Opening Day is like Christmas for baseball fans. As I watch the Red Sox hosting the Yankees to open the 2010 MLB season, the excitement of the Phillies opening their season tomorrow increases. Especially with Roy Halladay making his official Phillies debut in Washington DC in about 14 hours from now.
For fans, it’s another start to a year with promise (even for Nationals fans) that everyone is in first, and nobody is in last. It’s a day for one to get together with friends and family to tailgate, talk about the upcoming season’s hopes and dreams, especially for a team who is primed to return to the World Series like the Phillies. It’s a time to throw the ball around in the parking lot, and hoping nobody breaks any car windows in the process.
For players, it’s a year to build on a stellar year from the previous year, or start fresh from a forgettable season. For guys making their major league debut or a debut with a new team, it’s a chance to become a fan favorite in their very first at-bat or first pitch thrown.
Some of my personal best memories of Opening Day aren’t even necessarily of the game itself. The funniest memory I have was before the 2008 opener, when me, my cousin and some friends were tailgating in the drizzle, and my cousin forgot the hamburger buns. I forced him and his friend to walk down the street to CVS while I waited. The game itself was one to forget, although I’ll never forget Tom Gordon imploding and allowing five runs in the ninth, propelling the Phils to a 11-6 loss.
Kids all across America come down with an “illness” to get out of school just to head down to the stadium and see their favorite players. For thousands of people around the country, it’s the feeling of spring in the air (especially with how warm it’s been here lately). It’s also the smell of hot dogs and beer. The first of many nacho plates will be eaten. The cotton candy guy yelling. Catching batting practice home runs and seeing the groundscrew fixing the field. The list of nuances can go on and on.
Hopefully both the season opener tomorrow and the home opener next week don’t go as poorly as that 2008 game went. Fortunately both games are against Washington. Also, hopefully nobody forgets any rolls or beers for a tailgate over the next two weeks as we all cheer the Fightins’ onto victory!
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