FanPost

Opening Day

What is the feeling we baseball fans have on opening day that make it so special? Is it elation? Well, elation is a pretty strong word, and probably won't be felt by fans of teams not spelled S-A-N F-R-A-N-C-I-S-C-O. For us Red Sox fans, it may have been the right word on opening day 2005 or opening day 2008, but I feel quite certain elation won't describe opening day 2013 for us. Besides, what happened in 04' and 07' hadn't happened in over 80 years, but I've still had the same feeling on all the opening days of my life…

Is it just the game itself that gets our juices flowing? I don't think there is any denying that. A lot of us who love this game were also players at different stages in our lives… or at the very least, gave it a try. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you had to be a player to enjoy the game now, but those of us who were, or tried, have a better understanding of just how difficult the game can be. I include ladies and fast pitch softball, here, played at a highly competitive level. If there's anyone who doesn't subscribe to this, I'll give you Jennie Finch's number, and you can talk it over with her and her fastball. Our experiences in the game, back in the day, make us appreciate now, how beautiful, poetic, and magical it can be, when played so effortlessly, and so skillfully, at the highest level. But I still don't think even that fully encompasses the feeling we all have on opening day…

Could it be that it's the beginning of something? Is that the feeling? A chapter? But aren't all seasons the beginning of something? Fall is the beginning of cold weather. Winter begins to turn the rain into snow. Spring begins to turn the snow back into rain. And summer begins to spoil us, making us forget all those other seasons even exist. But summer is definitely part of it…

Is it like our favorite TV shows? After all, it's entertainment… complete with, cliffhangers, drama, heroics, failure, breakdowns, fights, medical emergencies… and finishes up with a spectacular 4-7 part season finale. Unlike a TV series, though, it's not weekly. No sir, not baseball. We are talking every night! 162 new episodes every season! Same cast, same venues, and nobody has a clue what is about to happen before that first pitch is delivered. Hell, baseball even celebrates America before every episode! It's the ultimate reality show! But clearly, what we get from baseball is not the same thing we get from watching, say… Pawn Stars, American Pickers, or Storage Wars." So it's not that. Not completely.

Opening Day does contains a lot of the elements described above. But is there one feeling that captures all of it? I believe there is, and it's stitched to the fiber of our very being and triggered by all things that matter to us. It's tied to our love of country, and what we want for our children. It's what we would like the future to be full of. It's tied to the feelings we have on Christmas morning, and this year, especially, Easter Sunday. Baseball is not life and death, far from it, but without the feeling it triggers in us on Opening Day, we might as well be dead. That's why baseball is as much a part of America as all of her other great institutions. Opening Day is pure HOPE, and the promise of a new day…


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