Bryce Harper in 2019 have been forced to change their demeanor a bit.

In fact, cardboard cutouts have made their way into the stands. For $40 fans can add a likeness of themselves to the ballpark. Proceeds will go to charity and the first three games will feature cutouts of health care heroes.

Back at the gate, one man’s attempt at setting up his own sky box seat was quickly abandoned.

A more comfortable situation was found at Xfinity Live!, which was among the local venues that boasted outdoor dining and screens to enjoy the game.

Overall, Opening Day was a day of firsts and photo ops. But as the evening rolled on, the view of Citizens Bank Park void of fans looked a little less weird and more like a home with its lights on, eager to welcome us back someday.

“They are making us happy again,” Marvel said.

The cheers and boos of the people standing at the gate could be heard from inside the park.

Alexandria Hoff