Since I started watching baseball, Opening Day has always been one of my favorite days of the year. Even in years when I’m not going to Opening Day games (most years, as I live in Chicago, and most years April weather is to be endured more than enjoyed), I love watching the games on television and planning for the season to come.
As far as professional sports are concerned, baseball occupies the best time of year. Football happens in the winter, as does basketball, and hockey pretty much demands it. But Opening Day means that summer is coming. Even in places where we haven’t seen our last snow for the year, we know that if baseball is here good weather can’t be far behind.
It’s also the day when all things are possible. No team is out of it, yet. No team is at the bottom of the division, grinding out a 63-win season. No team is sweeping its way to postseason play and crushing enemies in its wake. No team has seen its high hopes dashed by an unfortunate injury or an under-performing star. We think we know what might happen, who the strong teams are and who are the weaklings, because baseball is a game of statistics and numbers don’t lie. But numbers don’t tell the whole truth of baseball either, and Opening Day is where they meet reality. On Opening Day, all things are possible.
On Opening Day, unlike every other day of the regular season, I will watch every game(1). Teams I care about (Go Giants!) and teams I don’t (what’s up, Tampa Bay Rays!), because on Opening Day I go to the Church of Baseball and I stay all day.
(1) No one has time for that every day of the season. People need to sleep.