By Steve Large

OAKLAND (CBS13) – America’s national pastime is back after a year with no fans during the pandemic.

Opening day across the country included families from our area making the trip to see the Oakland A’s home opener at the Coliseum.

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The A’s allowed 26 percent capacity inside the ballpark. Their last game with fans in the stands was in October 2019. It was a scene that had been gone for so long – baseball, beer, and fans who came to Oakland’s Ring Central Coliseum for opening day.

It was a return to real life, almost.

“It feels weird, I mean you know the crowd’s kind of thin but the excitement is still here,” said A’s fan Kais Shirgul.

See more photos from the game below.

The A’s allowed fans to sit in two- and four-person pods spread out with empty chairs between them, masks required, and mobile orders only for food.

Art Wasserman was one of the thousands of fans trying to order food on the A’s mobile app. It wouldn’t work – an opening day missed opportunity.

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“Frankly, I am very disappointed at the whole thing,” Wasserman said. “We can’t get beer, we can’t get food, the app isn’t working.”

The A’s acknowledged the app problem that took down the mobile ordering for much of the game. Fans could be seen on their devices trying to figure out what was wrong.

Getting into the game, fans lined through security for the first time in 18 months.

The Bolanos family drove to the game from Lodi.

“Why today,” Phil Bolanos said, “Just because opening day, the Oakland A’s are in town, I want to take my family to just enjoy themselves.”

It was a COVID-19 comeback with fans front and center for the American pastime after the pandemic took that experience away for a full year.

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The A’s announced the paid attendance for the game was 10,346. They lost the opener to the Astors 8-1 and play again Friday at 6:40 p.m.