It doesn’t feel right at all this morning to be thinking of Opening Day.
It’s Thursday for crying out loud!
Baseball’s Opening Day was reserved for the first Monday in April. The traditional first game in Cincinnati, the ceremonial first pitch by the President in Washington, and the Cubs and the Mets being “mathematically eliminated” from playoff contention for the umpteenth time…before even taking the field. In St. Louis, the Cardinals will have their grand parade of yesterday legends and today’s stars during their opening ceremonies at Busch Stadium.
Today is Opening Day, that time-honored ritual that signals the unofficial start of spring, mixed with a few lake-effect snow showers in Chicago, Detroit, and Cleveland from time to time. The San Francisco Giants, the newly crowned champions of this sport, will meet their long-time hated nemesis the Dodgers. Joel Hanrahan, of Norwalk, will be asked by the Pittsburgh Pirates to take the mound as a closer this season.
Meanwhile in Seattle and Chicago, heavy hearts will reside as the Mariners and the Cubs start their season without an institution and a legend: broadcaster Dave Niehaus and former player and beloved color analyst Ron Santo. This baseball season will also be empty without the man from Van Meter known as “Rapid Robert”. Tim McClelland and Eric Cooper pull out their umpire masks and stand behind the plate to judiciously call balls and strikes again.
Opening Day brings hope and hearkens emotions of yesteryear and bonding among fans, family, and friends, as we turn down the television, pull out our cell phones, and feverishly try to find an app that will let us listen to Vin Scully poetically weave a story as the Dodgers mount up a rally late in the games.
Opening Day is here, regardless if it’s on Monday or, as weird as it is, on a Thursday.
It’s time to play ball.