Rockies stars Charlie Blackmon and Trevor Story have two of the best opening day performances in major league history. So imagine how they felt on Thursday when they couldn't play baseball.
"I feel a little lost," Blackmon said.
"It is strange," Story said.
The Rockies were slated to play at San Diego's Petco Park, but the coronavirus pandemic has everyone's normal life in limbo. While both players emphasized the importance of following established public guidelines for fighting the virus, they nevertheless missed the goose bumps that come with the first game of the season.
"I've never seen so much news in life," said Blackmon. "I am glued to television and radio and trying to keep up with the situation. That is important.
"But this is like a rain delay and you're just not sure what to do. Usually I'm very scheduled and have a specific schedule of events in my day. Now I'm flying through the seat of my pants. I just don't know when we're going to start playing again it's difficult. "
When the Rockies' Salt River Fields spring training complex in Scottsdale, Arizona, closed on March 18, Blackmon decided to drive to Denver instead of exposing himself to the virus by flying home to Georgia. He has been working daily, trying to maintain an advantage, but it is a strange new world.
Story, in his native Texas, has become even more aware of how blessed it is to play baseball for a living.
"Baseball is sorely missed, but at the same time, it gives you a new appreciation of what we can do to live," he said. "But for many of us, it is much more than that. It is our passion and it is our first love. Baseball is part of me, so when you are missing games it feels really strange."
That both Story and Blackmon were magicians on opening day made Thursday even more melancholic for them.
Story started in four starts and hit three home runs: two against Diamondbacks ace Zack Greinke in Story's major league debut in 2016, and one against Marlins' Jose Marrena last season in Miami.
The 2016 game was historic. Story hit a three-run homer on the opposite field against Greinke in the third inning of Colorado's 10-5 win at Chase Field. On his next at-bat, Story took Greinke deep again to become the first player in major league history to hit two home runs while making his debut on opening day.
"I remember every part of that game," said Story. "I was super nervous and I really didn't have control of my body on that first at-bat." I really touched my finger and didn't even touch my finger. He was almost too prepared.
The story ended on his first at-bat before hitting home runs in his next two.
"After that first AB, I had a lot more control over my body, thoughts and emotions," he said. "Those emotions are the hardest part of your debut."
In the Rockies' 2014 home opener, a 12-2 win over Arizona at Coors Field, Blackmon became the first major league player to go 6-for-6 with a home run and three doubles in one day. inaugural. More important to Blackmon, he solidified his place as a starting outfielder.
"That's almost as much fun as playing baseball," said Blackmon. "It seemed like I couldn't go wrong that day, which is extremely rare for the baseball game. It looked like he knew he was going to take a hit, either single or double. "
Blackmon had managed to get the 25-man roster out of spring training, but he wasn't sure of his place on the team.
"We had six outfielders in the mix at the time and I knew we weren't going to keep six outfielders," he recalled. "I didn't want to be sixth in the depth table."
Instead, he became a star for the first time.