The rioting in Baltimore is a national news story with nearly infinite important aspects dealing with extremely important issues in American life.
An unimportant, though interesting, aspect of this story is the effect the violence and rioting has had on this week's series between the White Sox and Orioles.
Games initially scheduled for Monday and Tuesday were postponed — to be made up during a May 28 doubleheader — and the Orioles and Major League Baseball will play Wednesday's game at 2 p.m. ET in front of a record crowd of zero.
The gates to Oriole Park at Camden Yards will be closed to the public on Wednesday afternoon. The start time was moved up to abide by Baltimore's citywide and weeklong curfew of 10 p.m. ET. There will be no fans allowed inside the stadium as concerns about public safety still exist.
[MORE WHITE SOX: Second White Sox-Orioles game postponed in Baltimore]
This will be a bit of historic trivia to baseball fans, as it will be the first Major League Baseball game ever to have no fans in attendance.
— John Thorn (@thorn_john) April 28, 2015
As Thorn, the official historian of Major League Baseball, noted in that tweet, the previous all-time low attendance mark was six, coming way back in 1882.
More recently, the A's and Mariners played a 1979 game in front of an announced attendance of 653 fans in Oakland (though it seems that number was closer to 250). In 2011, Hurricane Irene forced a doubleheader between the Marlins and Reds in South Florida. A fan at the afternoon game did a headcount and posted his findings on Twitter: 347 fans in the stands.
Wednesday's game between the White Sox and Orioles in Baltimore is expected be the lowest-attended Major League Baseball game of all time.
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The reason is an upsetting one, and MLB commissioner Rob Manfred pointed out the league's sympathy to the situation in Baltimore.
"After conversations with the Orioles and local officials, we believe that these decisions are in the best interests of fan safety and the deployment of city resources," Manfred said. "Our thoughts are with all those who have been affected by violence in Baltimore, and everyone in our game hopes for peace and the safety of a great American city."
Actual history is being created in Baltimore this week. But one effect will result in some baseball history, as well.