Happy New Year! My Love Letter to Baseball’s Opening Day
"It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops." - A. Bartlett Giamatti, "The Green Fields of the Mind"
"People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring." - Rogers Hornsby
In 2020, the wait for the return of Our National Pastime has never felt longer but, mercifully for us "seamheads", today is the day that the Great American Game finally begins again! Baseball is back and I couldn't be happier.
My wife and I refer to Opening Day as "New Year's Day" as it is the calendar with which my world revolves around. Someone (Wes Westrum?) once said, "Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand." With that in mind, you must understand one thing about me. People who think baseball is boring, bore me.
Baseball is like an heirloom. It is passed down from generation to the next generation. What with my beloved Seattle Mariners campaign beginning later today (July 24), I'd like to take you through my life with the game of baseball being part of the very fabric of it.
Someone once said, "You don't grip a baseball. A baseball grips you." I agree.