The first day of a baseball season brings with it many reasons to celebrate. The reuniting of us with our “summer friends”, the end of a long and dreary winter, a cold beer at noon…ahhh opening day. It often falls on a workday forcing thousands of us to cash in some vacation time. Wouldn’t it be easier on employers if we could just make it an official Holliday? (and no – that’s not a typo) I scheduled a Dr. appointment for Thursday morning so that I had more of an excuse to take the day off, only to have my Dr. cancel the appointment leaving me free to head downtown even earlier!
After spending an hour or so in Keener Plaza wandring around the pep rally, my family and I headed to Paddy O’s. If you don’t already know – they’ve built on and it’s now HUGE! (They also bought Al’s and plan to turn it into parking, so the pre- and post-game options are now one less.) I tend to wander off a lot, so it wasn’t long before I lost track of my family and hung out with some old friends for a while before heading into the stadium.
As I walked in I marveled. It’s not like I’ve never been here before – I average between 45-60 games per year, and I was just here 4 days ago for a stadium tour. But still, there’s nothing like opening day. Soon I was watching the players ride around the stadium in Ford trucks, and then – the game. And it was a good game (for the first 10 innings anyway). Franklin allowed the Padres to tie it up in the 9th, then Theriot struggled to make a play in the 11th, then sailed the ball over Yadi’s head and we lost 5-3.
But opening day isn’t totally about the game. It’s about a fresh start to another season. It’s about getting your baseball friends back together after a winter spent apart. It’s a team of players with blank stat lines and the possibilty to fill them with big numbers. It’s the beginning of endless trash talk in fantasy leagues. Opening day is a celebration that baseball has finally returned after what seems like an eternity without it. Yes, it’s about the game and yes we want our team to win. But opening day is a great game even when it’s not. Because whether you’re at home in front of the tv, at work sneaking it on your computer, or at the stadium with a beer and brat, you know that this day – you get to watch the ball game. And what’s even better?? There’s 161 more to follow.