There is nothing like Opening Day in Major League Baseball.
This annual gathering of a community, bonded by a game that signals a start of a new year, the blooming of spring, and hopes of someone’s favorite team winning the World Series in the fall.
Paul Yeager, Becky Mollenkamp, Nick Renkoski, Liz Lidgett, Jason Gavin, and Chris Juhl, to name a few know what that feeling is like when your team is on top of the world. Their St. Louis Cardinals went from a wild card team to beating the Texas Rangers in one of the most memorable championship series in recent years.
“Wait until next year” is a moniker I could do without. As a Cubs fan, it’s agonizing that the Northsiders are the kids standing outside of the candy shop, looking in.
“But, a season awaits, with glory in their eyes” as John Facenda spoke with reverent authority. Baseball brings a sense of community, a pilgrimage, as fans sit next to each other, cracking open shells of warmed-up peanuts, scribbling on their scorecards, and vocally coaxing the opposing team’s batter to swing and strike with the fervor of Ferris Bueller.
Welcome back baseball.
Welcome back the majestic Budweiser Clydesdales as they enter Busch Stadium and make their way around the track and making a stop at home plate. Welcome back the regal pomp and circumstance that makes Yankee Stadium a sight to behold. Welcome back the family fun atmosphere that makes watching Royals games cool at Kaufmann Stadium.
Welcome back bleacher bums and Steve Goodman’s voice singing “Go Cubs Go” over the sound system at Wrigley, when that “W” flag is raised after a win. Welcome back Fenway Park where The Standells lovingly opine about the Charles River.
Welcome back Vin Scully. There’s no one quite like you.
Welcome back baseball. It’s good to reconnect again.