There’s something special about those words. The beginning of a new year, the end to a long winter, and the rebirth of hope. Opening Day has some sort of magic around it. I can’t describe it. It doesn’t matter if your team is a World Series favorite or if your team is in the middle of a long rebuild, Opening Day makes believers out of everyone. Opening Day means that the ballpark is sold out, you’re making up fake doctors appointments to get the kids out of school, and running to the team shop to get the newest gear to show your colors. Yes, today is truly Opening Day.
Opening Day means celebrating the past and looking to the future. In Chicago, the Cubs begin their title run, receive their rings, and raise a banner. In Cleveland, a pennant will go in the upper deck of Progressive Field as players and fans alike wonder what if. The Astros, Mariners, Giants, and Red Sox have all reloaded while the Reds and Brewers have all torn down. But on Opening Day, none of that matters. All that matters is the future. The promise that another day will come win or lose and the World Series trophy can be seen at the end of the tunnel.
As Opening Day begins, we as fans will be called to the ballpark, TVs, and computers by the sounds of the ball hitting the mitt, the crack of the bat, and the two most important words in baseball: play ball. New uniforms, more ballpark food, and new stadiums change the fan experience, but the game is still the same.
What is in store for us this year? Will we see more no hitters from Arrieta? 500 foot bombs from Stanton? Unassisted triple plays? Division upsets? Will the Cubs repeat and build a dynasty or will we see a new champion crowned? We don’t know how the season will end, but it all starts today.
Welcome to Opening Day.