Opening Day: Baseball Springs Eternal
For millions of Americans, baseball’s Opening Day ushers in the return of spring.
Some people may claim that spring begins each year at the vernal equinox around March 20. Unfortunately, all of those well-intentioned people are wrong. Spring OFFICIALLY begins on baseball’s opening day.
Since before the Civil War, both men and women stayed active and shook off the cobwebs of the long, harsh winter by playing their own American amalgamation of cricket and rounders known as baseball. And since this time, baseball has heralded in the spring months as the end of March approaches and baseball season nears its commencement.
Baseball means spring. And spring means the end of cautiously walking through your driveway avoiding black ice; the end of runny noses and chapped lips; and the beginning of the warm spring and summer months. It means being able to get home from work or school with a few hours left of sunlight to grill out on the deck or start an epic game of stickball.
Opening Day is a national holiday to millions of fans of the American pastime. This year, baseball opens its season up on Sunday, April 3 with a nighttime rematch of last year’s World Series opponents: the Kansas City Royals and Lorenzo Cain vs. the New York Mets and Jacob DeGrom.
The following day, Opening Day truly kicks off as the other Major League teams will play their first games with hopes on high. Every team is undefeated on Opening Day which means fans and players alike have yet to abandon their World Series dreams and aspirations (including Chicago Cubs fans who have been fantasizing about another ring since 1908).
The fan-fare is also kicked up to eleven for Opening Day. In Cincinnati, the Findlay Market Parade ushers in the return of Reds baseball. In St. Louis, Clydesdales take home plate to mark the return of the Cardinals. And since William Howard Taft in 1910, a president will probably throw out a first pitch.
Growing up, I always got excited while riding shotgun through my hometown seeing siblings, fathers, mothers and friends out on their front lawns having a game of catch. It meant that the winter was coming to an end and baseball was on its way. It signified that the snow banks would finally fully melt and my friends and I would be able round third and head for home once more. Baseball is here again.