|Opening Day Brings Wonders||| Print ||
Written by Jonathan Leshanski (Contact & Archive) on April 05, 2010
"There are only two seasons - winter and Baseball"
You know even if Bill Veeck hadn't said the above quote he would have been on my short list of baseball guys who I would have liked to sit down and have dinner with.Â Of course, he did say it, and he was right.Â Last night at roughly 8:05 by my calendar, winter officially ended and we moved into my favorite part of the season:
It's hard to predict just what the next six months will bring us.Â Each game offers us new chances to see great plays, spectacular hits, and dreams of a pennant race (again feel free to disregard if you happen to be fans of the Padres, Pirates or Royals).Â It's a season of opportunity and it matters not if you enjoy it just for the spectacle, for the athleticism, artistry, rivalries, playing fantasy or even the community feeling of rooting for the same hometown nine that your friends do.Â It's baseball and it's a part of summer.
If you grew up in this country it's hard to imagine the world without baseball.Â It was part of our childhood, part of growing up, and it's been with us every step of the way as we've grown.Â It was there before you liked girls (or boys), it was there when you were in school, played on the radio at work or on TV when you got home.Â You probably had a shoebox full of cards, maybe had a pennant or a poster of your favorite player hanging in your room.Â You may still have some autographs or the ball you caught at the game when you were eight.Â And you almost certainly had an old glove and bat that you dusted off regularly to join your friends.
Funny how many of us still have an old glove in our closets.Â For some reason it's something many of us have found just a little too hard to part with.Â Maybe it's all the memories that go, not just with the glove, but with the game.Â Younger fans may not always relate to that -- they've been exposed to a different world of baseball and entertainment choices as they've grown.Â But for most of us, we have memories be they of World Series games, of huddling beneath our blankets listening to the game on transistor radios, or of rushing home from school to catch the last few innings of the afternoon games.
How many of the greats have we seen?Â The no hitters? The perfect games?Â Home run races and batting champions crowned?Â The upsets and the juggernauts?Â The elusive triple play? One of those rare games in which a player hit four home runs?Â A steal of home? That ninth inning comeback? Or the ball that just grazed the foul pole to change everything in an instant.Â Those are things that stick with us, often becoming larger than life, maybe remembered perfectly, and maybe misremembered which just makes the story a little grander.
Baseball calls to us and reminds us of all those days. It's not just about the season or who wins this year.Â Baseball is an accumulation of years, of happy days, of summers past, of friends current and those we no longer have.Â Even if you don't follow rabidly, baseball is one of those things that stirs our memories and urges.
It's something sewn into the culture of this nation, almost impossible to avoid.Â It's on television, radio, in the papers on the news, and in the parks and playgrounds and it all surges forward and becomes larger than life every year right around this time.
Opening day opens all those doors in our psyches and refreshes our memories, not just of the game but of the summer to come.Â There will be plenty of games to savor in person or via our favored form of media.Â We'll follow the standings, our fantasy teams and maybe even dust off that old glove to throw a ball around again.
After all, it's opening day.Â Play ball!