This Sunday and Monday are Opening Day for the MLB season (three games Sunday with the rest of the league opening Monday), or April Christmas. I’ve come to find out that April Christmas has a completely different feel than the start of any other sport. I’m sure a lot of it has to do with the weather changing. Most of us are transitioning from a cold, dark winter to a warm, sunny spring. Opening Day signifies that if that change hasn’t happened yet, it’s about to.
But there’s also a buzz that accompanies Opening Day that’s not there with any other sport, whether you live in a major league city or not. In A Boy Called Charlie Brown, Charlie Brown gives a soliloquy about what makes Opening Day so great.
“I love the memories. I love the smell of the horsehide. I love the smell of the grassy outfield and the dusty infield. The hopes, and the dreams, for the new season.”
The hopes and dreams are what make Opening Day such an exciting part of the season for every sport. I’ve been a Seattle Mariners fan since I was in diapers and I look forward to Opening Day, because for at least one day every year, my team is sitting at the top of the AL West. Of course, it rarely lasts long, but they’re there. It gives me hope that an Angels in the Outfield-like miracle can happen and my team will make a run at the playoffs.
The start of the baseball season means the sights, sounds and smells that come with it. Big league parks have the greenest, most perfectly trimmed grass you’ll ever see in your life. The not-so-dusty infield is perfectly groomed and manicured to present the most beautiful diamond you can lay your eyes on. The crack of the baseball against the wooden bat is as magical as sleigh bells in December. At the ballpark you can smell hot dogs and other delights cooking along the concourse and, if you’re close enough, you can get a sniff of the freshly cut grass that says summer.
So celebrate the start of a new season like it’s Christmas. Take the day off work Monday, or stream some games on your phone at the very least. Revel in your team’s undefeated record and have hope that it stays that way for more than a day. Whether your team just won the World Series or is a perennial basement dweller, dream that your team has a chance to win it all. Because remember, if the Chicago Cubs can win one, anybody can.
Photo by Brigham Berthold