The time is almost here, the unofficial National Holiday approaches. March is going out like a lamb, and April is breathing new life not just for the excitement synonymous with Spring; but the game that is ushered in with the season.
Opening Day is almost finally upon us!
The pure excitement of each team entering the season with last season in the rear view mirror and the hopes for sweeter returns this year. Each team is given a clean slate and able to write their own fortune or misfortune on it. The next several months are up in the air, and anything is possible.
Of course, there are expectations for every team and yes, some teams will falter. Others will exceed, but on Opening Day all eyes are looking up, not at who was at the top already, but at the thought of themselves being up there by season’s end.
The rust has been shaken off with the exhibition games played in the warm weather of Florida and Arizona. Each organization has trimmed their roster to what they believe is their best possible combination of players to win baseball games.
And when the time comes, those worthy of earning their roster spot will be awarded the honor of lining up on their team’s baseline in front of tens of thousands of fans. All excited to see their team’s ensemble bursting with talent which has been so carefully crafted over the off-season. It is an honor for a player to make an Opening Day roster, and be acknowledged by the organization they work for as the best and most qualified to help the team achieve victory.
For the fans, being able to go to the ballpark on Opening Day means that it is finally time to put away the Winter clothes and prepare for the beautiful Spring and Summer nights. The thought of being able to put the shovel away, pull out the patio and backyard furniture, and prepare for the Bar-B-Ques has the adrenaline pumping.
The ability to escape to the ballpark and see the players migrate back to their home stadiums from their Spring training facilities like birds heading North after the long winter, reaffirms that the morbid days of Winter are gone. The renewed life of Spring and Summer are back!
The reminder that baseball season is here provides the fans with warmth. In some locations on Opening day you find fans huddled under blankets and bearing the chilled air to see the renewal of baseball season. And once again be reminded that the dejected days of Winter are over and they too will experience a return to beautiful weather.
Kids allowed to skip school or leave early and participate in the renewal of baseball, are excited at the thought of seeing the pre-game ceremonies, the ceremonial first pitch and a snack during the game. A bite of a hot dog, or the silly little prize within a Cracker Jack’s box or bag are memories that rush back from the previous season. They, too, are filled with the thrill knowing that their Summer nights can be occupied with visits to “the cathedrals” which house many of their idols of the baseball diamond.
Adults find themselves taking the day off or calling in sick to be able to see their beloved team take the field. Each fan now knows there are 162 games to be played by their team and they will get the opportunity to cheer them on with friends and family. Even those who cannot make the game could be listening to the radio or watching on TV, still feel excited no matter what form of media they are using.
Each game will begin with the National Anthem, and then typically a more noteworthy First Pitch Ceremony. Most team’s will have some sort of military ceremony occur, most likely with a flyover by some sort of jet formation. As that happens the entire stadium will shake and the energy will rise even higher. The crowds will applaud their team’s lineup and then the real moment for all is just moments away.
The home team takes the field and warm up at their positions. Then the umpire yells the sacred phrase that every fan has waited to hear since the conclusion of last season.
The first pitch is thrown and finally the baseball season is upon us.