By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski

David Peralta is happy to be back on the field after falling ill and questioning if it was COVID-19.

He tested negative four times—as recently as July 5—and reported to summer camp on July 6. During an intrasquad game on July 6, he hit a home run.

“It’s always good to be back,” Peralta says. “I’m happy to be back with the guys doing what I love to do.”

He says he started feeling ill recently and was worried about potentially passing an illness on to his wife and young daughters.

“I don’t even want to think about that,” he says “It’s in the past. I’m happy that I’m healthy.”

That goes for his shoulder as well. Peralta underwent shoulder surgery last summer, forcing him to miss the last couple months of the season. He says now it’s feeling great.

“Today was the first day (of training) for me,” Peralta says. “I’m just taking it day by day. I hit a couple balls really well and it went deep.”

Peralta says “it is what it is” when it comes to playing in stadiums without fans. That also means Peralta—the team greeter—will not be able to perform his unofficial duties.

“That’s going to be hard for me,” he says with a laugh. “I like to give high fives to my teammates. I have to do my best not to do that.

“It’s going to be tough not celebrating, too, because that’s what we do. We celebrate when we do something good and when we win. I know it’s going to be hard at the beginning. The more games we play, we’re going to get used to it.”

Ballplayers aren’t the only folks getting used to the “new normal.” Peralta acknowledges that it’s a worldwide problem.

“The whole world is going through a hard situation,” Peralta says. “It’s going to be weird. With no fans, it is what it is. We’re happy to be back playing baseball and without fans—just for this year, hopefully. We just want to protect everyone.

“We just have to deal with that. We have to go back and play the game that we love to play. We have to go out there and do our job.”