At long last, baseball season has arrived.
I’ve been waiting all winter. As Roger Hornsby said, “People ask me what I do in the winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.”
Now that winter has passed, one of my favorite days of the year is almost here: Opening Day.
The Cleveland Indians’ home opener falls on April 4, just eight days away from the publication of today’s paper and four days after the Tribe’s official opener against the Oakland Athletics on March 31.
Ever since I was little, I’ve loved Opening Day. I would rush home from school to catch the 3:05 first pitch and celebrate the official beginning of spring.
The last two years, I’ve attended the Tribe’s home opener. My first was quite an experience.
I’ll never forget it. My friend Kevin and I bought tickets at the last minute, just a week before the game, so the only ones we could get were standing room only.
We arrived plenty early so we could stake out a spot on the Toyota Home Run Porch.
We managed to grab a place along the rail with a perfect view of the field.
The game itself was uneventful until the ninth inning. The Tribe held a 4-1 lead heading into the top of the ninth before former Indians closer Chris Perez proceeded to blow the save.
The game then trudged forward in extra innings, as neither team managed any offense until Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia clobbered a three-run home run over our heads in the 16th.
The Indians couldn’t counter, and the game ended. Turns out, of 1,360 Opening Day games between 1901 and 2012, this one was the longest.
At least we got our money’s worth.
Kevin and I went again last year, and it was just as fun, despite an 11-6 loss to the New York Yankees.
Tickets are going to be expensive this year, but I can’t imagine not going after these past two incredible openers.
I’m not sure how the Indians will do this season; I’m not great at predictions. Heck, I picked Creighton to reach the Final Four. But I do know this: I can’t wait for Opening Day.
I hope you’re just as excited. It’s going to be a fun year. Even if you’re not a big baseball fan, try it out on Opening Day.
I promise you won’t be disappointed.
As a wise man once said, “A bad day at the ballpark is better than a good day just about anywhere else.”