When you hit a certain age, like I have, the Christmas season and birthdays do not have the same excitement as they might have at one point in time. However, no matter how many years pass and how many things change around me, the one constant for as long as I can remember is the feeling I get on the first day of the baseball season.
Is it the longing for the past? I don’t think so. But what is it? Why is one day so much more special than the others?
Following the Chicago Cubs for years upon years, Opening Day meant there was hope for the upcoming season…but by June that hope was usually dashed. There were a few special summers sprinkled in that have been etched in all of our memories. For me the summers of 1984, 2003 and 2008, regardless of final outcomes, will always mean more to me than others.
Baseball is different from all of the other sports. It takes dedication to follow a team day in and day out for six months and not just one day a week. Baseball is the game we played as a child that was taught to us by our fathers in a yard that is much smaller now than it was years ago.
Every first pitch of every game offers an excitement and an anticipation of thinking something special could happen on that day. As Pat Hughes told me, “We might see a no hitter. We might see a guy hit four homers. We might see a perfect game. We might see a triple play. You never know what you are going to see.”
“Baseball is a religion rather than a sport.”
Baseball is Our National Pastime…and today is Our National Holiday.
Happy Opening Day!