Do you remember when you were a child around a gift-giving holiday? You’d go to sleep the night before, tossing and turning because of the anticipation of the next day’s excitement. You’d lay out your clothes so you could be ready to run downstairs and rip open your gifts. Then finally you exhaust yourself fantasizing about what was to come the next day and you finally fell asleep for the night.
When that next day came, the day you had been waiting for, you sprung out of bed and ran to the family room and waited to tear open your gifts while your parents in a loving, but grumpy manor told you to wait. That feeling was the essence of happiness—to look forward to something for so long and then receive it. Materialistic? maybe, but happiness none-the-less.
I was like that at Christmas time as a child and the more and more I think about it, I’m still like this as an adult. What was the happiness from finding presents under a tree has turned to delirious joy at the prospect of a new baseball season.
Baseball has been the one constant in my life that has stood for more than just a game. You can learn a lot about life from baseball, you can teach a lot about life from baseball, and in general, baseball allows you to enjoy the people in your life. I really can’t even begin to quantify all of the memories I have made with my family and friends that are directly tied to baseball.
People remark that the game is too slow. I retort that it is this way so that one can enjoy the company that surrounds him while simultaneously enjoying the anticipation that accompanies the game. People say the game is tainted. I retort that such a game of pure heart and determination can never be tainted—the spirit of the game is always the same, whether you’re watching a pick up game in an alley way or a professional championship. People don’t like the owners, the player salaries, or the long season. I suggest that perhaps they take up watching football…oh wait.
I’ve had a crazy past couple of months personally, so I welcome this season of baseball like I welcomed the Power Rangers Megazord into my life during the great Christmas of ‘93. It has been tumultuous and in a lot of ways I am a new person—or maybe I’m getting back to the person I used to be—I’m still not quite sure. One thing that I am sure of is that my pulse is suddenly stronger, I hold my head a little higher, There is something to talk about with strangers at the bar or on the T, and I have something to look forward to every day for the next five months.
The Sox open tomorrow in Texas, but for tonight, I’ll enjoy opening day in all of the splendor that it brings. Ladies and Gentleman, Happy opening day 2011.